Sneaker Proxies and Servers

Many people spend literally thousands of dollars a month on using proxies, a fact that surprises many.  After all if you do a quick google search you’ll find lots of lists of free proxies all over the place.  Many are listed as being super secure and elite, so why on earth do people spend lots of money on them.

Well firstly, it’s important to remember that anyone who has the vaguest clue about online privacy, anonymity and the risks of cyber crime would never go anywhere near a free proxy server.  At best there badly configured proxies accidentally left open by some overworked networked admin somewhere, which means that you’re potentially stealing bandwidth if you use them.  At worst, and it’s an increasingly likely scenario the proxy has been left open on purpose in order to steal user credentials like emails, accounts and passwords.  It’s not much of a choice really, so you’d be advised to stay well clear of them.

sneaker proxies and servers

So there is a big market for safe and legitimate proxies for a variety of uses and one of the most popular is buying sneakers from online web retailers.  You see all the big retailers of sneakers (trainers in parts of Europe) release limited edition versions of their sneakers which are very much in demand.  You can try and buy them online but it’s very difficult to do and you’d have to be very quick and luck to even grab as single pair.

Obviously because they’re scarce and valuable then some people want to get lots of these – there’s an obvious profit opportunity there even if you don’t want to wear them.   So how do people get to buy loads of these sneakers online from palces like Supreme, Footlocker and Nike well they basically use software.

There are lots of automated tools and bots which you can configure to attempt to buy these sneakers when they become available.  If you get the right set up you can buy loads of these for whatever purpose you like.  The software acts like a human purchaser but with infinite patience repeatedly trying to buy the specified sneakers until they are successful. Lots of people buy up loads of these and indeed run successful businesses simply reselling these shoes at inflated prices.

TO maximise their chances they install the software programs on high availability servers with lots of bandwidth.  These can be programmed remotely to leap into action as soon as a new release becomes available.

The issue is that obviously the retailers don’t like this and try and block access to all automated efforts to buy the sneakers.  They look for things like multiple connections from the same IP addresses and ban these instantly. Which means even if you have your own server if it tries to often to buy the sneakers then it will get banned and the server and software will be unusable.

The solution is to add another layer of protection by utilizing sneaker proxies to hide your location and allow the software or Bot to rotate it’s identity in order to keep running.  It’s not difficult to do but the the essential requirement is that these are sneaker proxies with a special configuration.

The first important component which you’ll never get with free proxies is to ensure it has lots of residential IP addresses.  These are actually quite hard to get because these addresses are only normally handed out by ISPs to home users.  Most online retailers know that people try to hide their locations and often block all non-residential IP addresses automatically. Normal commercial VPN and proxies will have commercial IP addresses so won’t work in this situation.

This is what makes sneaker proxies so special, they should definitely have residential IP addresses which makes them pretty much undetectable from normal home users.  Unfortunately it’s also what makes them so expensive as obtaining, supporting and running these sorts of residential proxies is pretty costly.

There are a few companies around who have managed to obtain and specialize in residential IP proxies but there aren’t many.  In our opinion the best and most trusted supplier is a company called Storm Proxies which you can find in the link below.

Storm Proxies

HTTP Authentication and Proxy Configurations

HTTP Authentication Since the reverse proxy server masquerades as a Web server, the authentication required by the reverse proxy is Web server authentication. That is, the challenge status code is 401, not 407. See elsewhere in this blog for HTTP authentication, and differences between Web server and proxy server authentication.

Dynamic Content and Reverse Proxying

Dynamic content poses a problem With reverse proxies. If the content is dynamically generated, it cannot be cached efficiently. Rather, each request must be forwarded to the origin server. This defeats the benefits of caching in the proxy server, and may in fact impede performance. A common misconception relates to the way CGI scripts are handled. CGI scripts are always executed by the origin server; they are never trans- ferred in their source code/program language form to the proxy server and executed there. Only the result of the CGI execution is passed to the proxy server, and, if marked cacheable, it may be cached by the proxy. As long as the number of dynamic pages is fairly small compared to the total number of requests, reverse proxying can be beneficial as in this case – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/how-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-in-the-usa/. If there are many dynamic pages, they may be duplicated on multiple origin servers, and DNS round robin used to distribute the load among them. The static content may still be handled by reverse proxy servers.

Alternatives to Using Reverse Proxies:

There are a couple of alternatives to reverse proxies. One is the 3 05 Use Proxy status code in HTTP/ 1.1 that is intended for redirecting the client [or an intermediate (forward) proxy] that directly connects to the origin server to go through a proxy server. This releases the proxy in question from having to be a reverse proxy, since the client is now aware of the proxy’s existence in between. The 305 status code is intended as a mechanism for associating a one-site—only proxy server that will not be used for anything else. Note that if a (forward) proxy server is already used by the client, the client will not receive the 305 response. Instead, it is intercepted and handled by the last (forward) proxy in the proxy chain (that’s the proxy that attempted a direct connection to the origin server to begin with).

At the time of this writing, the support for the 305 status code is not widespread, either by client software or proxy servers. Once HTTP/1 becomes more widespread, the use of 305 proxy redirection may be viable option to reverse proxying. Another alternative to reverse proxying is to handle replication ~ ‘ server content by other means.

This can be accomplished by a plugin, the Web server, or by copying content between servers by other too such as FTP or secure rdist. At this time, copying content between servers using out-of-band mechanisms is the most common way of ting up large server pools. As reverse proxy server technology advance» may become an easier mechanism for setting up server pools. SUMMARY Reverse proxying provides an alternative to moving the server from ‘ internal network to the firewall. As the performance of proxy server \ ” ware increases, they may become a viable solution for synchronizing among multiple replicated servers in a large origin server pool.

Source: Guidance on Find a Fast UK Proxy

Choosing a Smart DNS vs VPN Solution

One of the problems with using VPN services is that they are difficult to use with devices other than computers. It’s fairly simple to set up a VPN on a computer, laptop or even on tablets.
However nowadays people use things like Smart TVs and media streamers such as the Roku which are difficult to configure to use VPNs even those simpler ones. This configuration issue lies at the heart of the puzzle – which is the best Smart DNS Vs VPN.

Probably the most common uses for a flash router is to act like a VPN service gateway. As you can see from a fast glance from the many sites which deal with Flash Routers, most encourage using one of the many VPN services and are frequently adding new ones. Subscribing to the VPN service is an extremely beneficial way to get access to unblocked content, so if you’re attempting to see US Netflix in Mexico or see BBC Sport on your Roku, employing a subscription service like Identity Cloaker, IPVanish or similar with your router will definitely a fantastic option.

Nevertheless, a VPN service isn’t the only way to unblock popular streaming video & music content. While utilizing a VPN support with your router can permit you to unblock content on devices such as Roku and Apple Television that may Usually not be flashed for VPN usage, you will find other services that could be utilized. The most outstanding is the, easy Smart DNS. Should I Be Using A VPN service or a Smart DNS Router Setup? Smart DNS is a protocol which may be utilized to re route traffic required for determining your geographical location.

Nevertheless, unlike a VPN, Smart DNS doesn’t provide encryption or conceal your IP address. The VPN service creates a tube which change or mask your IP to do it look you’re accessing the website from another location. Smart DNS works like more of a trick, by changing your DNS so sites think you’re qualified to access their content. The reason why SmartD NS differs enormously from a VPN with a better user rate is that it doesn’t require traveling through a remote server location. So a Smart DNS router configuration gives you a number Of the benefits a VPN service may provide without the possible disadvantage of slower speeds from heavy VPNs encryption.

Using SmartDNS is really hard to beat for ease and setup, particularly when utilizing a router upgraded with increased DD WRT firmware. When this Smart DNS router setup is complete, all system that runs throughout The FlashRouter will be using SmartDNS. So with one setup, all devices device on your network like Roku 3, AppleTV, iPads, iPhones may All access SmartDNS enabled content with no person setup. One installment and you’re ready to go!.

The Insider Dangers – Network Security

When most network administrators talk about network attacks most are referring to those from outside their networks.   However the reality is that those originating inside the network are not only more common but potentially much more damaging too. Internal attacks represent the vast majority of attacks on network infrastructure. They certainly can be extremely damaging and often much more challenging to find. One factor that aggravates the situation are company insiders having extensive working knowledge of security controls and considerable time to plan an assault.   There is less chance to detect those initial scanning and fingerprinting phases that outside attackers need to do.  The insiders can leverage the valid access they already have to gain additional access to systems.  There’s huge potential for both social engineering and gaining additional information and privileges from within.

There is no doubt that internal attacks are more challenging to detect than those which originate from outside the network.   It is also surprising that company’s often underpay these attacks and in many cases simply ignore them until it’s too late.

This occurs when organizations aren’t monitoring the interior as significantly as the outside. An internal assault might be the consequence of an employee progressively accumulating privileged accessibility and info over a time period of years or even decades.

The internal infrastructure may be opened up to threats from uned ucated or unsuspecting employees. Users could compromise internal security via the installation of firewall beating Peer to Peer file sharing and instant messenger applications. Some P2P applications are packed with spyware or attributes that silently allow the sharing of the whole hard drive.  There are also many threats from the many proxies and VPNs that can be installed.   Even if these VPNs are simply being used for a relatively benign activity like watching the BBC – check this post, it still represents a huge drain on available bandwidth and speed of the network.

Plus there are of course many network aware instant messengers, like AOL Instant Messenger, may be utilized to cut through any open port on a corporate firewall. Modern viruses are accompanied by many attack payloads that may open a system for the carrying. L/lost non technical customers might be unaware they’re creating a gaping security hole by going about their daily activity.

An IDS on the internal side may be utilized to discover both intentional domestic intentions and corporate policy violations. They can discover the signature of the majority of PZP tools, improper Internet use, and instant messengers. This is in addition to the anticipated intrusion monitoring capacity. These capabilities make an IDS an extremely strong security application.  You can even make sure that you keep updating the system to spot known threats more easily.  For instance if you detect a large number of attacks coming from a specific country – say Germany then configure alerts when connections are attempted from a German IP address or proxy.

The line between external and internal is increasingly obscured by corporate partner- ships as well as extranets that enable them. An attacker can jump through one part of the extranet to another, which makes the origin of an attack difficult to differentiate. As increasingly more internal security breaches are discovered, organizations will seek to enhance internal security in the future.

Orchestrating an Attack This section serves as a concise introduction to the kinds of suspicious traffic that you may encounter when using Snort. It’s by no means an effort to be all inclusive or detailed. There are many resources, both in print and on-line related to suspicious traffic analysis. In case you’ve however to develop an intensive signature analysis expertise, this section Will assist you concerning know the various genres of assault and also their associated intent. A number of phases in orchestrating an assault are generic enough that they employ to many network based attacks. If hackers are randomly looking for systems or targeting a specic firm. They follow the tried and true methodology.

Anatomy of a Denial of Service Attack

Following the first planning and reconnaissance legwork is complete, the upcoming logical step is to make use of accumulated info and assault the network. The traffic generated by strikes may take numerous different forms. Everything from the remote exploitation code into questionable normal traffic may signify an attempted assault which needs action. Denial of Service A Denial of Service assault is any attack that disrupts the use of a system in order that legitimate users can no longer access it. DoS attacks are possible on most network equipment, including routers, servers, firewalls, remote access machines, and almost every other network source.  A DOS attack may be specific to the service, like in a FTP assault, or even an entire machine.   Many times the attacks are against commercial targets or to access useful resources.  Many attacks are simply to enable installation of rogue services such as VPNs or FTP which are then used to either store data or to access resources like UK TV abroad like this.


The types of Denial of service attacks are indeed varied and operate on a wide range of targets. However they might be separated into two unique categories that relate to intrusion detection: source depletion and malicious packet strikes. Malicious packet DoS attacks work by sending abnormal visitors to the host to call the service or host to crash. Crafted packet DoS attacks happen when applications isn’t correctly coded to handle abnormal or irregular traffic. Frequently out, of spectrum traffic may cause applications to respond unexpectedly and crash. Attackers may utilize DoS attacks of crafted packages to bring down Intrusion Detection Systems too, even well developed ones like Snort. Additionally to out, of specific range traffic, malicious programs can contain payloads which create a system to crash. A packet payload is input to a service.

In any circumstance whether it’s an application or network enabled device if the input isn’t correctly checked, the application can be DoS’ed. The Microsoft FTP DOS attack demonstrates the broad selection of DoS attacks available to black hats from the wild. The initial step in the assault is to initiate a legitimate FTP link. The attacker then issues a command with a wildcard sequence. Inside the FTP Server, a function that processes wildcard sequences in FTP controls doesn’t allocate enough memory when performing pattern matching. It’s possible for the attackers command containing a wildcard order to cause the FTP service to crash. This particular attack like many including the Snort lCl/lP DoS, are just two samples of the countless thousands of potential Denial of service attacks which are possible and accessible for attackers.  The service can then be used to install malware or other code which are then used for other purposes.  As mentioned above they are often used as hosts for VPN services which are used to watch British TV overseas or other video streaming functions.

The other means to deny service is through source depletion. A source depletion DoS attack functions by flooding a service with so much regular traffic that legitimate users can’t access the service. An attacker inundating an agency with regular traffic may exhaust finite resources like bandwidth, memory, and processor cycles.A classic memory resource exhaustion attack which will bring down a device is  a SYN flood. A SYN flood takes advantage of the Transmission Control Protocol 3, way handshake. The handshake starts off with the customer sending a Transmission Control Protocol SYN pack- et. The host then sends the SYN ACK in response. The handshake is finished when the customer responds with an ACK.

In case the host doesn’t get returned by the ACK, the host sits idle and waits with a session available. Every open session consumes a certain quantity of memory. If enough three, manner handshakes are initiated, the host consumes all available memory waiting for ACKs. The traffic created from the SYN stream is normal in all other respects.

Securing Wireless Networks in Windows Server

Most companies now have some sort of wireless access implemented within their networks.  It’s easy to see why, adding a few wireless access points can be extremely useful and save expensive cabling costs.   You can add extra clients and locations to a network for literally a few pounds compared to drilling through walls, laying cables, digging up roads which can be involved in connecting traditional ethernet access for example.

Yet the security implications are often ignored, too often you can find well developed and secure networks compromised by ad-hoc wireless access points installed with little or no thought with regards to security.  Often companies simply buy off the shelf WAPs and add them to their network.  The reality is that every access point added  is an additional gateway into that network and it is essential that it conforms to the same level of security as any other device.

There are various methods to secure these points but the key is to keep to a consistent standard and ensure that these can be enforced.  One common method particularly in Windows environments is to use Group Policy Objects to enforce the wireless network settings on access points and the clients that authenticate to them.  For example you can use GPO’s to ensure that wireless network settings are configured correctly for EAP/TLS authentication which is used for most 802.1x authentication.

You should assign the GPO to computer accounts which are linked either to the domain or a specific OU configured for wireless access.  The latter is the better option as it restricts and controls access to the wireless network meaning only specifically allowed clients can use this access.   Within the group policy you can configure a specific wireless network policy by configuring settings such as the following:

  • Enforce 802.1 Authentication
  • Restrict Access to WAPs only, no ad-hoc connections allowed.
  • Ensure Windows clients can configure wireless network settings automatically
  • Provide preferred and allowed SSIDS (plus block other networks)
  • Enforce encryption – either WEP or WAP as a minimum (although stronger encryption should be used)
  • Define EAP authentication methods and levels
  • Enforce mutual authentication by validating certificates issued by RADIUS servers.

This list is a long way from being complete however it does illustrate some of the minimum configuration issues that should be covered for wireless access. Obviously requirements will vary depending on the network, applications used and the sort of access that is required from wireless connections. However most best practice guides for securing wireless access are fairly sensible. For example there is little reason for not implementing the strongest form of wireless encryption that is available. Encryption adds very little overhead and it is unlikely that there would be any issues with running remote applications or client access across them.

Even running additional layers such as a secured VPN can operate over an encrypted wireless connection. However remember that these can affect external access, even sites like the BBC block some VPN access (read article) in order to enforce their region locks. Even still external access and applications should not be allowed to control or dictate levels of security of your clients and internal networks. Further more through group policy you can enforce minimum levels of authentication, deploy certificates and even define more specific wireless settings. Any clients accessing the network through a Wifi access point would have these settings applied in order to access network resources.

Further Reading:
BBC Deutschland – A Quick Guide

Loki – How ICMP Really Can be Dangerous

Overall ICMP has been viewed as quite a harmless and perhaps even trivial protocol. However that all changed with the rather nasty Loki.  In case you didn’t know Loki is from Norse mythology and he was the god of trickery and mischief.  The Loki exploit is well named and seeks to exploit the hither to benign ICMP protocol.  ICMP is intended mainly to inform users of error conditions and to make very simple requests.  It’s one of the reasons intrusion analysts and malware students tended to ignore the protocol.  Of course it could be used in rather obvious denial of service attacks but they were easily tracked and blocked.

However Loki changed that situation as it used ICMP as a tunneling protocol as a covert channel. The definition of a covert channel in these circumstances is a transport method used in either a secret or unexpected way. The transport vehicle is ICMP but Loki acts much more like a client/server application.  Any compromised host that gets a Loki server instance installed can respond to traffic and requests from a Loki client.   Which would also work if the client was spoofing their IP address to watch something like Netflix for instance – see this.  So for instance a Loki server could respond to a request to display the password file to screen or file. That could then be possibly captured and cracked by the owener of the Loki client application.

Many intrusion detection analysts would have simply ignored ICMP traffic passing through their logs.  Mainly because it’s such a common protocol but also an such an innocuous one.  Of course well read analysts will know treat such traffic with heightened suspicion, Loki really has changed the game for protocols like ICMP.

For those of us who spend many hours watching traffic Loki was a real eye opener.  You had to check those logs a little more carefully especially to watch out for those strange protocols being used in a different context.  There’s some more information on these attacks hidden on this technology blog – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/using-a-proxy-to-watch-the-bbc/.  It can take some finding though !!

 

Filtering Authentication Credentials

When you use a proxy or VPN server there is a very important security consideration that you should be aware of that is sometimes overlooked.  Any connection should be very careful about how it handles any authentication credentials that are sent using that connection.  For example if you are using a proxy for all your web browsing, you will need to trust that server handling any user names and passwords that you supply to those websites.  Remember the proxy will forward all traffic to the origin server including those user credentials.

The other consideration is specific proxy server authentication credentials which also may be transmitted or passed on especially if the servers are chained.  It is common for proxy credentials to be forwarded as it’s reduces the need to authenticate multiple times against different servers.   In these situations the last proxy server in the chain should filter out the Proxy-Authorization: header if it is present.

One of the dangers is that a malicious server could intercept or capture these authentication credentials especially if they’re being passed in an insecure manner.    Any proxy involved in the route has the potential for intercepting usernames and passwords.  Many people forget this when using random free proxies they find online, they are implicitly trusting these servers and the unknown administrators with any personal details leaked whilst using these connections.  When you consider that often these free servers are merely misconfigured or ‘hacked’ servers it makes using them even more risky.

It is actually a difficult situation particularly with regards to proxies about how to deal with authentication details.  The situation with VPNs are slightly more straightforward, the details are protected during the majority of the transmission because most VPNs are encrypted.  However that last step to the target server will rely on any in built in security to the connection, although this can be effected as in this article – BBC block VPN connection.

Any server can filter out and protect authentication credentials but obviously those intended for the target can’t be removed.  It is a real risk and does highlight one of the important security considerations of using any intermediate server such as a proxy.    It is important that these servers are in themselves secure and do not introduce additional security risks into the connection.  Sending credentials particularly over a normal HTTP session are already potentially insecure without a badly configured or administered proxy server as well.

Most websites which accept usernames now at least use something like SSL to protect credentials.  However although VPN sessions will transport these connections effectively many proxies are unable to support the tunneling of SSL connections properly.  Man in the middle attacks are also common against these sort of protections and using a poorly configured proxy makes this much easier than a direct connection.  Ultimately there are several points where web security and protecting the data is a concern, it’s best to ensure that a VPN or proxy doesn’t introduce additional security risks into the connection though.

Additional Reading on UK VPN Trial

 

 

Content Filtering and Proxies

Proxy servers are as explained on this site, one of the most important components of a modern network infrastructure.  No corporate network should allow ordinary desktop PCs or laptops to directly access the internet without some sort of protection.  Proxy servers provide that protection to a certain extent as long as their use is enforced.

Most users, especially technically minded ones will often resent using proxies because they will be aware of the control that this entails.   The simplest way is to ensure that configuration files are delivered automatically to the desktop by network servers.  For example in a Windows environment this can be achieved using the active directory which can ensure desktops and users receive specific internet configuration files.  For example, you can configure Internet Explorer using a specific configuration which is delivered to every desktop on login.  In addition you can also use Active Directory to block access to install other browsers and configure them.

However although this allows you to control what browser and the internet route that each user will take – it doesn’t restrict what that user can do online.  Another layer is required and most companies will employ some sort of content filtering in order to protect their environment.    However as far as your proxy server is concerned content filtering will almost obviously have a major impact on performance.

One of the most common forms is that of URL filtering and this has one of the biggest performance impacts.  This is largely due to the fact that this sort of filtering inevitably has many types of patterns to match against.   Content filtering will severely impact the performance of a proxy server because of the sheer volume of data that is involved.  Even running a nominal content filter against a UK VPN trial had a similar effect.

There are a variety of different types of filtering such as HTML tag filtering, virus screening or URL screening.   It can be difficult though and the technology is developing all the time, for instance the ability to screen things like Java or ActiveX objects.

One of the biggest problems with content filtering and maintaining performance on the proxies is the fact that entire objects need to be processed.  A proxy server will need to buffer the entire file, and therefore can only proceed with the transmission after the whole file has been checked.   From the user perspective this can be frustrating as there will be long pauses and delays in their browsing especially on busy networks.   Obviously this delay can be justified in the extent of screening for viruses, however this can be controversial for other screening issues.

Further Reference: Using a Paid VPN Service

TCP Configuration: Timestamp Option

The function of the timestamp option is fairly self explanatory, it simply lets the sender place a timestamp value in each and every segment.   In turn the receiver will also reflect this value in it’s acknowledgement which allows the sender to calculate a round trip time for every received ACK.    Remember this is indeed per ACK and not segment as this can include multiple segments.

Initially most implementations of TCP would only allow one RTT per window however this has changed and nowadays larger windows sizes need more accurate RTT calculations.   You can read about the definitions of these calculations in RFC 1323 which covers the TCP enhanced extensions that allow these improved RTT calculations. The time is estimated by sampling a data signal at a lower frequency one time per window which works well with smaller windows (and less segments).

Accurate measurement of data transmission is often very difficult in congested and busy networks also when troubleshooting across networks like the internet.  It’s difficult to  isolate issues and solve problems in these sort of environments because you have no control or access to the majority of the transport hardware.  For example if you are tryign to fix a Netflix VPN problem remotely being able to check the RTT is essential to analyse where the problems potentially lie.

The sender will place a 32 bit value in the initial field which will be echoed back by the receiver in the reply field. This will increase the size of the TCP header from 20 bytes to 32 bytes when this option is used. The timestamp value will increase value on each transaction. There is no clock synchronization between the sender and the receiver merely an increase in the value of the timestamp unit. Most implementations of the timestamp option recommend that the value increment in units of one ideally between 1 millisecond and 1 second.

This option is configured during the connection establishment and is handled the same way as the windows scale option in the previous section. As you may know the receiving connection does not have to acknowledge every data segment it receives. This however is simplified because only a single timestamp value is maintained per active connection which is updated according to simple algorithm.

First of all TCP monitors the timestamp value ensuring it has the correct value to send in the next ACK. The sequence number is updated after each ACK value is sent and not as it’s acknowledged. After a new segment arrives then the byte numbered in a variable called lastack is incremented. After a new segment arrives then this value is increased but the old value stored in a variable called tsrecent, When a timestamp option is sent the tsrecent value is sent, and the sequence number field is stored in the variable called lastack.

This means that in addition to the timestamp option allowing for better RTT calculation it also performs another function. The receiver can use the function to avoid receiving old duplicate segments using an addition feature called PAWS – Protection against Wrapped Sequence Numbers.

Further Reading on Commercial Proxy Options – http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/2017/05/buy-uk-proxy-ip-address.html