Risk
1/4/2011
10:23 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Top 3 Tools For Busting Through Firewalls

Can't access a Web site thanks to employer or government censorship? Fortunately, there's a host of tools and techniques that can help you slip through the blockade. Here's an in-depth look at three of the best.

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Inside DHS' Classified Cyber-Coordination Headquarters

I mentioned before that static pages work fine, but anything beyond that can be a crapshoot. YouTube, for instance, loads pages but not videos -- although a separately-provided plug-in fixes this. (Video sites in general are unreliable when accessed through Glype.) Consequently, Glype seems to work best when dealing with "straight" Web pages. The last revision of the program was in January 2009, so it's not clear if issues like these are going to be fixed in the core code.

Public And For-Pay Web Proxies

The above software programs, and others like them, are also available through networks of public proxies. Proxy.org lists a great many Glype-powered proxies on its front page, with the option to choose one at random. The obvious problem with such a system is the complete lack of a pedigree for such proxies. You have no idea what you're connecting to or who's listening. Using SSL across such a connection is probably mandatory -- assuming the proxy you're using even supports such a thing. (Many don't.)

Some proxy providers sell access to more advanced tiers of service. Proxify and Socksify, a brother-and-sister pair of services based out of N.Y., work along this model: they have a basic, free level of proxying service through their Web site, but they sell premium access as well. Premium access in this case includes built-in SSL support, higher bandwidth, and no restrictions on content types (the free service blocks video and audio streams). Sockisfy, sold separately, lets the user connect applications directly to the proxy network instead of going through a Web interface.

Other Workarounds

Over time, users have discovered a whole slew of other, indirect ways to circumvent Web-blocking systems. They're catch-as-catch-can, and are mostly used when nothing else is available.

One common method is to use the Coral Cache, or Coral Content Distribution Network, a peer-to-peer Web mirroring system originally designed to relieve congestion on heavily-trafficked Web servers. If the various CCDN servers are not blocked, a user can see a copy of a Web site in the Coral Cache by appending .nyud.net:8090 (or .nyud.net:8080) to the end of the domain name in the URL. Many Web-filtering programs already block the Coral Cache by default, however, which makes it of relatively limited use.

Another workaround is to have web pages delivered via email, such as with services like Web2Mail. This is useful if access to the Web is restricted but email itself remains relatively unblocked.

Google can sometimes be used as a proxy-defeating system through a clever hack: the page-translation service. If you request a page via Google Translate, select English as the target language, and use an arbitrary original language -- for instance, Arabic, when the original page isn't in Arabic at all -- you can get some pages to load as-is. This doesn't work with all sites, though; for instance, with the New York Times, it triggers a redirect to a "Page not found" error. Also, the user has to know the target URL in the first place -- although that doesn't exclude the possibility of, for instance, retrieving a site's homepage and then drilling down from there to the needed page. And finally, this assumes that Google itself is accessible at all.

Previous
4 of 5
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DenisL857
50%
50%
DenisL857,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2014 | 8:06:39 PM
this really worcks yo have helped me get youtube back because my prents are sick of me watching kung fu panda and listening too dubstep
thancks again and do you have any other research sugjestions for hacking my firewall
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-0714
Published: 2015-05-02
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in Cisco Finesse Server 10.0(1), 10.5(1), 10.6(1), and 11.0(1) allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCut53595.

CVE-2014-3598
Published: 2015-05-01
The Jpeg2KImagePlugin plugin in Pillow before 2.5.3 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service via a crafted image.

CVE-2014-8361
Published: 2015-05-01
The miniigd SOAP service in Realtek SDK allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted NewInternalClient request.

CVE-2015-0237
Published: 2015-05-01
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Manager before 3.5.1 ignores the permission to deny snapshot creation during live storage migration between domains, which allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (prevent host start) by creating a long snapshot chain.

CVE-2015-0257
Published: 2015-05-01
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Manager before 3.5.1 uses weak permissions on the directories shared by the ovirt-engine-dwhd service and a plugin during service startup, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading files in the directory.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join security and risk expert John Pironti and Dark Reading Editor-in-Chief Tim Wilson for a live online discussion of the sea-changing shift in security strategy and the many ways it is affecting IT and business.