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I have a web server. I recently received a large volume of web traffics, after tracking it down, it is coming over a commercial VPN provider. Is there any way to keep the tracing going, beyond the VPN?

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A bit more clarity on your objectives would help. Do you consider the traffic abusive? What do you want to know about it - where it comes from? who it comes from? why it is coming? How do you think that might help you? – nealmcb Jun 8 '11 at 1:59
up vote 6 down vote accepted


  • Ask the VPN provider nicely.
  • If it's sufficient to do so, get the law involved.
  • Try to send a payload that identifies the machine. Javascript that returns the ip address, accesses another network (maybe not all of it is VPN), etc.

That's about it for tracing info. You may be able to shut them off without too much effort, but I think it is the business of most VPN providers to not disclose information to the public.

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How do you get the IP address from Javascript? – symcbean Jun 7 '11 at 12:56
Well, it appears that the unfortunate answer is you can't unless you compromise the machine somehow. I suppose that example is a poor one. – Jeff Ferland Jun 7 '11 at 13:17
Getting law involved seems complicated. Do you have any experience in that? I was more interested to see if there is a quick technical solution first(ofc not going far as hacking the VPN). The payload example sounds interesting. Do you know if there might be some HTTP header that would trigger the client to send additional information? – xkrz Jun 7 '11 at 15:33
The law exists to do what you can't. Maybe you need them, maybe you can live without (just shut the offender off). There is no magic "who are you, really?" built into the system. X-Forwarded-For headers sometimes show up for proxy servers, but the point of a VPN is to make it appear that a host is somewhere its not. Finding out who is behind that requires creating a scenario that wasn't anticipated. – Jeff Ferland Jun 7 '11 at 15:38

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