Obtaining an IP address

How can one obtain the IP address of a poster on a message board? I know some MB software makes all posters’ IP addresses visible on the screen. But what about a message board such as here, where it isn’t shown?

Is it possible for one poster to obtain the IP address of another without having access to the software being used to power that message board? Like the site administrator would have.


(Unless you find a security bug and gain admin access. But I don’t reccomend that idea.)

A poster on another MB insists he has traced my IP address which is pure BS because he claims I’m posting from Canada and I’m not. So unless there is a way he can access the system (backdoor?) he is full of it?

He’s full of beans! You are right about the backdoor, but that most likely wouldn’t do him any good anyways. While all web servers keep track of the originating IP address for GETs/POSTs/whatever, this isn’t usually publicly available and he would have to know exactly where you posted and the exact time. Message Boards are static - you post, read, post, move on. You are not broadcasting an IP address while browsing - only during certain actions - like your browser will say “Hey, here, I want this new web page” and the server will make sure you can get it and send it back to you. But you as Joe/Jane browser aren’t holding out a sign saying I’m such and such an IP address.

Another problem is that all Dial up and most all broadband services give out Dynamically assigned IP addresses (DHCP.) Your IP address today is different tomorrow, or the next time you dial up - so if he had your IP today, wouldn’t do him much good tomorrow. Business accounts are different, though. They need static IP addresses to host web pages, mail servers, etc.

And finally, even with your IP address - what is he going to do? Launch a Denial of service against you? Sniff on that port/scan it for vulnerabilities? Sure he could do that, but if he could do that, he’d be pretty stupid to tell you before hand.

Thanks friedo and RevCo. I was pretty sure he was bluffing and now you guys confirmed it.

And even if somebody gloms onto your current DHCP-assigned IP address, you can jump into your OS and force the server to re-assign you. A hassle, but possible.

The best protection is, of course, a personal firewall. After all, I could easily know where you live and see you in your house, but if you have all your doors and windows made of absolutely inpenetrable material, and they’re all shut and locked, what difference does it make?

Joe :smiley: