IESNARE Why you should NEVER remove or block it 2018

Iesnare has been talked about a lot on matched betting forums over the past few years. So we decided to wade in to give you our thoughts and opinion’s on the tracking tool that every punter hates.

The trouble with Iesnare is that it’s cloaked in mystery due to the nature of it’s application which is to monitor your activity on the web without you knowing.

But knowledge is power and having an understanding of what iesnare scripts are and their limitations is the first step to fighting back and staying one step ahead of bookmakers.

Vengeance is a dish best severed cold…

Content:
What is IEsnare
Orwellian Nightmare? Not Quite…
It’s not just Bookmakers that use Iesnare
Is IEsnare legal?
Can iesnare be used to sniff-out matched betting players?
Why you should NEVER remove or block IEsnare
Should I be worried?

There’s a lot of misconception as to what IEsnare actually is and for good reason. There really is not a lot of credible information out there on the web, many sites draw conclusions from personal experiences without strong evidence.

“In most cases the list of information that Iesnare gathers is of no relevance to bookmakers.”

To add further confusion the company that created the product Iovation no longer advertises Iesnare on their website. But when they did the information was pretty vague and obscure unless you were one of their customers who could afford the extremely high price for the software.

What is IEsnare?

IEsnare is an analytics tracking tool used by online companies to monitor “device anomalies” and help accurately detect any fraudulent risk. It collates information from the users device such as geographical location, IP/MAC address and web browser history to create a profile of the user and track their activity.

It’s been around for quite some time, while doing a search on the web there is some talk on moneysavingexpert forums going as far back as 2006, so well over a decade.

To give you a better understanding of Iesnare’s intended application and capabilities, here’s a promotional video from Iovation themselves. While the company no longer “promotes” the name Iesnare, it gives you an idea of it’s potential use.

The list of information that Iesnare collates is exhaustive, with more than forty data registers.

Suffice to say we’re not going to list every one as most of these registers are of no use and irrelevant to bookmakers, but the ones that are important are those listed below.

  • IPs and ISPs from high risk locations
  • Time-zone mismatches
  • Identify proxy use
  • Devices MAC ID
  • Multiple device access per account
  • Geo-location and IP address mismatch

Orwellian Nightmare? Not Quite…

what is iesnareSo as you can see this script is NOT tracking your every move and watching you on your webcam, it’s just not that intelligent.

The script collects meta-data (cookies) from your computer and stores this on Iovation’s mainframe servers. Bookmakers are then alerted by the analytics software of irregular user activity.

Bear in mind that most bookmakers will have +100k accounts to manage and it’s their responsibility in accordance with the Gambling Commission to ensure that no money laundering is involved.

Here are two ways bookmakers could use this tool effectively:

1. If one account was being accessed by multiple devices, this could imply that the account has been hacked. In which case the bookmaker would want to know this to alert the customer and possibly instruct them to change their password.

2. The bookmaker identifies that a proxy server is being, this would also infer that the end user is trying to hide their identity i.e IP address and location, which could mean fraudulent activity or the end user is in breech of their terms and conditions.

So if you look at things from the bookmakers prospective, they have a pretty difficult job ensuring accounts are not being misused while not behaving like a fascist dictator.

It’s not just Bookmakers that use Iesnare

Companies such as PayPal and Adobe also use this analytics tool for it’s intended purpose – to detect fraudulent activity.

Most online users will use at least one if not both of these services. So if you happen to find iesnare on your computer there’s no guarantee which application is using it.

Can bookmakers use iesnare to sniff-out matched betting players?

Cookies are nothing more than pieces of meta-data which allows you to store values on websites so the next time you go onto Amazon, your basket will still contain the same items to selected during the last visit.

The cookies of one website cannot be accessed by the cookies from another site. So in theory iesnare cannot access the meta-data from another bookmaker and betting exchanges, so far so good.

The only issue I can see is if you are using proxy’s for match betting while you are on holiday as an example. It’s quite likely it will detect proxy use of well-known VPN IP addresses, so this is something match bettors and arbers need to consider.

Is IEsnare legal?

There is still some grey area as to it’s legality and whether it breaches Data Protection laws, as it circumvents this by collecting data about the device and not you.

Some punters have not taken this laying down and are taking bookmakers to court over the matter. If fact there’s a petition that you can send to the ICO for you to raise your concerns.

Why you should NEVER remove or block IEsnare

So the first reaction to this would be to find a way to either block or remove IEsnare altogether and there are a lot of pundits out there that will suggest just that.

But I believe this is the wrong approach and will more than likely raise a red-flag, resulting in your account being restricted/gubbed soon after.

Don’t let them know that you know what they’re up to.

So what should you do?

Nothing…

That’s right, the best thing punters can do is to leave things just as they are.

If you follow our guide on the ultimate match betting setup you already have separate devices, such as a laptop for your bookmaker and mobile phone for betting exchanges. Using such practices will minimise the chances you being caught out.

This is contrary to what most experts will tell you, but this approach make perfect sense to me as it makes bookmakers believe they have the upper-hand by snooping on your web browsing movements while you are cautious about what you’re doing.

Should I be worried?

The truth is that bookmakers will do anything in their power to ensure punters are playing by the rules, even if this involves tabs on your web movements.

But the reality is that there is only a limited amount of information that they can legally extract before they are in breach of Data Protection laws. Provided punters stick to the methods we highlighted above and remain mindful of their online activities, iesnare becomes just another cookie.