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Add-on Associate Users With Cookies?

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by taylor_smith, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. taylor_smith

    taylor_smith Well-Known Member

    Forum administrators have long used IPs to identified ban evaders and users misusing alternate accounts. Unfortunately, users have become increasingly adept at using proxy services. Banning proxies is not a good solution, because there are many legitimate reasons to use proxies--e.g., ad blocking. Looking into the future, we are going to have to rely on something other than IPs to attempt to identify proxy abusers.

    Is it possible to create an addon that attempts to associate users not based on IPs, but based on sessions? E.g., X cookie on Ymachine was seen active on the site during a 1-hour period, and was associated with Z users. It wouldn't be firm evidence, as different users may share computers, but this is similarly true of IPs. The data would also be perishable, as cookies change over time, but the same is true of IPs, most of which are dynamic.

    Is it possible? Is it legal?
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

  3. taylor_smith

    taylor_smith Well-Known Member

    Damn. What if we implant our own cookie? Many sites have disclaimers about implanting cookies, no?
  4. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    The main thing is not the legality but actually the effectiveness. It's effectively useless. More so than IP banning. Mostly we're not in control of our IP - yes it often changes but at the ISPs discretion. Whereas cookies are easily cleared, or even prevented to begin with.
  5. taylor_smith

    taylor_smith Well-Known Member

    People who are seeking to ban evade or abuse the system will make conscious decisions to change their IPs. Hence, a similar argument could be made that duplicate IP finders are effectively useless.

    Lots of people don't clear their cookies. Too time consuming to re-login to a dozen websites. I think it would be more effective than IP bans in the modern age.
  6. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    Ctrl+Shift+N (Chrome) or Ctrl+Shift+P (Firefox) renders the entire solution useless. Anyone conscious enough to change their IP will also clear their cookies, otherwise the new IP will immediately be associated with banned account and rendered useless. Also consider that many people use CCleaner, which cleans out cookies as well.

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