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Why do people host free proxies?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by PickleYeast, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. PickleYeast

    PickleYeast Registered Member

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    I know this is extreme newbie question even though I'm not all that new to SEO or proxies, but why are there "hundreds of thousands" of free proxies out there? What is the benefit to the host? Or are these all/mostly installed by viruses and the owner is unaware?

    I've looked for the answer to this but never can find one -- everything about proxies is how to find them or how to configure them.... but no one explains why they are hosted.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mynameisfrankenstein

    mynameisfrankenstein Regular Member

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    1) Moral stance that anonymity is good and wanting to contribute. Same with TOR nodes.
    2) Wanting to datamine from the users, maybe steal accounts. Same with TOR nodes.
    3) It's a simple product you can offer and make money from ads.
     
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  3. PickleYeast

    PickleYeast Registered Member

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    Thank you, sir!
     
  4. Sam Green

    Sam Green Junior Member

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    likely the operator is data mining everything going through the proxy. That's the only possible way i can see to monetize those things.

    p.s. also cant remember the name but a year or two back it was discovered people were modifying programs downloaded through tor. so say you downloaded firefox the proxy operator would add their malware to firefox before sending it to you.
     
  5. mnunes532

    mnunes532 Supreme Member

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    A proxy can log everything and even send modified files to the client using it. I'm not telling all proxies are doing it, but they can do it.
     
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  6. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    4) Unprotected corporate setups. Proxies set up for employees but not properly protected.

    5) Default setups of some operating systems in networks with public IP. Squid running by default.

    6) Hacked systems left open. There are likely millions of hacked hosts online right now.
     
  7. Sam Green

    Sam Green Junior Member

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    Here's a video of the kind of malicious things someone can do with a public proxy. The guy in the video, chema alonso (who is hilarious btw), setup a public proxy and basically spied on the people that used it by poisoning their browser caches.

     
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  8. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  9. Sam Green

    Sam Green Junior Member

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    That's a great library. In a few lines of python you can literally do anything to the traffic coming through the proxy.
     
  10. mnunes532

    mnunes532 Supreme Member

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    Number 5 is probably the main reason why most of the public/free proxies go down so often.
     
  11. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Exactly ;)

    And if you buy a catch-all SSL certificate like Cloudflare has, you can become man in the middle for any connection without browsers alerting anyone.

    Probably. Most cases are more likely to be related to incompetence rather than malice. There are surely people data mining open proxies. But 99% are probably just default or misconfigured systems.
     
  12. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

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    So clean your

    catch