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What is a Proxy Server?

Proxy Server is a server that someone (maybe an ISP, maybe a friend) has setup so that when you go to connect to a website, instead of going directly to the site's server, it will take a detour and 1st go through the proxy server and then from the proxy server go to the website. Well, actually, the proxy server first downloads the data for you and then sends it over. So if someone else loads the website and is also going through the same network they will just get the website off of the Proxy Server. Whoever (most likely a System Admin, ISP, etc.) is managing this server will be in charge of setting up the time in which the proxy server refreshes the websites. Everytime a new page is visited, it is saved on the Proxy Server. Again, its up to the person in charge of the Proxy Server to choose how long the site stays on the server. If a user notices that a site is not updated and needs to be refreshed (such as a site that is supposed to be updated daily) all he or she has to do is hit the "refresh or reload" button on their browsers and it will update the page on the proxy server.

Why use a Proxy Server?

There are different reasons. Some ISP's (Internet Service Providers) like it because it cuts down on overall traffic for their network, and speeds up surfing for their users (since the Proxy is closer to them than the site's server, they get less "trip time", less lag or in other words, faster surfing). Users like it because it can help to make it harder to track their activities over the web. This is especially useful since Users can actually chain some proxies and actually go through 3 or more different proxy servers; however it will be hard to find 3 servers that will allow it for one thing. For Another, The speed of the connection will become noticeably slower, especially if we're dealing with servers on different continents. Another reason is if you connect to a larger proxy server, your speed will increase. Note: It's a good thing to find out who runs the proxy server you are connecting through. If its Microsoft don't bother, they'll probably log your every move. If it's anonymous or if it's one that says anyone in the public can use, then go for it. To find out this info you would usually have to check with the proxy server's admin's website.

What is a Wingate?

AN Official definition I've heard from a few people is:

"WinGate is a proxy server firewall software package that allows you to share a single (or multiple) Internet connections with an entire computer network. The Internet connection shared by WinGate can be of nearly any type, including dial up modem, ISDN, xDSL, cable modem, satellite connection, or even dedicated T1 circuits."

Wingate is similar to a proxy server. It connects different computer through port 23 onto a server, which is called a wingate. In fact, it's just a telnet connection. The Wingate will let anyone on the network access the Internet or connect through it to other sites. Due to poorly configured wingates and Administrator's incompetence, there's a lot of wingates that will let anyone on the Internet connect through them, instead of limiting access to people from the local network. Opening the way for anything from an IP spoof on ICQ or irc to full scale abuse. Such wingates are called "Open Wingates" and usually last from anywhere from a few days to maybe a few months until an Administrator either discovers it or gets complaints about some "mysterious" users doing something they shouldn't be. Most likely in that case it's someone connecting over the Internet.

The only benefit for administrators is the ability to put multiple users through the same connection. The problems with it clearly outweigh the benefits. If anyone is going to set up their own wingate, I'd suggest strongly that you know what you are doing and make sure that is configured securely so that only those that are meant to use it, are the ones using it. Another more secure WinGate-like software is SyGate.

>From previous experience working with Wingates both as a Network Administrator and a "remote" user I can tell you that the logs on most wingates are cleared usually every 48 hours. Most businesses and ISP's (especially the big ones) just don't have the need or the resources to log every single thing that happens on their wingate servers.

How do I find Wingates?

Good question. The best way is word of mouth. Failing that, the 2nd best way is to use a wingate scanner. You can scan whole subnets for wingates. A note: IP's in third world countries, the Middle East (except Israel), Africa, and on the @home network all have one thing in common: They all have wingates that are poorly configured and there are usually a few open wingates on their networks. Try scanning them 1st and foremost. Through Unix, the best way is: trial and error. telnet to the wingate through port 23, then leave the user name and password blank and if you get in, you've found one. You might also want to try username and/or password as: wingate. The best windows (32 bit) scanner I have used is: wGateScan v2.2

It is available on many different websites. I got it from this site, it has some other useful stuff on it too: http://www.hotmanscave.com/

To use it, all you have to do is to enter a range of IP address or a hostname. It will telnet to each host in the range through port 23 and will send a message saying "wingate" or something. If the host accepts this message then bingo ! You've found one and it keeps a list of all working open wingates, which you can save to a file or delete as needed.

Wingates with ICQ:

To Configure ICQ to work with WinGate:
Go to WinGate Setup Screen and click on the Proxies Tab
Press ADD
Select Type of Proxy: 'Mapped Link'
Press Create
Under the Settings Group check 'Enable Connections To Proxy On Port.' Put the number 3333 in this window.
Set The Socket Type to: 'UDP'
Make sure that 'Destroy Inactive Sessions after XXX seconds' is NOT Checked.
Make sure that 'Enable Default Remote Host' is Checked and set to: icq.mirabilis.com Port: 4000
For each remote machine:
Press Add.
In 'Connect Client IP' enter the IP of the remote machine
In 'To Host' enter icq.mirabilis.com
In 'Port' enter 4000
Press OK
Now press DONE.
You will now be at the main WinGate setup screen.
Make sure that there is a SOCKS4 Proxy Enabled on Port 1080
Press SAVE
Check it out at your remote machine
Remote Machine Configuration
If you still did not pass the ICQ Registration Wizard:
At the Registration Wizard under Connection Type register as a LAN User.
Choose 'I am behind a firewall or proxy.'
Click Next for the next dialog.
Choose either Socks4 or socks 5 server depending on the compatibility of the proxy server
Do NOT mark the firewall sessions time out
click Next for the next dialog.
Enter the servers' IP address using socks port 1080.
Click Next for the next to see if you have succeeded to register.
If you fail to register, you will receive the a dialog telling you so.
Try one or more of the following:
Click Retry to try again using the same settings.
Hit the Back button to change the firewall settings.
Click Cancel to abort. Reconfigure your firewall settings and try again by running ICQ.exe.
Additional Remote Machines:

For any additional Remote Machines on your network, Do exactly the same procedure as specified in Remote Machine. Use EXACTLY the same numbers and setup. You only have to look up the IP address of the Host one time on any one of the remote machines in its HOSTS file.

Wingates with IRC:

To configure your IRC client to use a Wingate, simply tell it that you're behind a SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 (again, depending on the Wingate. Try both and see which one of them work) and enter the Wingate's IP. If you are asked for a username and a password, leave these fields blank. Since there are so many IRC clients out there, I won't explain further and let you explore your own client by yourself.

What is a Socks Host?

Socks host is pretty much almost the same thing as wingate except it connects through port 1080. In your settings for proxy server in your internet browser (explorer or Netscape) you should notice a setting for socks host. You can enter a socks host. If you have ever used mIRC for IRC, you'll notice a setting for firewall. In that setting leave the username and password blank, leave the port as 1080 and enter a wingate address in the Hostname, then click Use Socks firewall, and try either protocol: Socks4 or Socks5 (whichever works for you). Reconnect and you should notice that your IP address and identify will appear on IRC as if you are connecting through the same IP address as the socks host. Not all wingates will work as a socks host. Remember it has to be able to let you connect through port 1080 or else its no use in irc. Newer IRC daemons can however detect wingate/socks host connections. With the web, it's not useful. It may or may not hide your IP address depending the type of websites you are connecting to. For web anonymity stick to multiple Proxy servers.

Bottom Line:

Socks/Wingates and Proxies can hide your identity or make it harder to detect and log on the Internet, and it may even be legal to do so in 90% of cases but try not to over do it by thinking that "I'll never get caught" by going through multiple proxy servers, wingates, or socks hosts. Remember anyone can be traced back to their original IP address and their ISP. All it takes is a little co-operation with different Proxy server administrators, ISP's and a few law enforcement agencies working together.

That's it for the Socks Host / Proxy Server and Wingate Tutorial. Questions or Comments should be forwarded to [email protected]




For more info on Proxies and a big list of Proxy servers, wingates, telnet, ftp, and socks hosts try: http://proxys4all.cgi.net/

-note: not all are tested and some might have been shutdown by their administrators. Also the lists are not updated as often as most people would like.
Another Wingate proxy tutorial: http://www.wingate.net/
ICQ with wingate: http://www.visions.demon.nl/wingate/