Very Concerned - Privacy Questions

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by Berge01, May 12, 2007.

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  1. Berge01

    Berge01 Guest

    I have a question in reference to specific software that is being used in a vendor security forum, which looks to me as a way of spying on members, by collecting there IP Addresses, etc, when they click on a thread. The name of the programs that two members are using in the forum I am talking about are: BrowserSpy and the other is from a web site known as Dynasig. Using this type of program, will show the person's IP Address when they click on the thread link, but only they can see their IP Address, is that correct? What about the vendors who made these two programs would they be able to collect your IP Address and use it in anyway they feel like it? Perhaps for Spammers or ID Theft? Very concerned!
     
  2. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    Hi Berge01
    Unless you're using some sort of anonymising proxy every website you visit can see your ip address, so not sure what your concern is.
     
  3. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Those tools and much discussion about them is contained in the following thread:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=12527

    But, be aware that there are active links to a couple of those gimmick images in that thread, so, you will see your IP and other system info when viewing that thread.

    My take on these are that they are not that big a deal. For the most part, they are gimmicks meant to shock people by showing their info back to them.

    I really wouldn't be quite that concerned by these. Yes, the sites linked that provide those images can "see" your IP address and the other info your browser passes freely. But, that is no different then any site linked in-line in a forum or other webpage... For example, every time someone uses imageshack to display images inline in a forum thread, Image Shack sees all the same information about you since you are pulling the images from their webserver. These IP display images are really no different then that.
     
  4. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Hi LowWaterMark:

    This is privacy concern for me even with the great explanation above on what happens and how it works and how common it is.

    As I understand it, the OP said these individuals are using certain programs in some forum and can see his IP and what ever else is sent via a browser?

    If say someone on our forum was doing that would that not be harvesting id's addresses, subjects viewed and in violation of Wilder's ToS? I just don't get it that it isn't that important? :oops:

    If this is in the link you provided I apologize but I'm out of time now and will look more into this later.

    Berge01, where do these 2 programs execute on the vendor forum server or where? Surley it wouldn't have got onto your PC?

    "BrowserSpy and the other is from a web site known as Dynasig," whats the facts on these things? How do I get rid of them? Are they on my PC?
     
  5. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    I'm sorry, but in this case, you really do need to read the thread I linked to before you start worrying. That's why I replied to this thread with that link. These objects are discussed there in detail.
     
  6. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Hi LowWaterMark:

    Thanks! I took the link and read your 2003 post. Is this post a bottom line current view still? Anything you would change now? lot's of new threat types since then!

    Your point on trust is under discussion now in other threads.

    Maybe it would be better to find a single proxy server to trust.
    Rather than worry about the dozens of unknown servers that our applications connect with?

    Like every body I have to trust my ISP but would the proxy server be between a user setup and their ISP or on the other side? Sorry again for the learner question. :oops: I'm kind of thinking of the proxy like a router but maybe that is incorrect!:doubt:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2007
  7. Berge01

    Berge01 Guest

    YES, both are in the Signature of every thread they post. If I can have permission from any Moderator or Administrator here to post a couple of threads to show you exactly what I am referring to. But until I get permission, as I don't want to be in Violation of ToS Guidelines.
     
  8. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Quote from Berge01, "YES, both are in the Signature of every thread they post. If I can have permission from any Moderator or Administrator here to post a couple of threads to show you exactly what I am referring to. But until I get permission, as I don't want to be in Violation of ToS Guidelines."

    berge01, once again I'm :oops: . Who is the "they" is your last post? I have a silly signature Disney guy. Am I creating a threat myself and don't know it? :doubt:

    Can you provide the steps whereby harvesting of this could work, what signatures have these IP revealer's in them?

    Surley we should avoid using them ourselves and block users who use them even not knowing they do it? o_O

    Straighten me out here please before paranoia takes over my life!

    I think you are wise to wait for LowWaterMark before answering in case of ToS issues.
     
  9. Berge01

    Berge01 Guest

    I am referring to a regular helper member and a Guru that have these two sites in their signature at the Forum where they help members with their firewall questions. Once again, to make it clear to you, until I get permission from a Moderator or Administrator from this forum, then I will state the name of this forum I am referring to, and will post some links that everyone will see what I am talking about.
     
  10. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Berge01,

    How other forums conduct themselves is really outside the scope of a public thread here. However, PM me with details and we can discuss offline for the present.

    Blue
     
  11. tradetime

    tradetime Registered Member

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    I'm sure on my travels I have seen similar, least ways I have sen people use something in a sig that displays your ip address and the tyype of browser you are using, or in Opera's case the type if browser it says it is, I don't think these things pose any threat to anyone, most people are on a dynamic ip anyway so in a few days they will have changed
     
  12. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    The sites that are setup to this purpose all work the same way they always have, so the posts there are still relevent today. Keep in mind that these are not malware threats, and they don't install on your computer or anything like that.

    These objects simply display to you the information that your browser freely sends to all websites that you connect to, including this forum. The same information, (ie. your IP address, User Agent, referrer, etc.) is sent to every wesbite you browse or display images from, the only difference is that these special objects, (like the danasoft characters (live link)), in the linked thread above), actually show you your information when you view them.

    These objects can actually be educational, as many people do not realize that their browsers and systems pass this kind of information. I posted in that linked thread long ago to help to demystify these kinds of things.

    Unfortunately, as you browse around the web, you will find all kinds of cross linking of content from one site to another. As I mentioned above, large numbers of people use Image Shack for hosting screen shots on forums. If you display those images then you are connecting to Image Shack's servers, and they see all this same information about you. Yet, most people are not worried about that. I'm certainly not.

    If you want to keep your IP address a secret, then you need to look into anonymous proxies. There are a lot of threads about TOR and JAP, and other services, in the Privacy Software section here. As for User Agent and Referrer, well, you guys who use ZAP can block those I believe with their Privacy features. Other firewalls and privacy software also have features like that.

    By the way, if you don't want those images to display, they are easy to stop with your firewall. When viewing one of those images that displays your data, right click it, find the website it comes from, and simply add that domain (or get its IP address(es)) to your blocked list in your firewall. Bang - no more IP addr image gimmicks!
     
  13. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Hi LowWaterMark:

    Yes, these special objects are very educational as you say. It is a bit of a shock when your mouse passes over them and your own ip and ISP provider are displayed.

    But I'm wondering about 2 things:

    (1) Can Wilder's members set one up in their own signatures and be within the current ToS?

    (2) As you say they aren't a malware threat as they don't install on my PC but they are executable programs or components in the server I am visiting right? They have to run somewhere. They output my isp and ip so therefore they have captured or derived that information and obviously the server knows my id and psw . So, does it not follow that these externals servers allowing these special objects can harvest ip, isp, id's and psw's? That strikes me as a real privacy issue?

    If the reasoning is flawed here straighten me out!
     
  14. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    As noted in the old, linked thread, there was no TOS violation in the signature we were discussing back then. A few people had those in their signatures around that time. Today people can't use them because of our image posting & signature policy which states that no images (actually IMG tags) are allowed in signatures and no unnecessary / entertainment images are allowed in posts. If someone posted one of those in a thread not specifically discussing that type of object, it would be removed as an off-topic image.

    Well, kind of... They run within the webserver of the site that generates the image, such as: dynasig.net, danasoft.com, auditmypc.com or any other similar site. They don't run on the server of the main site you are visiting even though that site happens to have the link to the object. (For example, if there was one in this reply, you'd see it while reading this thread, but, it would be provided from which ever remote site I linked to. It would not be running here on wilderssecurity.com.)

    You're mixing a few things together. First, the information they are displaying is freely available to any and all websites you visit unless you take very specific steps to block it. Every website you visit knows your IP address. They have to since that is how they communicate data back to you. ISP is simply determined from DNS using the IP address. The rest of the information comes out of the browser's user agent string which usually identifies the browser and OS versions.

    As for ID and password, no, those aren't available to these remotely generated objects. Since these objects are generated on the remote website (like dynasig.net), there's no data there about your Wilders account or password. You need to understand some things about how browsers and webservers work. It would be worth doing a little research on them. Start at Wikipedia - Webserver and Wikipedia - Server log. Read related links and then search for sample logs, such as this site's explanation. (Within that last link, you'll see just how much data your browser sends unless you take steps to reduce it with privacy tools and/or proxy services.)

    So, the content that appears on a single webpage may actually come from many different servers, and those servers may not have any connection with each other.

    If an IMG tag is used to display a remote image inline within a post here, (such as to an imageshack hosted image), that image does not come from the wilderssecurity.com server, and the wilders server doesn't even know about it. Your browser pulls the image from the remote website all on its own. The same is true with these dynasig objects. What the remote webservers can know about you, is what is shown within the informational links (like the sample log link) above. You will send your IP address, and possibly referrer and user agent, if not blocked in a privacy tool on your PC, to those remote sites. But, you won't send your wilderssecurity.com username and password to them, so, they can't display those back to you in such an image.
     
  15. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Thanks Low Water Mark.

    I will do some more learning on this using the links you provided as a starting point.
     
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