How is it possible that Google still recognizes my machine?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by Perene, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    Even after I:

    a) Used CCleaner, erased all my cookies/temporary files;
    b) Switched browser;
    c) Reseted my modem, to renew my IP...

    Google is still able to recognize my machine.

    Here's the whole story: I have dozens of Google Drive accounts. In the last week, I noticed this error when trying to create new accounts:

    - Sorry, we cannot serve your request for a new account at this moment.

    This is only happening when we lack more cell-phone numbers to validate the accounts from start (SMS codes). If we use captcha, Google says this and refuses to create a new account. Or they might refuse anyway.

    Since I can't have new numbers (even from sites that can provide us with them, they are all blacklisted), I was at a loss what to do.

    Then I tried a new machine: my iPAD. Google created a new account, and didn't even ask for a SMS code.

    The obvious conclusion is that Google is able to recognize a unique machine (in this case, a PC). What kind of technique they have employed? I thought just following steps a), b) and c). was enough.

    P.S. I altered my MAC address. I'll see if that changes anything.

    *******

    P.S. 2: Changed my MAC, IP, and deleted temporary files. In the first attempt using PC, Google asked for my cell-phone number while I tried to create a new acc. Using iPAD it was the same thing, and sometimes when we fill the captcha, it asks, other times it says it can't create an account, so it must be a false impression that Google tracks me that I am getting here.

    I was able to create new account(s) using one number I already have here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Please restate the question :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5x2xBa8p0A
     
  3. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Google drive? That is in a gmail account. Unless you install desktop notifications. I bet you have google software installed on your computer.
     
  4. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    @Perene

    In my experience whenever I sign into my google account ie drive or gmail from a new location such as university, I receive an email stating i have signed in from a new location as a security warning. The bottom of the email states "The location is approximate and determined by the IP address it was coming from"

    It is possible that even though you have deleted the cache, cookies reset IP and MAC etc. The "approximate location" is still known and does not change even if you have reset the IP address.

    Just a thought. Regards.
     
  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    @Perene - Are you using WiFi? Maybe the router's MAC is in Google's geolocation database. If you are using WiFi, you could try a new (or reinstalled) device via hard-wired Ethernet. If that solves the problem, you could then go back to WiFi, and see if it comes back.
     
  6. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    Update: I created a new account later, this time it allowed me again to not provide a cell-phone number. It was done using a browser called Dolphin from iPAD. So they must be preventing me at random, based on current IP or some easy info from my PC.

    Usually, we aren't able to create new gmail accounts without verifying our phone numbers, so they must be allowing once per IP or checking some specific data from the target computer before either a) denying a new acc to be created, or b) forcing me to provide a number.
     
  7. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    @ Perene,

    Cross-Platform Tracking:
    Companies are using cross-platform tracking to identify devices that connect to the same network. Pretty much when you connect your desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone to your home wireless network and sign into your google account from any of these devices they are associated that device with the account. Remember those alerts google sends you when you signed into google from a new device? When more than one device are linked with a google account, they can follow your search activities on one device and then target you ads on your other devices.

    Two-factor Authentication:
    Companies are using two-factor authentication for cross-platform tracking since users are expected to provide a cellular number and link it with their account. Android devices are already identifiable by the google account you used to purchase your phone (google device), setup your google profile, and by connecting this with the google voice application, hangouts application (which can import calls and texts), etc. The use of the google voice application and other google services closes the loop for non-android devices and helps google resolve the issue of apple users setting up their devices with an apple account, blackberry with a blackberry account, and windows users with a windows account.

    Backup, Continuity, and Sync services:
    Companies that backup your network information and passwords, allow you to move from working on one device to continuing on another, or that help you transfer your settings, applications, extensions, etc. are all making it possible for companies like google to perform cross-platform tracking and even targeted advertisement. Worse, if you give them your network information and passwords and rely solely on SSL encyrption between your device and their servers then you are a open book for man-in-the-middle attacks. The companies could in theory connect to your wireless network while a google maps van drives down your street simply by connecting the network name and geographic location to data they have on you, searching for the network information and password to connect, and proceeding to do so. Alternatively, they could also just strip the SSL protection from your network traffic, not that they need to if your sending any data to google itself. It's been shown that google apps and extensions are a privacy nightmare, so if you did sync the same apps and extensions using the same account, then they might be tracking you through these. Could try disabling these to see if it persists.

    Inaudible Noise:
    A company recently announced that will be using inaudible noise in television commercials to communicate with your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. It's my understanding the inaudible noise contains instructions to perform tasks like open your browser to a site to place a cookie. But its reasonable to presume that google has the same capabilities considering it was looking at inaudible noise for allowing guests to quickly connect and cast to your chromecast.

    Google Update:
    A persistent pain in the arse for a lot of people that don't install google products, but magically find this thing tucked away. Can be removed with guides from internet, but make sure you don't need for actual google services.

    The list goes on and on and how google uses these to build a profile on you and track you is part of a much bigger picture. I don't have issues with google automatically identifying me in the manner you describe. Perhaps cccleaner is not configured properly or you need to supplement your cleaner for something else. Browser and web services like flash are certainly fingerprinted. Wish I had a clear cut answer, but I don't.
     
  8. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    Somehow Google is capable of recognizing my PC even after I use CCleaner and attempt to create a new account. They blatantly refuse "at this time", yet I wonder what set of info they are checking from my PC when I try to do so.

    Like I said, it's pretty much random, but the refusal is guaranteed in PC. It's like they can read some very specific data from it. Can you guys tell me what kind of data this can be? I mean, when I try to create an account, Google servers are able to tell I am "target X" based on what?

    Can we make a list of possible things? I'll start with a few, you can add more to this list.

    1) IP number (if dynamic, the range is relevant, see 2)
    2) ISP
    3) Cookies
    4) Geolocation (based on 1-2)
    5) Web Browser & version number
    6) Operating System
    7) Screen Resolution
    8 ) Flash/Java Version
    9) HTTP referer ? see here

    I am not sure about 6-8, need confirmation if any site can tell all of them from my visit.

    Will 10) be my MAC address? And will that be all?

    Let's assume I formatted the computer and am trying to create a new Google acc. Are there more items to that list?
     
  9. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Simple test. Install VirtualBox, and create a Debian VM. Get a free seven-day iVPN account, and setup in the VM. Then try Google. If that works, try from the VM without the VPN connected.
     
  10. pandorax

    pandorax Registered Member

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    Maybe it is related to other pc and phones that connect the to same network. They have cookies or whatever and google knows that you connect with the same ip with them. And it is able to guess that.
     
  11. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I've have 2 gmail accounts that I access from the same IP and same browser. I've actually had more but I can't remember them. Google has never had a problem with it. But sometimes they want a phone number when I create an account. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. It goes in phases.
     
  12. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    The problem is that Google always recognizes a combination of 1) to 9) (or possibly more) and refuses to create a new account, when I fill the captcha. It says it can't create a new account at this moment.

    However, right after that, I imediatelly used a browser from iPAD and the account was created seconds later. Nothing changed, just the device. I agree that it is very random, sometimes they ask for a phone number, sometimes they don't (even in the iPAD). However, I am 99% sure my PC was somehow blacklisted through a series of checkings (see 1) to 9) I posted above), and at best can only create a new account if I provide a phone number, but can't create ever again without the SMS code.

    I bet if I use Linux in this PC or a new device such as a notebook, Google will allow me to create a new account without asking for the SMS code.

    They seem to be either allowing a limited number of free accounts at a time or blacklisting devices separately, after they create at least one new account.

    Whatever they do and how this whole thing works, I don't know for sure. All I know is that I started creating new accounts and now I can only hope to create one if I have a phone number.
     
  13. inka

    inka Registered Member

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    You didn't specify which web browser you're using, but Chrome is a safe guess, eh.
    Regardless which you're using, if you've taken the bait and installed one or more google-issued extensions and/or "webapps"
    those components have access to the persistent, indelible, details of your installed browser.
    For instance, installDateTime string value, which (IMO) serves as a damn fine fingerprinting detail.
     
  14. boredog

    boredog Registered Member

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    I wonder if TOR would work for you?

    also in IE 11 is an option in tools to turn on Tracking Protection.
    then when you look at manage add 0ns it shows enabled and offers to let you click on a link that brings you to this site. http://www.iegallery.com/en-us/trackingprotectionlists
    you can add stop Google tracking to your addon list.
    Their is also an option in tools to turn on InPrivate Browsing
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  15. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    This may seem a silly idea but have you tried using your machine from a totally different location..?
     
  16. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    Well, after a while even the iPAD couldn't create a new acc anymore, and after so many days without being able to do it, I could create a new one using the PC. Have no idea how I managed to do it...

    It seems this is very, very random, I believe that if Google detects me or someone else (I share my ISP with others through wi-fi) using a certain IP, assuming they don't remove their cookies (so they are always recognized, while I might be undetectable), the whole thing gets blacklisted. Or maybe they are limiting based on my area.

    I also wonder how I would be able to disguise my IP if not using VPN, since Google may be knowing my identity using Javascript. With Javascript disabled you can't create a new account.

    And a few services that assert to receive SMS messages aren't receiving from Google when I find a number that isn't blacklisted by them. This is what I am talking about: https://www.raymond.cc/blog/top-10-sites-receive-sms-online-without-phone/

    I decided to give up due to all the hassle more multiple accounts. I already have 73 registered, the reason I created so many was to use Google Drive storage. And most of them were created at least 3-4 years ago, when perhaps you could do that without having to provide a phone number, if I am not mistaken, by other means, such as creating an Adsense account that didn't ask for this, instead of Gmail, which always did.

    Now it is asking every single time, and how it is deciding when and when not to ask for a SMS code, I have no idea.
     
  17. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    OK, here's my latest experience:

    1) Changed "the name of my computer" from "iPAD" to "iPAD 4" (in the iPAD device, which also prompted my bank account to authorize this device again to use their app from Apple-Store

    2) Renewed my IP address;

    3) Was already logged and sending files to 2 Google Drive accounts, continued sending (both in PC);

    4) Didn't do anything else, except tried to create a new account using other iOS browsers, such as Dolphin and Mercury. Also removed all cookies/temporary files from Safari/Chrome (for iOS) and configured the iPAD (before all this) to turn off the "Location Service".

    5) Was able to create 6 (SIX!) new accounts without having to provide any SMS number to verify them. I believe it was the first time I accomplished this.

    6) In every single time I changed the country, but filled the captcha. And cleaned cookies/temporary files after creating the account.

    7) I noticed that perhaps using the same country can trigger the response "unavailable at this moment", or perhaps after a while using the same browser (maybe after 3 times, don't recall now).

    8 ) After I opened the "Google search" browser app in iOS (that was already logged in my first Google account), and went back to create new accounts, it looks like Google stopped letting me to do it without providing a SMS number. So I removed this app anyway, it's that one where you can use the mic to say "OK, GOOGLE".

    I have no idea how this limitation works, but we can follow all these steps to attempt creating a new account, by renewing our IP and making sure we don't log into Google and clean all temporary stuff before trying.

    The thing is: it works, I still have no idea HOW, but we can create new Google accounts without ever providing a cell-phone number.

    Maybe what allowed me to do it was the combination of 1) and 2), I have no idea, and yesterday I could sent a SMS from Google to the phone number of my mother, that was (in the past) saying that was used too many times for verification. Have no idea why they lifted this particular number, and I also remember reading "your area is having problems to receive SMS codes, try again later if you don't receive any SMS message from us".
     
  18. Boblvf

    Boblvf Registered Member

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    « Google is still able to recognize my machine. »


    If you install a Google product, he asks an incoming connection, look in your firewall, if you block this incoming connection, he tries to go trough the DFÜ network ( Dial up ).

    Google has your local IP adress and can recognize you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  19. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    I gave up trying to understand how this works.

    I renewed my IP. Turned my PC off. The iPAD removed all cookies/traces, and was also turned off. New IP generated, I attempt to create a new Google acc.

    Failed in every single browser. It either says I need a SMS code or that can't create at this moment.

    What caspian said seems to be what is happening.

    I've have 2 gmail accounts that I access from the same IP and same browser. I've actually had more but I can't remember them. Google has never had a problem with it. But sometimes they want a phone number when I create an account. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. It goes in phases.

    Either that or I need to change my computer name again.
     
  20. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Or you could use VPNs.
     
  21. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    Indeed... I tried a free VPN called TunnelBear, which uses a Chrome extension, and it worked the 1st time. I was able to create a new account. However, in the next attempts Google keeps asking for the SMS code.

    In each attempt I deleted all Google cookies. The problem with VPNs is that they are mostly paid. I don't have any need to use VPN in my country.
     
  22. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    OK, so why again do you need so many Google accounts?

    Free storage? For backups? Is a paid account not workable? And why do you need cloud storage?
     
  23. Perene

    Perene Registered Member

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    I watch videos embedding the files hosted freely on Google.

    The problem is that I need more free storage than Google can give me. Creating multiple accounts solve this problem.

    Right now I only need to create one additional account, but if possible I would create more. I used Internet Archive, but lately I found out that Google Drive is better for this, overall. Ease of use, more features (such as loading subtitles, playing media files in their app directly after clicking in the link from the browser)...

    It's being used for backups and to play those files without any fear of future DMCA takedowns.

    I was looking into my stored links recently and noticed I had a bunch of files stored in GD in 2011 and they were still alive. So ultimately I would trust Google for this.

    Why would I pay monthly for something I can get for free? 1 TB would cost 10 USD and I need more than that. Besides 1 TB, they offer 10 TB for 100 USD/month.

    (And right now US$ 1,00 = almost 4,00 in my local currency. 2 years ago I would have paid 2,00 - we are living in an economic recession).
     
  24. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    OK, so how much cloud storage do you want in total?
     
  25. Sordid

    Sordid Registered Member

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    You say you only need one more account, yet set up 73+...uh huh...? Or are you saying the 80th account finally sated your conquest for free gigs?

    & hopefully you don't use Gmail/Google for work/recovery accounts because this is pretty blatant despite NOT being directly against TOS. Expect a cross-account ban over time.

    The antibot although unknown even internally seems to work partially like antiDDOS. Google gets 100k odd request for accounts per day, mostly from automation.

    So getting burned is pretty easy because Google realises true users will just be patient or just use their phone. Solution: just wait and the block will free. Otherwise, US VPNs from a good provider.

    Google likes old IPs/cookies associated with devices etc. Use an unknown IP against no known GPlus profs etc, and you already ticked off the G-banhammer.

    Next. GEO-IP. Those 100k i said--across the world. It takes very few tries to set off anomaly-based triggers on your entire geo-area via IP-blocks which may apply to VPNs. Tor is already generally banned, flooded by a few 1000 known IPs doing the same thing.

    Next. What you enter as a name/PW/etc. If you input too quickly or hyper-random data, it will retro-trigger. Luckily, you're not getting any spambot error which likely means you're hitting generic triggers and likely not getting Googs too angry as far as they are concerned...for now.

    So wait....pay or look elsewhere for space because you're just going to get banned and meanwhile, make it harder for people, especially outside of the US, to get legit emails/drive space as you burn out entire geo-blocks.
     
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