HELLO

ec2-54-198-143-210.compute-1.amazonaws.com

You are coming from: 54.198.143.210
You just visited: (none)
Your Browser/Operating System is: CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
Your Bank Account Number: 473-SURFING-567382
Your Mother's Name: Jennifer

 

What this all means?

While the last two are a little bit of exaggeration (though not impossible!) this is the very basic information any web site can collect about you.

The first one is your Internet Service Provider. You use their access method to connect internet.
The second is your IP (internet Protocol) address. All computers on internet are known first by their IP numbers. Therefore this is either the very computer that you are using now or the temporary number and address assigned to it during your session with your ISP.
The third one is how you came to this page. Basicly, you must have followed a link (by clicking on it) to reach here. In our case this is the link from our web site (http://somebody.net/). But if this page has been linked from www.abcd.com/links/good.html , this would be displayed here. This means that not only do we know which address you are coming from, but also which web site you were just visiting.
Your Browser is the program you are using to view the web pages. It is logged with name, version and language. For example Netscape Navigator, version 4.0, English language. Your Operating System is the software that is powering your computer. This is logged as well.

We all know about internet marketers and their utilities to gather statistics about you for marketing purposes without your consent. Almost all of us have been targets to such attacks at least once while surfing the net.

Probably you think these folks are using advanced programming techniques therefore you are careful when you are following links, always making sure they are not ending with unkown file types. This is where you are wrong.

We have not used any CGI scripts, PERL programs, JAVA, Javascript, Active X or any other tools while showing you this information. This is a pure HTML page ending in .html file extension and conforming to HTML 1/0 standards. No knowledge of programming was ever required on our part in order to acquire this. The information presented about you here is called ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES in HTML and has to be transmitted every time you view a web site for the flawless operation of internet.

These ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES usually differ from browser to browser, server to server and the type of connection made. But every time you connect to internet, start your browser and go to a web site, these variables travel transparently between your computer and the web site server. Take a look at some other information transmitted when a connection has been made.

Additionally, a server can insert a "cookie" into your browser. A cookie is a tracer which can contain any information the server wants to give you -- names of the pages you typed, what you typed into the pages, etc. Then a server can ask for all of this information, and can automatically compile a dossier of your interests while you are reading the pages.

Usually the sites you visit do not collect information about you other than statistical purposes.

But consider a more sinister method of attack:

Go to this page. You will be asked a user name and password. Choose any of the following combinations:

USERNAME PASSWORD
john letmein
jayne hello
tester tester
hacker breakit

As you will notice, the username you typed in wil be effectively logged (of course lots of other information will be logged too, but they are not necessary to demonstrate now). This method is similiar to cookies but again it just uses environment variables. Alternately, we might ask you to enter your own user name and password. Since most of the time users type in the same username password as their login to their ISP, we might write a perl script that will collect your user name and password and the other environment variables (most notably REMOTE_HOST), telnet in to that address of your Internet Service Provider and try to log in to your account while you are happily viewing the pages. Hopefully you will be more careful next time when you are asked for a username and password. Since it is illegal for us to try to break into your account, we cannot demonstrate it here but if you contact us and allow us to do that, we will demonstrate that for you.

Advanced users can read here more on technical details about envirionment variables and what is going on when a connection is being established or how we accomplish all these on regular web pages.

 

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