[Scottish] Not strictly linux, but advice welcomed all the same

Michael Maclean michael at no-surprises.co.uk
Sat Apr 26 15:05:44 BST 2008


John Gordon Ollason wrote:
> I participate in a discussion board hosted in America. Yesterday, the 
> sig line of one of the other participants fed me back my Internet 
> address, the operating system, linux, the browser, Opera, I was using, 
> and the company name of my ISP. 

All that is happening there is that they are including a <img> link to 
an image generator script on the danasoft.com server, which causes your 
browser to make an HTTP request to that machine, which then finds out 
all that information from the TCP connection and the headers your 
browser sends. Every website you go to will get this information, often 
several times (once per page, stylesheet, and image etc you download).

> Am I making a fuss about nothing? Is there any linux software that I can 
> install that will prevent this behaviour?

One course of action would be to use an adblock-style extension, if 
there is one for Opera, to deny requests to that domain. Alternatively 
you could put something like:    	www.danasoft.com

into your /etc/hosts file, which will redirect any request for that 
domain to your own machine, which will likely fail and you won't get the 
image. You might need to change the name of the server. It's actually 
nothing to worry about, in my view. It is rather obnoxious though.


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