Weird empty entries, possible 500 error

G’day all,

Over the past two days I’ve been seeing some empty form entries. On my own shop website (VPS), the support form has had a few now, and I can see in the logs that nginx is getting a 500 error, but I don’t have any details about what. On a client site I see a couple of empty entries, but not even a 500 error in the logs (Siteground).

Both sites are running PHP 8.0.13, all the usual extensions. Other sites haven’t seen this behaviour yet. One uses the HelpScout add-on, the other sends regular notification emails. The forms have mandatory fields.

I recently updated Gravity Forms Zero Spam, and also have my own phrase-based spam add-on active – both on the sites with empty entries and on the other sites. I very much doubt GF Zero Spam is the cause, it’s too simple. It could be my add-on of course, since it inspects the form entry values.

Has anyone else seen this behaviour? I’ve not seen it before. It seems odd to me that it can save an empty entry but complete with date and IP address, when there are mandatory fields and a 500 server error.

I’ve tried simulating spam submissions, empty submissions, triggering Zero Spam, etc. without any such problems – empty submissions are rejected, Zero Spam works, my phrase detection works. Normal submissions work.

I have some logging enabled for now, in case it recurs and I can get more info. But does anyone have any clue why this is happening?

Edit: the IP addresses for the empty entries resolve to web server hosts, hence my suspicion it’s spam related.


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