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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Can someone trace where you've posting?

    Are we really anonymous online? Can an enemy trace your IP address or anything like that to find out where you have been posting anonymously online?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Through your Internet Provider yes. But if you are online from from Internet Coffees and other places and try to hide your traces well, you may succeed it.

    But keep in mind that there is hardly any anonymity online. It is safe not write online what you would regret a while later.
    ------------------

  3. #3
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    if you use a proxy, it will be imposibel for the owner of the websites to see, they can only see the fake IP

  4. #4
    secure webapps for all Aleksejs's Avatar
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    If the enemy you are talking about is government inteligence agency or law enforcement, then yes they can. If the enemy is your little sister, then that depends on how smart an cautious you are.

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Designer View Post
    Are we really anonymous online? Can an enemy trace your IP address or anything like that to find out where you have been posting anonymously online?
    Yes your IP can be traced, when you post anonymously online your IP is logged by the server, from that they can trace what country you are from and your ISP's details, if you did something illegal they could engage with law enforcement to have your details handed over from the ISP and their lawyers could therefore discover whom you are, it's a pretty simple process but it would take nothing short of a court order for the police to actually be able to get that information from your ISP (unless their feeling charitable). I know some security experts who have been able to track down individuals with just their IP address and some detective work.

    Quote Originally Posted by hulker View Post
    if you use a proxy, it will be imposibel for the owner of the websites to see, they can only see the fake IP
    Wrong, even though they will see the "fake IP" your real IP is still routed through the proxy server and again with legal enforcement (or paying off the proxy host if their in an eastern nation and corrupt) you could get the source IP hiding behind the proxy and get your details that way. There is no such thing as privacy or anonymity on the web, not that anyone really minds unless their paranoid or have something to hide

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Another Designer's Avatar
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    Hmmm... interesting.

    I know they can track your IP down to the city where your online service is residing in. But can they get your name and personal info?
    Also, can the match the ip of you gmail account to the ip that's on a forum?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast morgy's Avatar
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    I hope it's ok to digg up this thread, but it seems very relative to the question I have.

    The company that I work for, had a previous web analytics provider, that gave them, besides the usual visitors-pageviews-keywords etc reports (same as google analytics actually), the name of companies-competitors that have visited the website.

    Not just IPs or location, but the actual name of the competitor that might have visited us.
    How do they do it? Pardon my lack of knowledge, maybe it's something really simple that just slips my mind, but I'm curious, cause now I can only narrow it down to IP, ISP and City or something.

    So, unless you know the ISPs of the entire region, is that doable? I mean how do they do it?

    Thanks in advance!
    Gothic, EBM and alternative T-shirts http://www.gothicfashion.se

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    A company might buy a portion of IP space, and that might be information you could find in WHOIS. Also, there might be reverse DNS on the IPs that the company uses, so it's merely a matter of looking at the host name.

    And on the topic subject, although it's old, an IP alone cannot be used to trace the location of the IP's user. It must be combined with ISP subscriber information, which is generally available only to law enforcement. Many people don't keep tabs on where their personal information is available though, so it is possible to trace quite a few people starting with just their IP address. It's something I've done myself, and it's very easy to do if you understand a little human psychology and know the resources available.

    If you are a writer, then the more you write, the better people can identify you. Different people have very distinct writing styles and mannerisms, so it is very easy to correlate pieces of writing. The Internet is a big place though, so you obviously need some leads.

    It is possible to achieve 100% technical anonymity by using Tor. You must properly secure your computer setup as well, however, as many programs can leak traceable information.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast anhblog.net's Avatar
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    They can do it easy. Believe me
    Blogger and Tips - Make a Blog - SEO Tips - Technogoly News

    Getting 1,000 quality backlinks with just $29.99 at here

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast morgy's Avatar
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    Ah, the WHOIS, of course
    /me feels stupid :P
    thanks

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Designer
    Are we really anonymous online? Can an enemy trace your IP address or anything like that to find out where you have been posting anonymously online?
    you would be amazed if you knew how easy people can be tracked. there are several combination of skills that comes in handy while doing so, and only one of it has to do with computer skills

    Quote Originally Posted by hulker
    if you use a proxy, it will be impossibel for the owner of the websites to see, they can only see the fake IP
    well, that would be nice wouldn't it. but unfortunately this is not exactly how it works in the real world.

    you have different types of proxies.. and the anonymous is only one of the types, and these can also be broken down in subgroups.

    So if you feel you are in need for a proxy, you'd better do some testing to see if it's really anonymous, before you start dancing

    getting info from the admins of the proxies is not that difficult either. after some conversations where you do a presentation of why you need that info, and why it is so important for you, and in fact, important for the security of the building blocks of the whole internet etc etc.. you need to exaggerate a little to prove your point (assuming you have an important reason for your request) (and in some cases some cash) you are in many cases getting the info you are requesting.

    you can be traced through several proxies, even if they are true anonymous
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  12. #12
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    you can be traced through several proxies, even if they are true anonymous
    Not always true... many proxies have a strict policy of not logging any traffic through their system (and records are purged with industry standard data scrubbing methods), you just have to know which proxies are more secure than others. If there's no records or logs, they can't have an IP address to give up

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    You would have to trust the people who run the proxy though.

    Using Tor is a safer bet, as you can also defend against ISP logs and traffic analysis.

  14. #14
    Employed Again Viflux's Avatar
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    I think the most important point made is "which enemy are you hiding from?".

    If it's your family, you can probably hide your internet tracks by clearing your browser history.
    If it's a website administrator, a proxy is probably sufficient.
    If it's local law enforcement, then you may want to go the Tor route.
    If it's the NSA, well then you're screwed because nobody knows what kind of technology is available to them.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson
    Not always true...
    the only thing that's true, is that nothing is always true

    I know what you say, but my point is: it's not just to use a proxy.
    everything is traceable, and you need to be paranoid to survive
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  16. #16
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Really? I don't go anonymous, I really don't give a poop who knows who I am or where I am or what I'm doing... then again I've got nothing to hide

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    haha neither do i, but someone does.. or this thread would not exist

    if you got nothing to hide, i presume you walk around naked
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  18. #18
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    Another way to trace where you've been is through CSS history hack, which is more like a trick than a hack. This wont tell you when a user was at a specific website, but it does tell you whether the user has visited a specific website.

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Ulrik Hvide, that is by far one of the smartest tricks I've seen in years... what a fantastic example of taking advantage of the visited mechanism to literally dig through someone's history pages! I had never even considered that pseudo selectors could be used to "dictionary" the end-users history pages.

  20. #20
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    If it's the NSA, well then you're screwed because nobody knows what kind of technology is available to them.
    While TOR is a powerful means of anonymising your web traffic. I would expect the NSA would have a pretty good chance of finding you if they wanted to.

    As for regular proxies - most do not even remove original source IP from the http headers, your real IP is not very well hidden.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard
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    If your Tor packets don't pass through enough foreign Tor nodes, then they can find you. Sending bogus packets (with a destination) makes tracing harder, although it kind of destroys the Tor network.

    And on the history hack, the best example I know of it is:
    http://www.haveyourfriendsbeenthere.com/


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