RC Banning Technology ???

mn95616

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There was a recent thread on RC about Aquaworld closing. Then Brian Ward (who was previously banned) came in to make some comments. A mod then "moved on" Brian's new account. A question arose on why did he get banned and how the banning worked. Some people thought he got banned by IP address, and others thought he got banned by email address. A while back, I saw a discussion on Zoos R Us discussing that they possibly ban MAC address. Anyway - I posted the method that I thought RC used to ban people, but that thread got deleted. So I thought I would share it on this forum. Mods - if you feel this thread should be censored, please move me on and delete this thread. (I dare you Matt... I double dog dare you... :twisted: It's so nice to taunt a mod and have no fear. :lol:)


Banning based on email address:
I don't know if RC bans users based on email address. However, if they prevent you from signing up and new account based on your email address, all you would have to do is open up a new yahoo or hotmail email account. Easy to bypass.


Banning users based on MAC address:
MAC stands for Media Access Control. Basically - each network interface has a unique serial number associated with it. When computers in the SAME network communicate with each other, they use MAC address and not IP address. MAC address are not transferred from one network segments tot he next segements. When you go through the internet, chances are you are going through several network segments. So MAC address filtering is useless unless the two computers are in the same network segment. So RC cannot block someone based on MAC address. MAC address consists of six hex number. If you're on a Windows XP machine, open up a command prompt, and type in "IPCONFIG /ALL". You will see line that says Physical Address with something like 00-90-4b-25-43-A1 . That is your MAC address.

Banning based on IP address:

This is the most likely way that RC is banning users. This technic is very effective becase the typcial user doesn't understand how IP address works. Just some basic background for those of you who do not know what an IP address is. Every computer on the Internet that are not in the same network communicate with each other through TCP/IP. Each computer will have a unique address that has the format of xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where xxx is the number between 0 and 255. Think of an IP address as your home address. When someone wants to send you something they use your home address to send it to you.

Computer behind a DSL router firewall will often use a process called NATing (Network Address Translation). Think of NATing like this: At my work, all department shares the same US Postal address of One Shields Ave. When a letter comes to that address, our campus post office then translate Minh N. - One Shields Ave to Minh N. 1212 Social Science Building.

In Windows XP/2000, you can view you IP addres by opening up a command prompt. Then type in IPCONFIG. You will see a line that says IP Address. That is your IP address.

When you get an Internet connection, you will get an IP address from your service provider. Some people get a static IP address. A static IP address means that you get one address and you keep it until you end your contract with the Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, if everyone gets a static IP address, the ISP would run out of IP address pretty fast. What most ISP gives you is a dynamic IP address. The dynamic IP address for broadband has two variations that I will discuss below. It pretty much boils down to whether you use cable modem or DSL.

Cable Modem Users - Comcast
Comcast uses what's called DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). Basically, when you computer is first turned on (and assuming it doesn't already have an IP address) - it will shout out to all computers in your network stating "I need an IP address." All the DHCP server (servers that gives out IP address) will respond back "Here's an IP address you can use and here is how long you can use it." The period of how long you can keep that IP address is called a ease Your computer will take the first lease offer and send back a message to that DHCP server the address "Thanks, I use it." The DHCP server then responds "Ok - it's yours." So now you have an IP address for a leased period of time (let's say 2 days in our case - but I really don't know how long Comcast leases are.). So for two days, your computer will have that IP address. When your lease is 50% up (1 Day) - your computer will send a message back to the DHCP server asking "Hey, can I renew my lease and keep the same IP address?" In most cases, the computer will respond - "Sure. Your lease has been renewed for another 2 days." If for some reason, the DHCP server was unreachable, your computer will keep on trying again until 87.5% of the lease is up. At that time, you computer won't try to renew a lease, but will try to get a new lease (thus a new IP address). In most cases, the renewal process works. In essence, what this means is that your computer will most likely have the same IP address for a VERY long time.

So how do you get a new IP address if you have cable modem? One thing to do is leave your computer off for at least 87.5% of the lease and then your computer will get a new IP address. Unfortunately, that's not a realistic thing for me to do.

Taking a step back, I discuss how your cable modem and your computer interact. When you first got your cable modem service, you were sent a cable modem. You hooked the cable modem up to the cable line. Then you hooked up your computer to the cable modem. When you did that - you basically paired up the modem and the computer network card MAC address. (If you have ever tried to hook up a differnt computer to that cable modem, chances are it won't work and you won't have internet connection.) Assuming you do not have a DSL router (such as a Linksys or Netgear) - the following procedure should work for Windows XP/2000. If some tries it out, and it doesn't work, let me know and I will figure out another way to make it work. :D

1. Disconnect your cable modem from your the cable television line).
2. Open up a command prompt
3. In it, type in IPCONFIG /RENEW
4. The renewal process should fail.
5. Reconnect your cable modem to your the cable television line.
6. In the command prompt, type in IPCONFIG /Renew


If you have DSL Router connected between the cable modem and your computer, you can try the following:

1. Log into your DSL router. This varies from router to router.
2. Search through your DSL router and find something called a MAC address settting. Write down this MAC address - DON'T lose this MAC address.
3. Now change the MAC address to something different. Like - change the last number to 01 (if it's not already) 01.
4. In your DSL router, there shoudl be an option to disconnect the network connection. Disconnect it and then reconnect it. The reconnection should fail because the DSL modem doesn't recognize the new MAC address.
5. Change the MAC address of the modem back to the orginal MAC address.
6. Repeast step 4 - but the connection will be successful.

Congratulation - you have a new IP address.

-----------------------------

DSL Users
Contrary to popular belief, DSL does not use DHCP. DSL uses a technology called PPPOE. PPPOE uses a different method of getting a dynamic IP address. I don't have a good understanding of how it works, but getting a new IP address is very easy.

If you don't have a DSL router - follow these procedures:
1. When you installed DSL (SBC) - chances are there's a "dial up" icon than you use to connect. Once you are done with your internet conenction, you do a disconnect.
2. Disconnect from DSL.
3. Reconnect to DSL. Now you should have a new IP address.

If you have a DSL Router:
1. Turn off your DSL Router.
2. Wait about a minute
3. Turn on your DSL router and wait about 2 minutes. You should now have a new IP address.

If you have a static IP address - you're screwd. Ok - maybe not. You can always try calling your Internet Service Provider to see if they will give you a different IP address. Good luck!

Now that you have a new IP address, it doesn't mean that you will be able to log on with your screen name. Chances are they probably blocked your screen name. If RC was smart - they would automatic detect that you tried to log on with a banned account, and then instant add that IP address to the banned list. So I woudn't even bother try logging on. What you would need to do is create a new RC account. I would use a new email address for your new account. You can get a new email address from any free email service provider (YahooMail, Hotmail, Gmail). Now don't let the mods find out that you created a new account because you will "move on" just like Brian.

Like I said - I am not 100% positive how the RC banning works. This is just my best edjumacated guess.

If you have any questions, please feel free to respond to this post.

- Minh
 
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Anonymous

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You could always just ask them Minh. ;)

Thankfully our list of actual members (vs. spambots) who we've had to revoke posting privileges from is very short. A couple dozen at most. Of those, very few have tried to post under new names.

Banning an IP is tricky because lots of times people use several different computers to log on to the site. For instance, you have posted here from 8 different IP addresses, and you only have 11 posts! I think I have something like over 200 different IPs I've posted from. Banning an IP range can also cause havoc for other legitimate users. Banning emails and names works for most, and if new accounts do post from the same IP as a banned member we can see that.
 

thereefgeek

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Dang dudes, this is far more interesting than any of the recent posting over yonder :D .

"Duh, why is rock called live?"
"F.S.-potbelly pig, answers to the name Mabel"
"I want this fish, even though everyone tells me not to buy it"

Last topic of any interest was in fact the AquaWorld thread.
 

Duec22

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Minh, I doubt that they ban based on IP. They may look at IP adresses to see if someone they banned has started a new account. But with as often as IP's changes it would be a little too hard..
 

jusreefin

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Hey, It's nice to see a few folks somewhere other then "that place" I still read the MARS forum and I have to say it has turned to a ***** fest over there recently. I won't even comment on the bannings other then to say quite a few RC mods have stepped down or been Let go due to the way people are treated!
 

Perasyte

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Brian Ward here ...

I think the banning technology that they use is far from automated ...

Someone on RC doesn't like me for one reason or another, and I think it was brought to the attention of the moderator that I was previously banned.

I'm a seasoned software engineer and could very well set up an unlimited number of email addresses through dozens of domains, and I could very easily change my ip address by logging onto different VPN networks ... so that is not really a concern.

If I had the interest to participate in RC I would do so ... but from what I've noticed, it's a very restrictive environment and I wouldn't want to contribute to their success.

I did notice how some folks like to insult me (after I am gone), indicating that I regurgitated information ... like, how else do we get information and pass it on? Should I be insulted for passing on the information that I was provided by others?
 
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Anonymous

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Just to let you know guys, we do have a 'no inter board bashing' policy here, so please keep that in mind during the discussion. :D

And....
:welcome:
 

Perasyte

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Inter-board meaning "don't say bad stuff about RC?"

I'm not particularly into bashing any individual, only policy.
 

Justin74

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Anyway Back on TOPIC ;) Sweet breakdown of the ipconfig. I use it religeously,but wouldve never dared trying to explain it let alone make it sound so simple.Nice.

-Justin
 
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Anonymous

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I think RC uses your email address. I got back on with 3 new names. I do agree with Brian about not wanting to contribute anymore but I do like to peruse the propagation forum.

I think it is kinda soap opera like? The drama? It used to be that people got banned for disagreeing with Borneman. Now....?

I like here, though. The sump stuff is a hoot! People can disagree and tease and generally raze each other!
 
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Anonymous

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Perasyte":2wrnw3mb said:
Inter-board meaning "don't say bad stuff about RC?"

Sorta. Feel free to discuss RC. Just no bashing, please. Both sites exist for the same reason, and talking trash about other sites doesn't help anyone. Or the hobby. Constructive criticism is what we like best here. :)

I'm not particularly into bashing any individual, only policy.

That's cool, but just think before you post. I mean, saying something like "This policy is moronic and idiotic" isn't a far cry from "This person is a moron and an idiot." Feel me? Sorry if it sounds like I'm picking on you, Brian. Just clarifying how we handle stuff like this for everyone reading, because it's frequently asked. :)
 
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Anonymous

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I'm going to go ahead and state publicly and explicitly that I'm not a big fan of folks posting how to evade a ban, for here or RC, (bad boy Minh ;)) but it does not violate our User Agreement. :)
 
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Anonymous

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In principle, when you get banned from a site, it's you, yourself, that is getting banned, not your alias. So, if Jane Doe gets banned as "ReefSilly" then creates a new alias, say, "SillyReef" on the same site, she's liable to be banned again for no additional transgression, just the original offense (like, sending obscene PMs to other members, for example). Whether the site goes by IP address, email address or language pattern recognition, if you get found out, they don't need a reason to ban again once you've broken the user agreement and been "moved on" once.
 
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king4345

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I got banned because, I posted to many times in a day.... I tried the new e-mail and new user name and it instantly kicked it so it must be IP controlled...
 

Allude

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How can you get banned for posting too many times in a day, That doesnt make sense... ive NEVER seen someone get banned for that reason.
 
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