AuthorTopic: Using Proxies for security  (Read 1798 times)

Offline Palloy

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Using Proxies for security
« on: December 03, 2016, 04:54:32 PM »
A proxy in computer jargon is a computer that gets some information for you, and passes it back to you.  Since it accesses the target site using its own IP address, it effectively hides yours, and so gives you some degree of anonymity on the internet.

There are a quite few different kinds of proxies, which work in different ways.  This is a short list of some of them you might want to consider using: VPN, HTTP, Socks4, Socks5.

VPN proxies

First you have to install software provided by the VPN service, and configure it.  Then each time you switch your computer on,  you have to start it running.  Then ALL your computer's traffic is encrypted (OpenVPN is the best encryption) to and from the proxy, and from there on it travels unencrypted, unless the traffic is additionally encrypted by some other means (like https:// ).

If you want good service, (high bandwidth, unlimited volume,  99.99% uptime, and good customer support), the VPN service is going to cost you - less than $1 /week is normal.  There are free VPN services, to tempt you in, but they have limitations like limited guaranteed bandwidth, limited volume, low priority (paying customers get served first) and no/poor support.  This is OK to get started, and then you can upgrade to a paid service.

Advantages: 
Your ISP will be able to tell from your packet headers that you are connected to a VPN service, but it can't read the encrypted packet contents, so it can't tell who you are proxying to, so can't block your access to certain websites. 
And the target websites you access, won't see your IP address and track you. 

Disadvantages are:
If you login at the website, or give yourself away by what you post, then you won't be anonymous any more, obviously.
internet activity is always going to be a bit slower,
and some sites (like PayPal) know the IPs of common VPNs and will ask you for extra identification,
and some (like USDoD) could block you altogether, or worse. 

Hackers and spammers use proxies all the time, but using VPNs is not illegal and many companies run their own VPN services. 
BTW, I definitely don't recommend trying to hack into USDoD under any circumstances - they definitely don't like it. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qpudAhYhpc "Algorithm - the hacker movie")

HTTP / Socks4 / Socks5 proxies

While a VPN proxy send ALL your internet traffic to the VPN server, these proxies are done on a per application basis and they are not encrypted.  Most web browsers, P2P file-sharing and messaging applications have proxy capabilities built in, so there is nothing extra to download and install.  They do have to be configured and started though.

Firefox has a configuration page buried deep inside Preferences > Advanced > Network > Settings that looks like this:



and all you have to do it change from "no proxy" to "manual" and fill in the IP and port of your Socks4 proxy, so it looks like this:



and click OK, and then all your browsing will be proxied via Russia.

The only problem is finding the IP and port of a working proxy.  One way to do this is to go to http://hideip.me/en/proxy and copy one of the free proxy's details to the corresponding box in the Connection Settings window, click OK, and away you go. 

Since these details change frequently though, it is a bit of a drag to have to do all that every time you start browsing and every time the proxy goes offline.  So I recommend you install the Firefox add-on called Proxy Switcher, which moves the whole thing up to an icon on your browser's toolbar.  Clicking the icon displays the configuration panel, and some simple test buttons to prove its working OK.  It can even remember several sets of settings, so if one proxy stops working (returns "Can't find the server at target.com")  you can quickly switch to another set. 

Advanced

Since VPN works at the operating system level, and HTTP/Socks works at the application level, it is possible to use both at the same time.  This post will be posted using a VPN proxy server in Hong Kong and then a Socks4 proxy server in Russia.  The DD web server log will record the Russian IP address 88.210.48.167 .


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Offline Palloy

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Re: Using Proxies for security
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 05:08:55 PM »
See, it worked !

I should just add that most browsers can do this proxying stuff, and Chrome has an add-on called Proxy Switcher too.

Recommendations

I strongly recommend paying the small amount to get a proper VPN service.  I have tried a few, and http://privateinternetaccess.com is good.  Failing that, do the free Socks4 proxy thing.  Don't be tracked by your IP address, DD doesn't track, but everybody else does.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Using Proxies for security
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 04:48:35 PM »
I should have mentioned the HTTPS proxy, since you probably want to use https:// .  HTTPS proxy automatically handles HTTP proxy as well.  It is obvious that this is the best protocol to choose for a web browser.

http://freeproxylists.net also has lists of free proxies, and you can apply filters to select  which country, which protocols, % uptime etc.
From that I have discovered that the most reliable HTTPS proxy in Russia is [95.131.181.126] Port 8080 with 76% uptime, and it belongs to PrimeLink Telecom, located in Moscow.

So set ProxySwitcher up like this to proxy via Moscow:



Of course you will look like you are one of Putin's propaganda agents, but WFT cares.   :o
The State is a body of armed men

 

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