Contributed by: RC
Submitted: December 17th, 2004
IP logging 101
Editors note: many members have asked if overgrow.com logs Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. IP numbers are unique and pose a security threat, as each IP can be traced back to an individuals computer or service provider server. In addition, server logs can be used to track and identify individuals, and may be archived.
OG does not log IP numbers; this faq explains the IP logging process and some technical reasons why logging is not done.
1) Apache access logs log file for all http access to this site is deleted every 10 minutes using awstats. If allowed to run on it, would create a file that would be gigabytes in size in no time at all.
This type of logging would grind this server to a halt if it is not shut off, set to delete in minutes or logged on an independant server.
Do a google on http logs on busy servers and see what anyone will say about the overhead this logging produces trying to open one massive file every second to write to it.
2) vBulletin IP switch allows one to record IP address of every user on this when they register or post. This is shut off from the admin control panel, and also coded to prevent it's use.
3) MySQL sessions table which keeps IP info, time and other info for the user when they visit this site. A heap table is used, which just keeps this data in memory rather then as a file on the hard drive.
This information clears after about 15 minutes from the time the user leaves the site or the users connection is inactive, it will also clear when the server is rebooted since it is stored in memory.
So how can we ban?
Using an IP ban is pretty useless if someone is using a dial up since the IP is dynamic and will change the minute they redial or renew their connection. If they have a static IP, then all they would need to do is use a proxy server to get around such a ban.
So IP banning is not used for vBulletin, instead the user name is just banned. However, chat is automated and can ban users using their IP. This can only be done while the user is connected as it does not log an IP/Username and only used to prevent flooding.