I keep several (many) tabs for SE sites open on a continuous basis. Over the past couple of days, every time I refresh the questions, I'm getting the intercept page that checks the security of my connection and asks me to verify that I'm human. This is happening regardless of site, and approximately every five minutes, or every time I look at the question page for a site that I'm not a member of. Why?

Example of Captcha page that intercepts everything

Addendum: This may be related to something in Chrome/Edge (I'm using Chrome); I don't seem to be seeing the issue with FireFox 117 No, it's happening with Firefox, too.

  • Is this page hosted on Stack Exchange? Can you post the URL and/or screenshot of it, please? Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:18
  • (if not part of SE, well, this is off topic here, it's something on your side) Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:18
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    @ShadowTheGPTWizard - pic added. When it appears on another site, the site name is reflected in the first line (e.g., Superuser.com, rpg.stackexchange.com, etc.) Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:33
  • Yeah, odd indeed. Looks like you somehow fell victim to the "new" anti DDoS system described here. Maybe your IP address is shared with some known spammer, so if you can change it, try it. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:38
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    @ShadowTheGPTWizard - can't; this is a government agency network; our computers are NATted for public internet access. I have no idea what my public IP address is, and couldn't change it even if I did, as it's handled by the NATter. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:41
  • Also might be case of too many requests, which happens when some userscript(s) going rogue, so try to disable all of them. Though in such case, you should get different error. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:43
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    @ShadowTheGPTWizard - N/A in this case; I have no userscripts. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:43
  • ahh, I forgot for a second the cause for most recent bugs. (I mean bugs from today, since they started actually changing the IP address) Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:50
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    @ShadowTheGPTWizard - Problem started yesterday for me, in the afternoon (NYC). Can't see it being frequency, as I didn't refresh at all between about 16:00 yesterday and 07:30 today. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 11:56
  • hmm... see this and this, some answers there might be useful to you as well. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 12:01
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    Apologies for this - I've escalated it internally and we're investigating what's going on. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!
    – Catija
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 14:41
  • @Catija while at it, another one, probably same root issue. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 15:05
  • @Catija - as of 9/21 I'm seeing it again, but only on Super User. Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 14:51
  • @Catija - and on Meta - but not on SO. Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:12
  • @Catija - and on other sites. Basically, yesterday's/Tuesday's fix seems to have been temporary only. The only site I haven't seen it on is SO. Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Thanks for reporting this issue! This is related to the recent announcement - Stack Exchange network sites’ IP addresses may change in the coming weeks - so it's on our end, not yours!

As you've discovered, we've implemented new bot protections to help protect the site better. We're actively adjusting the detection rules to prevent this kind of thing and have just rolled out a fix that should hopefully resolve the issue.

Please let us know if you're still having any issues.

We will be monitoring meta for other reports like this and have asked mods to be on the lookout for these bugs so we can address them quickly. Thanks so much for your patience as we complete this migration.

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    It does look like it's fixed; if it continues to appear fixed tomorrow, I'll accept this answer with thanks. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 19:03
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    OK, after leaving 35 SE tabs up overnight on each of Chrome and Firefox, and not getting a single request for human verification this morning when I refreshed each of those tabs, I'm going to say "Yeah, it's fixed!" Thanks for your help on this, and for keeping the community informed. Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 11:25
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    Sloshy failed last night with a hitherto unfamiliar 403 error, I expect anything which uses ChatExchange will have the same problem if indeed this is because of the CAPTCHA.
    – tripleee
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 5:10
  • This has become unfixed as of Thursday afternoon (NYC). I am now getting this on SU and sites other than SO. Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 11:10
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    I think I faced pretty much the same issue meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/426549/oauth2-not-working
    – alexanoid
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 14:49
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    We're still fine tuning the config and have made more changes to hopefully get even less false positives.
    – Josh Zhang StaffMod
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 15:20

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