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Proxies - A Quick Review Print E-mail
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Posted by Ryan Berens   
Security Tips (Just in case you forgot)

The dictionary defines "proxy" as "the authority or power to act on behalf of another". This pretty well describes software proxies as well. It is an intermediary in the connection path. As an example, if we were using a web proxy like "squid" (http://www.squid-cache.org/), every time we browse to a web site, we would actually be connecting to our locally running squid server. Squid in turn, would relay our request to the ultimate, real destination. And then squid would relay the web pages back to us. It is a go-between. Like "firewalls", a "proxy" can refer to either a specific application, or a dedicated server which runs a proxy application.

Proxies can perform various duties, not all of which have much to do with security. But the fact that they are an intermediary, makes them a good place to enforce access control policies, limit direct connections through a firewall, and control how the network behind the proxy looks to the Internet. So this makes them strong candidates to be part of an overall firewall strategy. And, in fact, are sometimes used instead of packet filtering firewalls. Proxy based firewalls probably make more sense where many users are behind the same firewall. And it probably is not high on the list of components necessary for home based systems.

Configuring and administering proxies can be complex, and is beyond the scope of this document. The Firewall and Proxy Server HOWTO has examples of setting up proxy firewalls here -
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Firewall-HOWTO.html

Squid usage is discussed at
http://squid-docs.sourceforge.net/latest/html/book1.htm

Comments
proxiesWritten by jarcovius springs on 2009-05-28 12:01:59
i need a proxie that workz

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