Temporarily blocking VPN access
We are temporarily suspending access to Narakeet from VPN providers and application hosting data centers. This page provides more information about VPN access and what we’re doing about it.
- Why are VPN providers temporarily blocked?
- How long will the suspension last?
- Will you be able to use a VPN in the future?
- What can you do to regain access?
- What can you do if you got blocked, but you are not using a VPN?
- What can you do if VPN access is critical for you?
- What can you do if you need automated access to Narakeet?
Why are VPN providers temporarily blocked?
Narakeet recently experienced several large abuse attempts, with malicious actors hiding behind public VPN providers and IP anonymization. We are still analyzing the data but the initial results suggest that someone built automation tools to create audio files using Narakeet by simulating browser user workflows, and abusing our free tier to create hundreds of thousands of audio files every day. This significantly increased the load on our services, to the point where we could no longer support genuine users.
No user data was compromised by these abuses, and no personal information was extracted from our services. The abusers just created millions of audio files for free, and this is not financially sustainable for us to allow.
As a temporary measure, we’re blocking access to Narakeet from Internet address ranges associated with hosting providers and VPN exit points, until we can deploy more finer-grained controls. Hosting providers are networks where applications usually run, and it is unusual to receive genuine human traffic from such networks. However, many VPN providers use these hosting provider networks as regional exit points.
We’re doing this with full understanding that there are many genuine use cases for VPN access, and that the majority of people hide behind a VPN in order to protect themselves, not to abuse our services. Unfortunately, the scale of recent abuse required a quick solution. We know that this will bring inconvenience to some of you, and apologize for this. Read below for some ideas on how to restore your access.
How long will the suspension last?
The suspension will last until we can gain a better understanding of what the abusers were trying to do, and implement finer-grained controls to stop them and similar attacks. Our current estimate is that it will take between one week and one month, but we can not make any guarantees on this period. It will largely depend on how effectively we can block abusers.
Will you be able to use a VPN in the future?
Commercial users will be able to use a VPN to access Narakeet in the near future.
Free accounts will not be able to access Narakeet in the future using a VPN. We made it easy to get started and create free accounts, and bots can exploit this to open lots of free accounts and then abuse them.
What can you do to regain access?
During the next few days, the best thing to do is to turn off your VPN when accessing Narakeet. We understand this might be inconvenient for some users, and we are working on a solution.
What can you do if you got blocked, but you are not using a VPN?
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us your IP address. We can white-list it. Note that we will do this only for residential and company internet access, and will not be able to whitelist hosting provider addresses.
What can you do if VPN access is critical for you?
Get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will keep in you the loop as we enable VPN access again. By getting in touch you’ll ensure that you are in the first round of testing any solutions, and we will work with you until we find a way to connect you.
If you have a commercial account, and not having immediate VPN access makes Narakeet useless to you, we can refund your remaining credits. To request a refund, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org clearly stating your request.
What can you do if you need automated access to Narakeet?
Developer APIs allow you to automate text to speech conversion and video building using Narakeet. To help you get started, we provide command line tools that connect to the API and examples in all major programming languages.
Using our API is the only officially supported way to integrate Narakeet functionality into your applications, and the APIs still work from hosting provider data centres and over VPN access. They are not affected by the current suspension of VPN access over the web site.
We will keep actively fighting against bots trying to simulate human access to our web site, even when the VPN restrictions are removed. If you currently use browser automation to integrate Narakeet, this solution will no longer work, and we will actively prevent any future workarounds and loopholes. Switch to developer API access instead. Our web site is intended for human access, not for bots.