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Tracking chatroom users and isp's

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by jjb, Oct 2, 2003.

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  1. jjb

    jjb Thread Starter

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    Could someone please answer this question to resolve an ongoing debate in a chatroom I frequent. I would like to offer an informed yes or no to put this issue to rest.

    MY question is this- is it possible while in a chatroom, or any other site with multiple users such as this very forum to single out any one user and identify them in any way? Can a trace route be done to identify their isp?

    Several people in the chatroom claim to be able to identify individuals when they are in the room but have never offered proof or a technical explanation of how. As an example if I am in the room as jjb and come back later under a different name their claim is they pinged or did a trace route and can tell that the 2 nicknames are one and the same. This has many in the chat uneasy and they feel their privacy is being violated. My opinion is that if it was possible then all the nasties and people who abuse the chat would be easily exposed which does not seem the case. My logic also goes along the line that a chatroom is like a big party line and i just don't see how it is possible to "lock" on one person to trace them.
    Also, anyone with any computer sense should be behind a firewall, would that not also make this a difficult task?

    I would appreciate an answer to this as well as an explanation as to why or why not it is possible. If it is possible could someone explain how it is done.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    jjb:D
     
  2. sekirt

    sekirt

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  3. jjb

    jjb Thread Starter

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    sekirt thanks for the reply and directing me to related post, I sped thru it rather quickly and will reread later, but I really did not find the answers I was looking for..............alot of opinion but no firm yes or no's to my actual question.
    I still fail to see how you could be identified or even your isp for that matter(except by the site owners) without offering any information about yourself.

    More input is welcome.

    jjb
     
  4. bassetman

    bassetman Moderator (deceased) - Gone but never forgotten

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    I have heard those claims too, but I also have never seen any proff either.
     
  5. dtugg

    dtugg

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    I can't give you a firm yes or no on this subject, but I'm thinking this wouldn't be very hard at all with the right tools. There are ways to get destanation IP's from the flow of data, but usually require programs similar to "Iris" that are considered "packet sniffers".

    This would be an easy way to identify you if you're on DSL with a static IP address.


    dtugg
     
  6. jjb

    jjb Thread Starter

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    still looking for yes or no
     
  7. sekirt

    sekirt

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    All things considered, I don't think you will get a definite answer here. Go back to the chat room and post a challenge and see if they can find you.:)

    sekirt
     
  8. EvileYe

    EvileYe

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    Yes it is possible in a Chatroom to know that someone has switched identities using a traceroute or "ping"

    SO LONG as they have a static IP address. There are IRC scripts that contain traceroute programs for exactly this cause, If everybody had a static ip address then you would know for sure that a certain nickname was coming from a certain IP and if they changed nickname then you would know it was them or someone else was using the same computer. The reality is that most people have a Dynamic Ip address and in the case of a dial up connection it changes each time you re-connect.

    If more than 1 person in your chatroom lives in the same geographic location and use the same isp then it is quite possible that as 1 person logs off the net and another 1 logs on at nearly the same time, they can pick up the ip address that the other person just dropped and it would appear to a traceroute program that they had just changed nickname when in fact it is a totally different person.

    As far as finding out personal details, well I have no doubt that there are those that can do it, but they would be few and far between, unless you had been infected with some trojan by a "script kiddie" and you had your personal address details etc stored on your computer.

    I used to use a script in Mirc (Sparkee script I think it was called ?) many years ago that would identify people by colouring their nicknames to whatever colour I had set for them. It took me awhile to figure out why strangers seemingly had the colours I had assigned to certain people. My understanding of Ip addresses back then was non-existent and I had a few embarrassing apologies to make when I accused people of changing nicks or not being who they said they were ;):rolleyes:

    I hope that makes sense to you because I think I have just confused myself.
     
  9. EvileYe

    EvileYe

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    P.S. Finding someones ISP using a traceroute is the easy part !

    You can gain someones Ip address in a variety of ways, for example all the mods and admin on these boards would know your ip address (It is standard practice on any Forum).

    The main reasons people use these type of scripts in IRC is to launch what are called Nukes or DOS (Denial of Service attacks)
    which basically ping your computer with so many packets of data that you can't get out because it is in effect a traffic jam.
     
  10. jjb

    jjb Thread Starter

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    Thanks a heap-So I am to assume it is possible but highly unlikely.
    LOL-:confused: I am confused but slowly gaining a better understanding

    sekirt- thanks for the challenge suggestion. That has been done many times and generally those making the accusations or claims can't or won't answer the challenge. That is the basis and purpose of the questions I have. Most of the time these claims are made to harass, threaten, or intimidate other users or spread gossip and rumours. I would like to gain knowledge on the possibilities and pros and cons of this so when it happens I can offer information in the chat that will call their bluff so to speak.

    EvileYe- I guess I need to do some more research on IRC and how it works. Perhaps experiment and try this myself. What I am failing to see is "how" you single out an individual to initiate the trace route. Example-20 people in chatroom and names scrolling by as they chat, how would one person be singled out? The only possible way I can see this being done is if you iniate a private conversation with the person you want to try to identify.

    As you can see my understanding of isp operations and trace routes is minimal. I really don't know much about static VS. dynamic isp addresses. I have cable and have a basic knowledge of how that works, the leased isp addresses.....................I believe mine changes every 12 hours or at log in.

    I have run some of the various security tests available and for the most part feel comfortable with firewall but was suprised at some of the info the tests were able to find.

    Looks like I have more homework to do.................thanks a heap and if anyone would like to explain further that would also be welcome.


    ;) jjb
     
  11. EvileYe

    EvileYe

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    Simply use the whois command like this to find out the info on mirc, and you will have answered your question. Just type it in like so.
    /whois nicknamehere

    The /whois command gives you information about person <nick> . The reply from the server will tell you the hostname (user address) of <nick> , what channels they are on and what server they are connected to.

    You can then if necessary use an ip resolver to find out who the ISP is.
     
  12. bassetman

    bassetman Moderator (deceased) - Gone but never forgotten

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    I remember now, an old program I used to use called PowWow showed the IP address of all users too.

    Could you emplain the "ip resolver" please?
     
  13. EvileYe

    EvileYe

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    It has been a long time since I have used Mirc and I now remember that most Mirc servers mask IP addresses so you would need to initiate a DCC file transfer first. I don't want to go into detail about this in this forum though !

    bassetman,
    An Ip resolver will translate an ip address into an ISP name, there are plenty of resolvers to be found on the web but here is a good one. http://samspade.org/t/ Just type the ip into the box Titled "Ip whois"
     
  14. EvileYe

    EvileYe

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    Before I forget jjp ! Don't overdo the /whois command in a chatroom as most people don't like being whois'd .

    I hope I am clear but like I said it's been a long time ;)
     
  15. jjb

    jjb Thread Starter

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