Proxy Leeching Guide '05

Discussion in 'Proxies' started by ricaum, May 24, 2009.

  1. ricaum

    ricaum Registered Member

    Aug 7, 2008
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    'Proxy Guide.

    Guide to finding, testing and using anonymous proxies for web surfing.

    Section 1: Introduction

    This guide is meant for those people who want to find anonymous proxies to use while surfing the web. I wrote this guide very quickly for a friend but decided to put it online anyway.

    The following issues will be discussed in detail:

    - Finding anonymous proxy servers on the web;

    - Checking these proxies for anonymity and speed, and

    - Use the best proxies for anonymous surfing.

    Note: The software used is all freeware but for the Windows platform only. I do not know of any equivalent software for Linux or Mac. Secondly, the guide is geared for people with DSL or Cable connections. I will add some comments for dial-up users at the end.

    Section 2: A good proxy server.

    The first question one has to ask oneself is the following: What is a good, anonymous proxy? The answer is composed of three things, in order of importance according to my personal criteria:

    - The anonymous proxy has a fixed IP;

    - The anonymous proxy has a fast response time;

    - The anonymous proxy has a high throughput; and

    - The anonymous proxy does not filter out any content.

    From criteria 1 and 3 we can see that any proxies on a residential ADSL or Cable broadband internet connection are ruled out. Criterion 4 takes care of proxies residing on the campuses of Universities and schools (save a few exceptions). Last, from criteria 1, 2 and 3 we are limited to corporate proxies. With this in mind, we are ready to start hunting for good proxies.

    Section 3: Proxy hunting.

    I will now describe how to obtain a large list of proxies that we can check for anonymity and speed in the next sections. For the hunting, we need a program called APL, short for Automated Proxy Leecher. Please download it here:

    There are several settings we have to tweak. First thing to do is to decrease the slider on the main screen to 2 or 3. Trust me on this. Anything higher is bound to lock up your computer and internet connection. Now press the hammer icon. A new screen should show up. Next to ?Autoload sites? untick the box (though you may tick so if you wish). Tick both boxes that say ?Try special leeching method?. Also untick the box next to ?Delete file on close?.

    The next step is to load a file that has a list of sites with proxies on it. I have compiled such a list. Please find it here. Save this list to a .txt file on your harddisk with notepad. On the main screen of APL, right-click on the space below ?Sites? and select ?Load sites from file?. Open the file you just created containing the list and click ?OK?. Now click the ?Start? icon. APL will contact the pages in the list and download the proxies. If everything goes as it should, you should have something like 5000 proxies in the list under ?Proxy?. Wait for the program to finish. It may appear to not respond for awhile but this is only due to the program removing duplicate servers from the list. Please be patient. When it is done, it will say ?Removed x duplicates? on the bottom of the screen.

    We now have two options. The first option is to take the current list of proxies and check them to see if they are active and if so, if they are anonymous. The second option is to search Google for more proxies.

    If you choose the first option then please ignore the next section. Otherwise read on below.

    We can now search Google for more proxies. This is done as follows: select an IP from the list below, under 'Proxies' and click the ?Google? button. Depending on your earlier selection of the slider on top of the screen, 2 or 3 (or more) bots will independently query Google for the IP address you selected below. Once you find you have enough proxies, hit Abort and wait for the program to finish.

    Once you have a list of proxies you deem satisfactory, close the program.

    Section 4: Checking the proxies for anonymity.

    For checking the proxies we need a program called Charon, which can be found here:

    Also download a list of active proxy judges here. Paste them into notepad, save it as 'judges.ini' and place it in the same folder as the Charon executable. Once you open Charon, go to ?General Options? and tick all three boxes. Next, go to ?Judge Options?, right-click and select ?Test Judges?. Select the fastest one, right-click and select ?Set Judge as Active proxy Judge in Scanner?. Click on ?Scan Options?. Set threads to something between 10 and 25. Set timeout from 5-10 seconds. Tick ?Check proxies for HTTP?. Also tick the boxes ?Resolve proxies to hostames? and ?Check SSL?. If you want to check for SOCKS, select that too. Close the window. On the main screen, right-click, select ?Load Proxies? and then ?Import from file?. Now search for the file ?Proxies.txt? in the folder where APL is located. Once the proxies are imported, select ?Check proxies? and then ?Check anonymity of Marked Proxies?. Charon will now go through the whole list of proxies. Be patient. This is going to take a few hours.

    Once the testing is done, right-click and select ?Delete? and then ?Delete all apart from Good, Anonymous proxies (and working socks)?. When this is done, we need to weed out all proxies on cable and DSL connections as well as those residing on university campuses. These are easily identified by having names with IPs in it (e.g., or the words adsl, dsl, client, customer, cust, host, c-, cable, CPM, pl1, pl2, planetlab and the suffix .edu. Please look here for a more detailed description. Delete all of these proxies as they are useless. When finished, press Ctrl-A to select all remaining proxies, right-click, select ?Copy to clipboard? and select ?Copy Selected IP:port?.

    Section 5: Checking for speed.

    Now that we have a list of anonymous proxies, we need to test them for speed. For this we need ProxyHunter, which we will also use for surfing anonymously. Get it here:

    Once ProxyHunter is running, paste the proxies from Charon into the main window. Next, go to the ?System? menu and select ?Change options?. Under ?Verification? set the ?Connection timeout? to 5 seconds, the ?Verification timeout? to 30 seconds and the number of parallel sockets to 1-3 depending on your internet speed. A good rule of thumb is one socket for every 265kbps of speed, and preferably no more than 3 sockets in use. Next go to ?Verification data options?. In order to verify speed, we have to download a file through HTTP. Therefore, find a file online from a fast server and download it to your harddisk (a file of 600k-1Mb will do). I use a small patch for some software for this purpose. Rename this file to ?Testfile.bin? or whatever you wish to call it. Copy the URL of the file to the clipboard. In ProxyHunter, while still being in the options, Click ?Add?. Give this speed test any name you want. Paste the URL to the file in the URL section. Set ?Type? to ?Matching file?. Under ?Matching File? select the file you just downloaded. Set the verify size to 524288 bytes (512k) or whatever else you want. I recommend no less than 256kbytes and no more than 1 Mbyte. Click ?OK? and click ?Use?. Next, go to the ?Proxy Switch? option, select ?Enable Proxy Switch? and set the port to whatever you want. Also remember to update your firewall to allow these connections. Now click ?OK?.

    The proxies are ready to be tested. Now click ?Verify all? and let ProxyHunter do its job.

    Once it is done, click the ?Remove button? and tick all boxes but ?GOOD!?. You now have a list of working proxies. At this point, you can do two things.

    If you are going to be surfing for explicit content, the proxies have to be checked to determine whether they filter such content. In this case, please proceed to section 7. If, however, you will not surf for such content, read below.

    Ok, so you decided to not surf for explicit content. In that case, right-click, select all, right-click again and click ?Use it?. Now the proxies will be used in Proxy Switch while you are surfing, which will go through all of them one by one, a new one for each link. Once all proxies have been used at least once, it will then select the fastest proxies for surfing (though this is not always accurate).

    You should now be able to surf through fast, anonymous, and in some cases filtering proxies. Happy surfing!

    Section 7: Filtering out the filtering proxies.

    Right, so you are someone surfing for explicit content. In ProxyHunter, go to ?System?, then select ?Change Options? and go to ?Verification Data options?. Click ?Add? and give it a name you want. Select as type ?Key words?, for ?URL? paste the URL to an explicit site and use one of the words on the page as the keyword. It is better to use one word only and also not any words that appear in the title of the page.

    Click ?OK? and then select ?Use?. Click ?OK? again and verify the proxies once more. Filtering proxies usually show up as ?Not Matching?,?Undecidable? and ?Verification timeout?. Remove the bad ones, right-click, select all, right-click again and click ?Use it?. Now the proxies will be used in Proxy Switch which will go through all of them and then select a proxy at random.

    You should now be able to surf through fast, anonymous, non-filtering proxies. Happy surfing!

    Section 8: Tips and tricks for surfing with ProxySwitch enabled.

    Using ProxyHunter's ProxySwitch with a large number of proxies has several benefits. First of all, several proxies are used to access one webpage. This will really screw up a webhosts's logs because it appears as if several requests came from all over the world at once. This is useless for firms that track your online presence and use it for marketing research.

    However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, there are some web pages where one has to log in that do not work with multiple proxies. The forum software phpBB2 is one such application. Therefore, if you want to post on phpBB2-enabled forums using proxies, you must only use one proxy at a time for your entire session. In ProxyHunter you just right-click, then do 'Select all' and then 'DeUse it'. Next, select one proxy, right-click and then select 'Use it'. This will ensure you surf through only one proxy and thus allows you to post on phpBB2 forums. Once your session is over, select all proxies and then 'Use it', so that all proxies are back in use.

    Second, if you are someone who regularly visits a number of pages where using multiple proxies does not work, select a different proxy for each time you log in. This way it is much harder for the webmaster to know where you originate from so that you have some extra anonymity.

    Third, some proxies might suddenly stop working. Therefore, if a webpage is slow to load, check ProxySwitch first before you reload. Chances are that one proxy has died. This should be clear if there is no data transfer when you submit the request, or if you can send data to it but do not receive. In that case, remove the proxy and delete it from your list. Another proxy will automatically take over.

    Section 9: Dial-up users.

    Dial-up users are severly affected by the slow speed (max 5Kbyte/sec or so) and the long latency to a server (300ms to the nearest hop is not uncommon). Since in many places local calls are not free, these people cannot be online for a very long period of time to check a large number of proxy servers. My advice to them is to download APL, Charon and ProxyHunter, use only a few links from the sites.txt file needed for APL, so that they have about 100 proxies, load them in Charon, set a high timeout and check these proxies. Then paste them in ProxyHunter and verify them against a (filtering) webpage instead of checking their speed as described above, using the keywords method. These proxies can then be used for surfing, which might then be even slower than before.

    Good luck.

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