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04 Sep 2008 Secure browsing with Firefox and SOCKS v5

This post describes how you can setup secure web browsing using Firefox3 and by setting up a SSH tunnel from your PC/host to a remote PC/host. Your PC will then act as a local SOCKS proxy and all applications that supports SOCKS5 interface to this port. This is a handy solution if you are on a untrusted net like a wireless connection. The solution can also be used in Thunderbird if you would like.
Note
It is important to note that it’s only the connection between your host and the remote host that is secure. It is also important to note that Firefox will do DNS queries to the untrusted netwoork. This can be fixed by opening the about:config page and change network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to true.

Start a SSH connection to a host that you want to proxy through. Use the -D option to specify a SOCKS5 port on your localhost. The port doesn’t really matter. Just make sure you use the same port in your SOCKS client application.

# ssh -D 3333 username@example.com

In Firefox select “Tools | Options… | Advanced | Network |Settings… button”.

Then select “Manual proxy configuration”. All you need to fill out is “SOCKS Host: Localhost”, “Port: 3333”, then select “SOCKS v5”.

Type in “localhost” in the SOCKS host field and press the OK button.

You are now ready to surf using Firefox3 and SOCKS5 througt a SSH tunnel.

Configure a secure tunnel using Putty

You can also use Putty if you are a Windows user. The configuration is then as follows:

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13 Feb 2008 My custom putty settings

This is a quick note of my custom putty settings in Windows

Putty configuration

Category: Session
Connection type: SSH

Category: Window
Lines of scrollback: 20000

Category: Window > Appearance
Font: Lucida Console, 9-point
Font quality: ClearType
Gap between text and window edge: 3

Category: Window > Translation
Character set: UTF-8
Handling of line drawing characters: Unicode

Category: Window > Selection
Action of mouse buttons: xterm
Paste to clipboard in RTF as well as plain text: enabled

Category: Window > Colours
ANSI Blue: Red:74 Green:74 Blue:255
ANSI Blue Bold: Red:140: Green:140 Blue:255

Category: Connection
Seconds between keepalives (0 to turn off): 30

Category: Connection > SSH > X11
Enable X11 forwarding: enabled

X11 forwarding is enabled to to let me access remote X applications in Windows using Xming.

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17 Oct 2007 Switch off annoying bell/beep in xterm

My colleagues don’t like all the bell/beep sounds I make when I’m working in a xterm through my putty ssh client.

To please them I’ve added this line to /etc/inputrc to disable bell on tab-completion.

set bell-style none

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