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Bypass firewall restrictions via an HTTPS proxy
Authored by: stephanos on Aug 22, '05 02:52:11AM

Bill, thanks for the praise, but it's not really that simple. My management and admins are not idiots. They know I'm doing this, and they don't mind. In fact they told us beforehand when the policy was instated that if we found a hole, we could use it. So I just did.

I'm a software engineer. I'm the only one in my company that uses a Mac. I had to beg and plead before they got me one (yup, they paid for a brand spanking new top-of-the-line PowerBook plus a gig of RAM, and I get to take it home, as well as buy it off them at a very reasonable price if I ever leave. So yeah, I'm appreciated :-)), and I had to promise that if I ran into any serious incompatibilities it was my job, not theirs, to fix them - so far, I haven't, though I do cheat by using Terminal Services to connect to a couple of Win2K server machines once in a while for some odd IE testing. I do J2EE/Oracle development in Eclipse, so I saw no need for me to suffer Windows.

The point is, not everyone here is a software engineer or has these kinds of skills. People ran old versions of MSN Messenger or ICQ that are wide open to bugs. They ran P2P software. They ran all kinds of dodgy stuff on Windows systems. The firewall and proxy is there to protect these guys. If I can get around it it's no big deal, because they know I'm the least likely person to get a worm or a virus. If I made enough of a fuss they might even open up the ports for me anyway.

Security is a relative thing, anyway. You could have all the latest patches, AV data files etc. and still be hit by the first wave of a new worm. I know how to deal with this stuff, before and after infection.

Of course, I work at a small company, and in a larger organization I can see the need for strict enforcement of rules. But the firewall and proxy are there for a simple reason, to protect our layperson Windows users from the onslaught of malware and I don't really do anything to undermine this, so everyone's happy. The only annoyance is I have to select an item from the script menu in the mornings when I come in and hook up my PowerBook, and once more again before I leave in the evenings. I can live with that, and I don't think the policy is stupid.

I think most right-thinking IT admins and managers would agree with this, and even with this hint as posted, you'd have to be at least an intermediate computer user to get it to work, and a Mac user, so it's extremely unlikely you'll catch any malware because of it. If someone got into trouble anyway, then yes, I think they're working with some short-sighted people. That's their decision to make.

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