OM and Mouse Trace

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OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:36 pm

A few concerned members at OM discovered Mouse Trace being uploaded to their computers while viewing the OM forum. Mouse Trace apparently is a program that allows website owners to actually view your clicking habits while at their website.

http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/index. ... read=10480

http://www.mousetrace.com/

The only one to respond to their questions was a moderator who admittedly did not know much. He reassured members that an Admin would explain the situation. After 4 days, not one Admin of the forum has offered any explanation to the queries.

Caught with their hands in the cookie jar?
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:11 pm

I find it odd that no admin has yet offered an explanation, it can't be that difficult to explain.
I'm not sure I agree with 'spinningshields' thinking it to be a Proboards glitch either, it's not impossible I suppose, but highly unlikely considering the type of tool it is.

I've never even heard of Mouse Trace before now and that surprises me more than anything, I thought I had my finger on the pulse! If it really does do what it says it does, this will be an internet marketers dream come true, but surely there will be a price to pay in load times and resources being used?

Google Analytics offers a way of breaking up pages and highlighting which links are clicked and how often with the In-Page Analytics tool, but that is nothing like Mouse Trace purports to be.

Upon re-reading what Mouse Trace does, they would be able to see their members typing pm's to other members?! Hmm, now that really is getting into the realms of what trojans do...

It will be interesting to see what, if any, explanation is offered up.

:shock:
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby ryguy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:23 pm

Zep Tepi wrote:Upon re-reading what Mouse Trace does, they would be able to see their members typing pm's to other members?! Hmm, now that really is getting into the realms of what trojans do...


Wow, seriously?

It will be interesting to see what, if any, explanation is offered up.
:shock:


From what I recall from our particular personal experiences and interactions, none of them came across to me as very tech savvy - but who knows, maybe they brought on someone new and thought they needed better ways to spy on membership. Doubt there will be any explanation either way - not from a bunch like that!

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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby Zep Tepi » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:59 pm

I might have been quick to jump the gun there.
From the MouseTrace website:
    Watch replays showing exactly what your website visitors are doing.
    See every click, mouse movement & scroll and how they move through your website or blog.
    It's like sitting next to your visitors, watching their screen!


From that I surmised they would also be able to see what their visitors are typing, but I think the program only records the mouse movements. In any event, the code is not currently running on the pages I've checked at OM.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:23 am

Zep Tepi wrote:I might have been quick to jump the gun there.
From the MouseTrace website:
    Watch replays showing exactly what your website visitors are doing.
    See every click, mouse movement & scroll and how they move through your website or blog.
    It's like sitting next to your visitors, watching their screen!


From that I surmised they would also be able to see what their visitors are typing, but I think the program only records the mouse movements. In any event, the code is not currently running on the pages I've checked at OM.


I bet they pulled the plug when the secret was let out of the bag lol.


    Watch replays showing exactly what your website visitors are doing.
    See every click, mouse movement & scroll and how they move through your website or blog.
    It's like sitting next to your visitors, watching their screen!


"It's like sitting next to your visitors, watching their screen!".......wow! I never thought of the PM's being read. And what it says there about being like sitting next to your visitor makes it sound kind of like you would see their view, their screen, their text. Maybe or maybe not.

But then the stuff gets uninstalled and the whole issue ignored and brushed under the rug like lets just forget this ever happened......(can't have members knowing we had a program to spy on their forum activities and allowed us to view PM's being written.)

The deafening silence is speaking volumes, perhaps. Need to investigate Mouse Trace a little more. See if they have a FAQ regarding privacy. I'll update if they do.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:51 am

Found this:

MouseTrace also takes a snapshot of how each page looked at the time of a visit, so when watching a replay you will always see exactly the same page that your visitor did. This includes any custom data you show each visitor.


The Visitor Recordings figure is how many website visitors we will hold on your account for you. So for example, on the Silver package we will show you the last 200 people to visit your websites.

You are free to split up your Visitor Recordings amongst any number of website or blogs, so you may want to record the last 50 visitors to 4 different websites for example.


And a video showing the program in action:

(link may need a right click and then click open on the sub menu)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTbYs0gA ... autoplay=1

It would seem to me that everything is recorded like a video of their screenview, including any typed text. After all, you must mouse click to send a PM....and that recorded click would show a screen of private text not meant for prying yes!

I'm starting to understand their reluctance to address this issue. Very touchy area when dealing with privacy and spying.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:59 am

A proboards Staff member listed as President and CEO posted at OM that Mouse Trace has nothing to do with Proboards.

http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/index. ... e=1#313269

This is not something that is coming from ProBoards. We do not use the MouseTrace service on any of our sites.

I would recommend that the owner of this forum review any custom codes they have added to the Header & Footer area to ensure that none of these are the source of your problem. I checked the source code for this forum myself and couldn't find anything MouseTrace related.

Lastly, whoever had this problem, maybe you should run a program such as MalwareBytes to make sure you didn't get a virus from somewhere else.

Patrick Clinger
ProBoards


OM member Dove then verifies that she has not had any more problems with it since the topic was posted....like it was removed. But then goes on to say she is receiving flak from someone regarding her being accused of reporting the problem to proboards. Which she says she did not. I believe her though I find it odd that any other forum member would be angered if she had reported it. But if the flak is coming from a staff member....well, that makes sense. They don't like a spotlight shone on something they wish to bury.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:39 pm

Response from Bren the Admin at OM today.

http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/index. ... e=2#313609

Either Bren is a liar, or completely incompentent. I created a proboards forum, installed Mouse trace and watched myself open a PM and was able to read it through the trace.

The code can be easily installed at the top and bottom header under "Global header and Footer" which makes the code appear on every page but remain invisible on your screen. It can record many, many vistors from unregistered guests to registered members who thought their privacy was secure.

I have the trace of myself opening a PM.....just cant figure out how to save it and upload it.

But rest assured that OM staff had the capabilty via MouseTrace to read PM's of any member that visited their site.

The way Bren denies this when it is easily achieved through the Global header/footer feature leads me to believe that they are not so innocent.

Anyone can do what I did by creating a proboard forum and installing mouse trace to the site. It enables you to view PMs.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby philliman » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:14 pm

That's a scary thought that someone would be able to view other people's pms. :shock:

I can see that this tool could be useful to website-owners but I am not sure why someone might want to use it for his forum.

Jedd, there's some freeware around with which you can record what you're doing on your desktop. That way you could record how you are viewing your pms. Then you just got to upload the vid somewhere. But would you also be able to view the pms of other members?

http://www.free-screen-capture.com/

http://camstudio.org/
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby Access Denied » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:41 am

Thanks for posting about this J...

jeddyhi wrote:A proboards Staff member listed as President and CEO posted at OM that Mouse Trace has nothing to do with Proboards.

This is not something that is coming from ProBoards. We do not use the MouseTrace service on any of our sites.

I would recommend that the owner of this forum review any custom codes they have added to the Header & Footer area to ensure that none of these are the source of your problem. I checked the source code for this forum myself and couldn't find anything MouseTrace related.

Lastly, whoever had this problem, maybe you should run a program such as MalwareBytes to make sure you didn't get a virus from somewhere else.

Patrick Clinger
ProBoards

Hmm, interesting reply... almost like they’re trying to blame it on the victims and cover for the admin, although always good advice to encourage people to check for malware regularly, especially after an incident like this. Presumably ProBoards has backups of the site (wait, what, they don’t?! bad thing to admit to customers methinks) they could have checked so I’m not quite sure what to make of that, although I do understand they have a business to run. I swear that sounds like it was written by Bill Irvine at ATS. :roll:

Anyway, caught red- handed by Google…

[That it happens to be a cache of the Source 'A' forum is entirely coincidental… or not. It’s the first result I picked to check after entering the URL http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/ in Google’s search box.]

This is Google's cache of http://lucianarchy.proboards.com/index. ... tednations. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jul 16, 2011 12:56:10 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime.

It did, look what I found in this line of the source code...

[in the body section just after the head section]

Code: Select all
<meta name="keywords" content="ufo, ufos, ufo's, ,ufoalien, drone, california drone, stephenville ufo, texas ufo, john lear, CARET, UFO caret, ufoaliens,alien, aliens, disclosure, aliendisclosure, ufodisclosure, dansmith, ATS, above top secret, reality uncovered, ramproject, UFO, o'hare,o'hareufo, ufo disclosure, ohare,exobiology, exchange-program, dan, smith, dansmith, flying saucers, project camelot, gordonnovel, ET, serpo, seinu, disclosure, forum, openminds, extraterrestrial, paranormal, skeptic, sceptic"/><meta name="google-site-verification" content="Sfkz2sLNaxCJo-GJGHiibA8fCadiRgceKNoARqz1Qw8" /><script language="javascript" src="http://s.mousetrace.com/s.aspx?sid=5673"></script>

Scum bags! [-X

[and what is the keyword skeptic doing in there?]

That some people (like Dan) continue to post there after the admin blatantly ran cover for not just one, but three major hoaxes, really says something sad, and more than just a little disturbing, about the mental state of the people that post there and those who exploit them.

AD

P.S. I recommend all interested parties go save an archive copy like I did of Google’s cache of the page [link in the word “red-handed” above] immediately before it disappears when the cache updates next.


ETA:

jeddyhi wrote:Either Bren is a liar, or completely incompentent. I created a proboards forum, installed Mouse trace and watched myself open a PM and was able to read it through the trace.

The former…

[original emphasis included, my emphasis of weasel words in red]

Admin wrote:Mousetrace is/was a promo plugin trial from Google as part of our Google Analytics package. From what it said in the promo it would be easier to access Google Analytics, and help make the site structure more accessible to users by providing a service " to rapidly find faults and identify where improvements can be made." But, as far i know it's not possible to see any 'private' data like PM's or even typed words, just navigation of visitors to the site, what boards they go to. And i've checked since this came to be a concern, and i can't find any mention of it ever being able to see anything like passwords or the private pages of members actually logged into a site.

There would be no intention to, even if it was possible.

It was only ever active for just over a day. In fact i deactivated it when it came to my attention that it was causing unnecessary alarm.

There is absolutely no intention, desire or need to look at anyone's private PM's or anything like that. And there's no ability to do so.

Although i do recognise that is something of a genuine concern, and a valid issue with the internet in general. But all private info that you store at OM is private, and no one has the ability or want to see it.

BS, it’s not “from” Google! That MouseTrace integrates with Google Analytics (which already has tracking code webmasters can use) is a feature of MouseTrace…

[nice try weasel with the “is/was” disclaimer exposng foreknowledge of the fact it isn't]

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Mouse+Trace%22+%22Google+Anyaltics%22

MouseTrace wrote:Integrates with Google Analytics, Clicky, Statcounter & Chartbeat - Find out more; NEW WordPress Extension for easy setup on your blog; Try for FREE today.

[funny how RU is currently the first result for a Google search on “Mouse Trace” [space] “Google Analytics”]
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby ryguy » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:30 pm

Wow - nice work AD. Caught red-handed is right.

And yes, Bren is a pathological liar. I wouldn't put it past him to have fabricated that supposed ProBoards post, as he has a history of sock-puppetry (see: Lucianarchy Uncovered).

Crazy stuff...these freaks never cease to amaze me.



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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby jeddyhi » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:18 pm

Video of Mouse Trace allowing me to see my earlier actions in the forum I created. I sent myself a PM and then opened it.....the text is simply "mouse trace...mousetrace...test run".

I left the forum, opened up my Mouse Trace account, viewed the recent traces and found the one exposing my PM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afhIcUAXsjQ

You may need to view full screen to see things more clearly.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby ryguy » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:48 pm

Amazing - pretty much leaves no doubt about what it does. Thanks for making the video jeddyhi - I might share it with a few friends. :-)

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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby Smersh » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:32 pm

I find it pretty astonishing that anyone would even make available such a piece of software so that webmasters can spy on their visitors like that actually, and advertise it openly on the internet. I sure hope somebody comes up soon with another piece of software that combats Mouse Trace and negates its effects.

There's something here I'm not understanding though about the OM thread as it appears to me at the moment. The thread posts seem jumbled up to me right now and are almost as if they are back to front. For example, anubus30 talks about Mouse Trace in her op, then quotes all the spiel about it from admin, but admin doesn't actually post that until Reply #17 on page 2. Also JonCurcio says he reported it to Proboards in Reply #19, but the post from Patrick Clinger, (President and CEO of Proboards) is Reply #9 on page 1. :?

(That's how it appears right now as I'm looking at it anyway, but I have no idea if it will remain like that for much longer.)

(EDIT) Hang on, looks like Jon may have already reported it to Probards just before Patrick posted, but didn't mention it until later on when he replied to Dove. (Although I couldn't be certain.) Apologies though if I'm muddying the waters here uneccessarily.
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Re: OM and Mouse Trace

Postby philliman » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:48 pm

No problem, Smersh. Admin seems to have edited Anubus' original post.

Thing is that there shouldn't be any reason to install such an app/tool on your board. If you want to know in what kind of topics your members/visitors are interested in then you just got to check out how many are viewing a certain forum. If you want to know which topic could be popular check out how many hits and replies a thread does get. Both is visible at OM. So why installing something like Mouse Trace at all? I'm not even sure if it was designed for boards in first place.
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