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Secure server issues

Some customers getting page not found

     
4:01 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've got a niggling problem which I haven't been able to solve, and so I'm wondering if anyone here has enountered something similar or has any idea where the problem might be?

When a customer purchases from us, they move from the shopping cart (not SSL) to the checkout page (which is SSL) and from there to the payment page (which is provided by a 3rd party payment processor). So fairly typical setup. I had a customer recently who when going from the cart to the checkout got a "Page not found error" and F5 didn't help. Another got the same error when they went to the payment page on the 3rd party payment server (so they could view our secure server but not the 3rd party's). This has happened a handful of times that I know about (so possibly much more), but we have orders coming in all the time, and every attempt to replicate it has not produced the error, so it's either very specific or totally random. Customers reckon they have up to date browsers (usually IE) and we've tried setting maximum security and privacy settings but it still works every time.

Anyone have any ideas?

4:04 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So fairly typical setup. I had a customer recently who when going from the cart to the checkout got a "Page not found error" and F5 didn't help. Another got the same error when they went to the payment page on the 3rd party payment server (so they could view our secure server but not the 3rd party's).

Are you seeing those 404's in your logs? Is it possible that there is a URI that is not encoded properly and part of it is getting trimmed on the request? Is it possible that the site or both sites were experiencing heavy loads at the time the errors happened?

I've seen the dreaded 404 happen at times and 9 out of 10, the website was down or the SSL was down. Are you on Windows or Unix?

[edited by: pageoneresults at 4:40 pm (utc) on Dec. 6, 2006]

4:36 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Are you seeing those 404's in your logs? Is it possible that there is a URI that is not encoded properly and part of it is getting trimmed on the request? Is it possible that the site or both sites were experiencing heavy loads at the time the errors happened?

There's nothing in the logs at the time this occured on our site, and there were no heavy server loads at that time either. We had orders coming through as normal during the time this customer had problems.

I've seen the dreaded 404 happen on at times and 9 out of 10, the website was down or the SSL was down. Are you on Windows or Unix?

It's Unix.

What's frustrating about this is that it's so erratic. Someone will phone up and say they're having problems, yet while they're on the phone, other customers will be sending orders through. It's almost as if the occasional customer is losing the connection or something.

4:41 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just to add to this, I've had people phoning up saying they can't access the secure pages of our site (and often other sites) when at work, so is there perhaps a firewall or proxy issue there?
4:47 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Customers reckon they have up to date browsers (usually IE) and we've tried setting maximum security and privacy settings but it still works every time.

Could this be an IE7 issue or has it been happening before the release of IE7.

10.4.5 404 Not Found
The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

I'd say you are going to have to keep testing. From different browsers, different locations, etc. Next time someone encounters it and calls, hopefully they will have their browser open and at the 404 page so you can walk backwards with them to see what might have caused it.

Since it is coming from both your site and the third party provider site (two different properties), and it happens while on the SSL connection, I'd have to guess it is a security issue with the user's browser?

5:13 pm on Dec 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Could this be an IE7 issue or has it been happening before the release of IE7.

This has been happening since before IE7.

I'd say you are going to have to keep testing. From different browsers, different locations, etc. Next time someone encounters it and calls, hopefully they will have their browser open and at the 404 page so you can walk backwards with them to see what might have caused it.

I had someone today and asked them exactly what they were doing and tested a couple of things because they had their browser open, but it didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary. I agree I'm going to have to do some serious investigation in order to find this.

Since it is coming from both your site and the third party provider site (two different properties), and it happens while on the SSL connection, I'd have to guess it is a security issue with the user's browser?

That's what I was thinking - so I switched off cookies and javascript and set the privacy settings and security settings in IE to the highest level, but it still worked. I'm wondering if it isn't an old browser version in combination with something else that's at fault, but the person today said they shopped at Amazon without any problems.

4:11 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I use to have this same issue what I found out was the ss is at a one location the processor another and your site is at another location so you can have in effect 3 DNS possible issues on one site.

I bet this is the issue and not the site because you said one can't connect and orders are coming. This is a DNS issue for that location and not a down site.

Servers are up and down all the time that route people across the net. A location may lose the signal or connection were another location does not.

To fix this or reduce the number of times it happens Purchase a shopping cart and ss for the sie then all you will have your site and the processor connect to. This I have found pretty much stops this problem average cost

Go dedicted your call, 300-500 for cart, 100-200 for the ss certificate and some programming.

I would assume this will pay for itself in a month or two.

2:20 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that - we are now in the process of transferring the payment to our own secure server so that the customer isn't transferred to another site for payment. As our secure server doesn't seem to be causing any problems it should help.
3:48 pm on Dec 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let us know if this fixes the problem,

shopping cart nonsecure>>a suggestion I would if possibe move it to the ss as well, I found it really helps as people like to see the ss right off into the payment. <<<<Just a thought for food>>>

what kind of payment processor are you using that you can move to your server?

I use linkpoint and have to connect to their processor.

10:31 am on Dec 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We have SSL from the checkout stage, so that's not a problem. Many payment processors have more advanced services that allow you to connect to their service without transferring the customer to their server. Requires some programming, but is worth the effort if only to simplify the checkout.