||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
There is a wealth of personal information
readily available for anyone interested. But for those who seek
very specific and sensitive information, a more direct method is
used. Often they just ask for it. Through elaborate tricks and
scams, thousands have been persuaded to surrender valuable
information and suffered the consequences. The next section will
explore ways to keep from becoming a victim.
Most people have received an e-mail message
from senders they did not know. Maybe it was a car dealer inviting
them to test drive a new vehicle, the publisher of the magazine they
subscribe to reminding them that their renewal is due, or someone
explaining how they can order medicine over the Internet. The
majority of people recognize the e-mail addresses of their friends.
However, when they receive a message from firstname.lastname@example.org, they may
not realize that it is from Crossroads of the West, the Western
re-enactment society they joined a few months ago.
If they are receiving messages that are of
harassing, libelous, or of otherwise unwanted nature, they may want
to know the real person’s name associated with those messages.
These messages are not classified as spam (unsolicited
marketing), rather they are e-mails that may threaten physical
violence, death or may simply be harmless. Regardless, more
information on the sender may be desired. So how does an individual
find out who is behind a given e-mail address? Two ways to do this
are through WHOIS and FINGER.
Using WHOIS & FINGER
Before explaining these terms, a little history
of the Internet is required. Most people are familiar with
“browsing the web” or “surfing the Internet” using a program called
a browser. The more common browsers are Netscape Navigator
and Internet Explorer, but there are many others such as Mozilla,
Opera, Lynx, and Mosaic. These browsers use directions given to
them by name servers to locate the web pages a person is
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