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I have recently bee banned from a forum for posting as more than one user ID, detected by the moderator monitoring IP addresses. This I was not doing. I do however, make use of a WIFI cloud available in my area.

One user was banned because both he and his son were members of the same forum and used the same computer.

Could anybody comment on the viability of using this approach to detect multi-users on a forum? Could you alos, perhaps comment on the competence and technical savy of a moderator who would go to the trouble of doing it?

The forum sofwtware is phpbb2, which does not monitor IPs, so there must have been some cost involved in arranging for this to happen.

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Last Post by jbennet
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You could watch the access logs on the webserver (access_log for apache) and find the source IP address of users. It isn't a hard task.

I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish by finding this information out?

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The forum sofwtware is phpbb2, which does not monitor IPs

Im almost certain phpbb can. Most forums log IPs for legal reasons . There is no cost involved in this for the site owners, as the web server (obviously) knows your IP when you request the page, or else it wouldnt know where to send it to. Its trivial to set up to. The PHP code to get a users IP is a one-liner.

Many companies etc... use NAT (Network Address Translation), where one public (Internet facing) IP address (assigned by the ISP) may actually serve many computers on the internal side of the router. Also some customers are generally just asssigned an (public) IP address randomly from a pool of available addresses. However, most ISPs use DHCP so that so long as you use the same cable modem, for example, you should get leased the same address each time, as your modem has a unique MAC identifier.

For these reasons, we dont automatically ban here if we find two users have the same IP address, unless we are very sure they both belong to one person, and are being used for bad reasons.

P.S get a freaking firewall!

If i pop your IP into my web browser I can see your web server! (Apache 2/CentOS Linux). Its a hack waiting to happen. If you just use it for local development, block incoming port 80 requests from the internet, and only allow it on the loopback interface.

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Thank yu both for taking the timeto reply. What I was hoping for was an independent, authoritative statement of why monitoring IP is a futile way of attempting to police a BB, unless of course it is under a troll attack.

I routinely use a public wi-fi connection, and my understanding is that the visible IP for the BB will be the IP of the router, not mine. I often use public computers, whe I am travelling light, and many of these employ proxies. So - again, I can't be traced.

When I am at home, I have 3 ways of connecting - cable, dialup, and one of 4 local wi-fi hotsp[ots, any one of which , I f I understand it properly, would give me a different IP address. I am on DCHP, so just disconnecting the mode will also give me a new IP address.

The site in question, walesonline.co.uk , has a rather stupid and inadequate moderator who bans intelligent people who anoy her for 'multiposting' while induldging the the trolls who are actually doing it!

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What I was hoping for was an independent, authoritative statement of why monitoring IP is a futile way of attempting to police a BB

I just gave you that... Its not that great a way due to the widespread use NAT.

I routinely use a public wi-fi connection, and my understanding is that the visible IP for the BB will be the IP of the router, not mine

Yes, thats NAT in action.

I am on DCHP, so just disconnecting the mode will also give me a new IP address.

Not nececerially, most ISPs use DHCP *but* still always hand out the same addresses each time (they can do this because your NIC/Modem (depending on how you connect) has a unique MAC address.

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Again- thanks - you did indeed give me that, but not in a way that shit-for-brains would understand.


My ISP has a 48 hour lease on the IP, but I have found a way round that using different modems.

Regards

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My ISP has a 48 hour lease on the IP

You can ask the server specifically to give you a new lease early, but it depends on thier configuration, this may be disabled

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