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Re^5: Can Perl read CPU id?

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Feb 10, 2005 at 19:11 UTC ( #429884=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: Can Perl read CPU id?
in thread Can Perl read CPU id?

Is it really so bad for someone to try to get the cpu id of a computer tha is accessing his own (lets say for instance web server) via http protocol?

Yes, it is. The difference is that I, as a consumer, am providing you with exactly as much information as I want to provide - namely the following:

  • What I want from you (the URI)
  • Where I want you to send the response (the IP address)
  • Who I choose to be seen as (the useragent)
  • Any additional information I choose to provide (cookies, etc)

All of that is my choice to give you. I can, if I want, refuse to provide you with the vast majority of that information.

Now, you have chosen to expose your computer to the rest of the world by hosting a webserver. As such, you are agreeing to, for free1, provide access to certain files, your processing power, your RAM, etc. No-one has asked you to do so and you can take down your webserver at any time and no-one has any right to complain2.

Now, you also have the right to refuse to provide webpages to people who refuse to provide you with what you deem to be sufficient information. Corporate websites do this all the time. For every corporate website I have ever built, we have required that cookies be turned on. This is so that we can track who is logged in as whom. Now, you may not like this decision. If you don't, then don't use that corporate website. You don't have a right to use a corporate website. But, the webserver provider doesn't have the right to just walk into my computer and look around.

The server is "his sever" and he has the right to know/keep logs for anyone trying to access hsi server for any reason!

Yes, you're absolutely right. The administrator has the right to keep logs for the information that a client has chosen to provide (as detailed above). Now, if you feel you have to know the CPUID and MAC address of people using your website, then you have the right to demand the any and all of the following before allowing someone to access your website.

  1. Install a certain set of programs on the computer
  2. Request and receive a login ID and password
  3. Make certain settings are at the right values within the web browser
  4. Use a certain web browser or a certain verion of web browser

Of course, as you have noted before, the more restrictions you place upon your users, the less users you're likely to have. But, that's your choice.

Let me propose something to you - would you like Perlmonks to look around your computer every request you make and verify that you have not installed Java? Because, to look up a CPUID or MAC address would be providing the same sort of access that Perlmonks would need to determine if you have Java installed ...

  1. In the absence of contracts to the contrary ...
  2. In the absence of contracts to the contrary ...

Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.


Comment on Re^5: Can Perl read CPU id?
Re^6: Can Perl read CPU id?
by Nik on Feb 10, 2005 at 20:12 UTC
    Yes, i guess you are right!

    If i want more info from the clier side except the default that an htttp request gives me i would have to explicitly state it and ask it from the client!

    But even if i wanted to do that illegally i couldn right? It can only be done if a certaip app must be installed to the client side correct?! you know a perl one that could have somehow retrieve that info from a built-in routine or just from askign the appropriate system dll. Is that correct?
      But even if i wanted to do that illegally i couldn right?

      You're asking me on a public website how to perform an illegal action. Riiiight ...

      Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
      Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
      Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
      Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

        Soory man, this is why i aksed such a question!

        Well a friend of mine maked his own online chess server and he in order to paly chess with him i have o install a software that he developed. What he does from the program is running online machine query checks through his hand-made chess client i use to connect to his online chess server. He specifically searches fro cpu id. What i want to do is to make a perl prog that weill listen fro cpu id requests and then feed the querint app with false cpu id! He asked me if i have a way to overcome that and i said i could! actually we made a bet! I think of that because i cant change the cpu id like i do with mac address if i like because new mac address id can be applied to an ethernet card but new cpu id cannot be applied/overwriiten to the old one! at least, i think it cant! so i made the above thouh to just feed it wrong! is this possible through a perl app?!?! That is what i wanted to do in the first place!

        Answer me personally if you/anyone else likes or better publicly!
      But even if i wanted to do that illegally i couldn right?

      Nik, if you don't care whether something is illegal and morally wrong, you can do almost anything you want. Not many people are going to like you for it, though, and this is the wrong forum to get help in that sort of activity.

      I'm trying to stay polite here, but I would appreciate a post from you that doesn't in some way involve breaking the law or abusing people's trust. If you can't think of such a post, then please stay away.

      Thank you.

      Joost

        Relax man, i was just making a question here. I just wanted to know if such an app running to the client side and communicating with my web server could give this kind of info. Just to see if itm was possible. No hurm intended. If i do such thing i must first aske the visitosd to download my app and stete to them that i could try to get theit cpu id or else simply they could download it!

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