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Old 05-09-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
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Default Content Filter?

[Sorry if this is in the wrong section, I thought this was the most appropriate]

Hi,

About a few days ago, my system administrator used my computer to repair a non-related hardware issue.

I began to notice though that my internet access to certain sites was disabled. I tested a bunch of sites and confirmed that only those sites with certain keywords in their url were disabled. For example, some keywords that I have found were "torrent", "gaming", "porn", "wow", "illegal", "p2p", among many others.

The exact message I would get was "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" (when using IE) while Chrome simply wouldn't even show the page loading.

I also checked Parental Controls and nothing was changed in that regard.

Is it possible that the administrator instituted a content filter through the router firewall?

Note that this is a multi-patron dwelling I'm living at (this is not a business) with shared internet.

I'd normally confront the administrator directly but he will not be available for a week or so.

Also note that when I try another internet connection (our neighbor's internet sometimes becomes available), I have absolutely no problem with accessing any content).

Thanks
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Content Filter?

Yup he must have something like Dansguardian or Untangle running... or maybe even filtered out through a netgear router. I would imagine this is the case at a place such as the one you're staying at as people living there can hammer the bandwidth and even gain access to other peoples pc on the network if proper security is not in place. He's probably running a proxy as well in order to protect peoples privacy on the internet and to filter out any drive by downloading and bullsh*t ads that one normally encounters when on the internet.

Quote:
Also note that when I try another internet connection (our neighbor's internet sometimes becomes available), I have absolutely no problem with accessing any content).
This pretty much seals the deal that ur admin is running a content filter.... you might be able to get around it using a proxy website to surf with... maybe even try ShieldExchange and connect to it before you surf the web. This will probably solve your problem.

EDIT: Also, was the error message that you listed the only error message you got or was their something else on the webpage that was displayed like a name for instance..
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Content Filter?

You can also try and changing your DNS on your PC to 8.8.8.8 secondary 4.2.2.2. If that doesn't help you can use TOR. TOR works so well it can get around the great firewall of china. (Just to be clear I agree with it being a content filter.)
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Content Filter?

DNS again? Really? The DNS would be manually set for an individual adapter, therefore affecting any connection to a network, and thus would mean he would have encountered the same issue on both networks.

I agree with DaMon that it sounds more like a content filter, however it is strange that a custom page hasn't been setup for blocked content, unless this was the admin's intention - to not showcase the fact he has installed a content filter?!?
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Content Filter?

If he sets his DNS manually it will prevent the content filter from restricting him, if that is how it functions. (That's how the one where I used to work operated.) When a computer does a DHCP request it is asking a DHCP server (often it is the home router) for his IP address and DNS among other things. By default on windows a network adapter will attempt a DHCP request when it detects it is plugged in and that is how the computer learns the proper settings. These settings can be manually set to avoid a dns style content filter.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Content Filter?

Quote:
I agree with DaMon that it sounds more like a content filter, however it is strange that a custom page hasn't been setup for blocked content, unless this was the admin's intention - to not showcase the fact he has installed a content filter?!?
I don't think BrokenAtari is disagreeing...
Quote:
(Just to be clear I agree with it being a content filter.)
Regarding the custom page being setup, i know with dansguardian by default it will set the reporting level to 3 which is to show custom page html but if u sont have one specified then it will either show a blank page or do nothing or say page cannot be found. BrokenAtari is completely correct in what he is saying in terms of changing dns settings and I would give that a bash first if I was you before trying the TOR or ShieldExchange route...

@BrokenAtari - Are you currently using TOR? cos i've had some trouble with it in the past in terms of viewing secure pages etc but maybe I didnt play around enough with it. By the way nice Cisco specs you've got there, do u know the exam numbers for those? I'm busy doing CCENT and then CCNA and I'd like to check those out.

But yeah I think this thread know has enough info for anyone wanting to get around a content filter, BrokenAtari it was nice working with you bud :P

EDIT: Cant find any info on your certifications, is it part of ICND 1 and 2? Excuse my ignorance
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Content Filter?

There the titles on my certificates. It is basically parts of the CCNA Certification. I just broke it down.

I seldom use TOR. Never had a problem with secure content only if my IP changed while i was in the session.
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