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User Tracking ? AWSTATS / Google Analytics

Posted on 2006-10-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a site where my host provides AWSTATS to track hit's view's etc...

On this site, I have users who logon to my site which uses PHP and a MySQL DB to store the user logon's and passwords.

But AWSTATS isn't picking up on these users as authenticated users.  Is there a line of code or something I need to use to track users?

I also have Google Analytics installed on this site, and it doesn't seem to have an option for tracking individual users.  Is there a way to do this?

What I am trying to accomplish is tracking of users; pages viewed, number of visits, and their IP addresses.  What is the best way to go about this?

Thanks,
-BassKozz
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Question by:basskozz
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OliWarner earned 250 total points
ID: 17808317
Forms authentication (what you're using) doesnt show as a real user for AWStats. You need to use basic authentication to get that to work, and in my opinion, its not worth it. You would be better off making your own stats logger in PHP if you need to track individual people around.

>> I also have Google Analytics installed on this site, and it doesn't seem to have an option for tracking individual users.  Is there a way to do this?

No it only tracks trends.

As I said, if you want full user tracking, implement your own system that can feed off the session variables. Neither Analytics or AWStats will be able to help you here.

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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 17808361
Are there any sourceforge or commercial products availavle that I could impliment for this?
Thanks,
-BassKozz
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 17808385
I daresay there are lots that you could adapt but you have to remember that there is nothing that will do this for you "off the shelf" because your user is going to be stored in a session variable that you made.

If the system isn't homemade then you might be able to find something out there for whatever its using.
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Expert Comment

by:CSecurity
ID: 17808489
Awstat have some bugs in alot of version that lead to big problems... hackers can own your server with bugs in awstat!

I suggest you to use google analytics Urchin 5... Easy, secury and reliable... ;)
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 17808503
OliWarner,
Where can I get info on session variables and how to use them to track users?
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by:CSecurity
ID: 17808509
Which programming language you use and what operating system your server runs?
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by:CSecurity
CSecurity earned 250 total points
ID: 17808514
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Assisted Solution

by:CSecurity
CSecurity earned 250 total points
ID: 17808515
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:CSecurity
CSecurity earned 250 total points
ID: 17808519
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Author Comment

by:basskozz
ID: 17808524
PHP 5
Apache I think, er Linux
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 17808526
A session var is just a variable that is tied to one user (usually by a cookie). When you use forms authentication, session variables are made to store the username and other login information so the system knows who the user is.

If you have to ask, I'm assuming you didn't make the login system yourself. If that's the case, tell us what system it is and I'll look to see if i can find any tracking systems for that system.

>> I suggest you to use google analytics
That only works for pages with the script in and only works on browsers with javascript enabled. Server Side stat analysis is the only way to monitor all traffic.
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by:CSecurity
ID: 17808543
Nowadays most of browsers have javascript enabled... Browser without javascript is not useful!

Server side analysis maybe good... But not Awstat! Too buggy! (in security stuff)
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by:CSecurity
ID: 17808555
<Link removed by CetusMOD>

A lot of code execution bugs!
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 17808562
It depends how you run it.

 - If it is secured (with authentication) then people cannot access it to exploit it.
 - If you run it on batch mode from crontab (as I do) there are only static html files accessable and people cannot exploit these.
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Expert Comment

by:OliWarner
ID: 17808581
CSecurity a few things:
a) Don't link to exploit sites. I'm pretty sure that's against the EEMA.
b) All those exploits are preventable just by using a little common sense. How many people do you think leave their stats open for anyone to view anyway?
c) If you have more to say, use the return button to make a new line rather than using a new post for everything you say. My inbox is starting to bleed from all the email activity in this thread.
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Expert Comment

by:CSecurity
ID: 17808594
Thanks alot for teaching me return button... I never was aware of it... Hurrraaaay! I learned return button! Yes! It is exactly on my keyboard... Middle of it! Thanks for your help...

I don't know what is EEMA and don't like to know... ;)

Exploits are preventable... But you cannot guess how many hackers are over the world who do not publish bugs that they discover! You can just apply patches that Awstat's vendor publish and they publish patch for revealed bugs... Do not forget it... ;)

No problem bro... Go ahead with Awstat... Just let me know server's address then you installed Awstat on it :))))))

Take care ;)
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