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Thread: Tracking Someone on Forums

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Dec 2008
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    MOC IT / Midland, Michigan, USA
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    Ok, I saw a post on the experiences thread about keeping certain information not on the forums due to court cases and such and being able or not being able to track a persons user id back to the actual real live person.

    THIS CAN EASILY BE ACCOMPLISHED FOR THE NORMAL FORUM USER.
    (for a knowledgable computer guy, hackers, or cracker it may be harder to trace)
    yes... there are ways around it, but i will not discuss these methods.

    Basically what happens is the Company/Owner of the Server (notneccesarily theadministrator(s) of the forum)this data resides on is subpeon'ed (sp) for Logs in a specified timeframe. And the known IP Addresses that belong to the user id posting (this information is tracked on most forums). Then the ISP is subpeon'ed for the Address and Name of the account using that address. ISP's do keep this information on hand, usually a years worth of information.

    2 steps and they have your information. Reading the log files for a forum and web server are fairly easy for a system admin to track down.

    Now.. the other way would be through other Forum Members. Say they wanted to find me, they could read several forums. and realize that I know SQL from the Dinners/Lunches we both have been to. So we personally know each other. and they could see that sql knows another person. This 3rd person having been in the newspaper for stuff in the past. When the 3rd person is sworn to tell the truth and they ask if they truly know that this person uses a certain id on the forum, they have to say yes. Then the 2nd person would know that I use my id and asked the same... would be able to verify that yes... i do truly use this user id.

    So, if you're trying to cover your tracks as to not being tracked on a forum... you basically could not know a single person personally on the forums.

    Now, before bashing me about being able to track someone based on logs on forums/servers, etc saying that it cannot be done.... I have had experience in obtaining said information for a case before against a malicious person and used as evidence against that person.

    Also, these forums are public forums. There are no expectations of these conversations to be private. I guess you could look at it the same way as we use Digital Recorders. Only problem, you are specifically typing and recording the information yourself for anyone else to use.

    I just wanted to make sure this was understood by those that are non-technical in how things can happen in the computer world.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
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    Mt.Morris, Michigan, USA
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    That's why i use proxies and have 1 specific email for registration on forums.

    Alot of the websitesI visit clean their log files weekly, I dont know about here tho i doubt it.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Dec 2008
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    MOC IT / Midland, Michigan, USA
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    but.... you're not the normal person then :-P hehe

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