With proxy hacking, the hacker tries to steal hits from a webpage by looking through the search engine’s index as well as the search results pages. The hacker would need to have a fraudulent site that is like the original one that they are attacking or have a site that they want to put into place of the website that the user is trying to find that is going through the proxy server.
How Does it Work?
The troublemaking hacker will make a copy of the website that they are wanting to hack into on a proxy server. They use keyword stuffing as well as linking to the copied page from external sties to make their website’s rankings increase without actually having to the do the work. The result is that the actual website’s rankings will drop and could even be seen as “duplicate content” which is automatically filtered out of Google results. That will make the website drop even further.
Why Do They Do it?
How Do I Know if I am a Victim?
If you are worried that you could have been the victim to a hacker’s proxy server attack, you can test it out. All you need to do is search for a phrase that would lead someone to your specific website. Your website should be high up in the search results, but if there is another page that has all of the same content that yours does, it could be a proxy website that is stealing your content, clients, and your website search engine ranking.
How Can I Be Protected?
I’m not going to lie. Hackers are crafty and they are getting smarter by the day. Oftentimes they are further ahead in technology than we are. So it can be a big challenge to outrun them, especially if you have a particularly interesting or vulnerable site. But remember that even the biggest banks and companies are subject to being hacked once in a while, where the pirates break through to steal funds and other account information. And those types of companies are typically up-to-date on security and still cannot totally keep out all of the potential hackers out there using proxies to do their dirty work.
The best defense is to keep on top of the latest security software and updates. Your administrators or tech support people should use load balancing and enforce secure authentication to ensure that the people coming onto the network are not stealing the content. Be sure to block unsolicited traffic as well as open proxies.
Remember: Everything that you put online runs the potential of being hacked into. Supply as little information as possible to outsiders and make sure that all of the websites that you are using are secure. If you are using a public computer, do not log into any secure accounts, including your bank and even your email, because you are just opening yourself up to having a proxy server grab your information.
You may be familiar with the term “proxy” in terms of someone acting in your place. The term is usually used when you are using someone to do something for you. Like you registered to vote by proxy, so someone else registered you officially in your place. But what does the term mean when it is talking about computers?
In technology, “proxy” is used usually in terms of servers. A proxy server is, by definition, “a dedicated computer or a software system running on a computer that acts as an intermediary between an endpoint device, such as a computer, and another server from which a user or client is requesting a service. The proxy server may exist in the same machine as a firewall server or it may be on a separate server, which forwards requests through the firewall.” What in the world does that actually mean?
In layman’s terms, or at least in non-techy person terms, it means that it is a server that gets a request of some kind, usually for loading a website. When it gets the request, it will look through its cache of saved pages and try to shoot it back to the computer requesting it as quickly as possible. If the proxy server doesn’t have the webpage saved in a cache, then it goes to the site using its own IP address, not yours, to get the info and send it back to you.
Why Do They Exist?
Proxy servers were created for safety reasons, but they are used for both legal and illegal practices. In the legal sense, they are used to help keep information secure and keep your computer secure. If you are using your computer for personal reasons, they will keep anonymous surfing possible and increase personal privacy.
Yet, the proxy servers that can enhance safety can also be used against the users. Since the proxy server is invisible all of the requests will look like they came from the source you were looking for. So you could be monitored by a proxy server without ever knowing that you were.
Proxy servers can also be used to block things from coming to your computer. Like putting on a child safety filter, so explicit, graphic, or illegal websites would not be able to come through to you. They can also block websites that violate freedom of speech or ones that disclose government activity and behavior. So really, they have a lot of different purposes.
Types of Proxies
- Transparent Proxies: These are usually in place in corporate networks. They make the network traffic go a lot faster because the proxy server keeps the information in an easy accessible cache. And they maintain a firewall so that other computers cannot get into the network.
- Anonymous Proxies: These proxies will hide the IP address of the person using them toe get them information that is blocked by a firewall or other security. They will increase protection from hacking.
- Highly Anonymous Proxies: These proxies will make themselves appear to not even be used by clients and present a public IP address that hides the proxy. So they are hiding both the IP address of the person using them as well as allow people to get into sites that block proxy servers.
- Domain Name Service (DNS) Proxies: They will forward DNS requests from LANs to Internet DNS servers and cache information to increase their own speed.
- Socks 4 and 5 Proxies: They provide proxy services for DNS lookup in web traffic and can offer Sock protocols.
If you have been blocked by websites for one reason or another you may be frustrated by the information that you cannot actually see.
Common reasons that websites are blocked on certain networks include:
- You are in a country that has restricted internet access
- You are on a work network and they want to keep you on task
- You are using a school computer that tries to keep students from seeing things
- You are using a public computer (like at a library) that has restrictions on the kind of websites you can go on
- To protect copyrighted material from being infringed upon
But Why Go Around the Restrictions?
Of course the restrictions are put in place with good intentions. Naturally we should be protected copyrighted information if the author needs it protected. Not everything is public domain, despite what internet pirates think. At work, they want to protect themselves from viruses while ensuring that their employees are staying on task. At schools, they need to ensure students are not looking at explicit material. And in some countries, there are morality codes of conduct that determine what you should be looking at. This works for a lot of people. Yet with the restrictions, information is also restricted. Students trying to do research online may find themselves locked out. Countries dictating what is moral and immoral are violating standard human rights. And sometimes, you just should not be blocked from information.
Information should not be restricted. Knowledge is power and taking about the people’s ability to have knowledge, is blocking them from expanding what they know or seeing the world in its entirety. On one hand, you perhaps could understand why Japan blocked most pornographic websites because it is against their culture. But then you look at how the Indian High Court blocked more than 400 websites due to a complaint by Sony who was streaming the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
How Do You Do It?
In order to bypass blocking, there are a few tricks that you can do to get around.
Changing the DNS: The DNS server has all of the information on websites around the world. When a country is trying to block websites from working in their countries, they block the site on the DNS server so people in that country cannot move forward.
In order to go around that on a Windows computer, go to the computer’s Control Panel and to the Network and Sharing Center. There is an option there to change the adapter setting. Right click on the internet connection that you are using (like Airtel, BSNL, MTNL, etc) and click Properties. Then click on the TCP or IP and go to Properties. Then click on the radio button and enter 188.8.131.52 as the Preferred DNS Server and 184.108.40.206 as the Alternate DNS Server. Now you are using Google’s DNS and not your country’s.
On an iPhone it is much easier. Just go to the wifi settings and change the two values to the same Google DNS address. Android users will need to go to their wifi settings, click on the network you are attached to, then modify the network. Tap DHCP then Static IP and scroll until you see the modify DNS 1 and DNS 2 and change it to the Google DNS.
Rewrite the URL:This one is pretty simple. You go to the address bar on your browsers, and there it says “http” change it to “https.” You should get an unverified SSL notice. Then you just click “proceed anyway” or “add exception certificate” or whatever the proceeding button says. Then you make it through the block to the site itself because it went through a different proxy server instead of the local DNS proxy that was blocking it.