Can you track someone using a proxy?

  • This is past experience, and is not the case anymore since I am a programmer now and have nothing to do with security anymore. However in the past I had a person constantly trying to make comments of spam type (definitely a troll and not a bot). So I have blocked his ip. Lo and behold he comes back saying that I can't block him because he has more proxies he can use. I didn't know about existence of IT Security then, and now that I have found it, I can ask you guys here. This has happened in the past, and is not true anymore. But I am wondering is there a way I might have been able to track the person hiding behind proxies.

  • Tom Leek

    Tom Leek Correct answer

    8 years ago

    A proxy is a system which relays communications. From your server, you see the communication as coming from the proxy machine. The IP address you see is the one of the proxy. If you block that IP, you block all traffic coming from that proxy, but no traffic from elsewhere. If the villain switches to another proxy, he will pass.

    Some HTTP proxy add a header line X-Forwarded-For which identifies the true source IP address. Note, though, that if the proxy system is under control of the perpetrator, then he can configure it not to include that header, or, worse, to include a fake X-Forwarded-For value.

    So then by using proxies you can commit unspeakable crimes and the wrong person will be blamed? IS there no way to catch the evil mastermind?

    Good hackers hop through a chain of proxies throughout the world (the proxies being subverted home computers, with no logs) and would remain uncaught, except that they are also human and almost always end up making some mistake, usually boasting about their so-called M4d Sk1llz somewhere.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM