Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

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.

Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010

An old adage about the Internet is that it "interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." The more you try to restrict access to something, the more ways people find to get to it.

Governments like those in Iran or mainland China place restrictions on the Internet with software, and individuals work their ways around those restrictions with more software. The end result is an arms race: here, a country blocks YouTube or Facebook; within days (or even hours), people inside and outside that country engineer ways to work around the block.

There's no one way to do this, but they all have a few things in common. They require some participation by people on the other side of the firewall, who can allow requests for non-blocked content to be used to deliver blocked content. How they do this varies, but that one technique lies at the heart of just about all efforts to circumvent censorship.

I'm going to look at several of the major software technologies used to perform that kind of circumvention. Some of them require nothing more than installing a simple software package; some are more convoluted. Each of them comes with risks and shortcomings, which in turn also must be worked around.

Tor (The Onion Router)

Tor is nominally used for the sake of anonymity, but also works as a circumvention tool, and its decentralized design makes it resilient to attacks. It started as a U.S. Naval Research Laboratory project but has since been developed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and is open source software available for a variety of platforms. Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders, and the United States International Broadcasting Bureau (Voice of America) all advocate using Tor as a way to avoid compromising one's anonymity. With a little care, it can also be used to route around information blocking.

The concept behind Tor is simple enough. Out there are a whole slew of servers that are part of the worldwide Tor network. Connect to one as a proxy, and your Internet requests are routed at random through other servers in the Tor network. Requests between Tor nodes are encrypted. By the time the request emerges from Tor's network and is sent on to the server in question, its origins have been heavily obfuscated. If you want, it is possible to pick a specific entry and exit node, or even to forcibly exclude specific exit nodes.

The advantages ought to be clear. For one, there's no immediate way to tell where the connection is originating from, geographically: a request made in the United States could emerge from the Tor network somewhere in Poland. Another major feature of Tor is the hidden service protocol, which makes it possible to use the Tor cloud to anonymously publish a Web site or provide other network services, although only for people directly connected to the Tor network. Tor also works with just about any Internet application, since it works via the SOCKS proxy interface.

 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 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
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-16275
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Credential Manager component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.
CVE-2020-16276
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Assets component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16277
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
An SQL injection vulnerability in the Analytics component of SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 allows a remote, authenticated attacker to gain unauthorized access to the database.
CVE-2020-16278
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Permissions component in SAINT Security Suite 8.0 through 9.8.20 could allow arbitrary script to run in the context of a logged-in user when the user clicks on a specially crafted link.
CVE-2020-15139
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-10
In MyBB before version 1.8.24, the custom MyCode (BBCode) for the visual editor doesn't escape input properly when rendering HTML, resulting in a DOM-based XSS vulnerability. The weakness can be exploited by pointing a victim to a page where the visual editor is active (e.g. as a post or Private Mes...