Bypassing websense using proxy

by on Mar.27, 2012, under Internet

In many of the corporate and government institutions usage of internet is restricted using content filtering software’s like websense. Websense is commonly used software for content filtering and monitoring the internet activity so as to restrict the employees visiting the internet sites while at work. Websense is designed to block the site content in several categories like adult content, entertainment, drugs,  games, sports, peer-to-peer sharing, gambling, instant messaging, emails, health, illegal, job search, religion, travel, violence, weapons, advertisements, freeware, software download, pay to surf, malicious website and many more. The software also tracks individual internet usage for the purpose of collecting and reporting on any browsing deviating from the standards set by the library, government or other employer, and its reports can be data drilled by risk class, category, URL, application, user, workstation, dates, and more

The concept behind Websense is simple, whenever an employee attempts to visit a specific webpage; a request is generated and then passes through a firewall. Websense looks at this request and it allows or disallows the request depending on if the requested URL is in the Websense database. In transparent mode, Websense counts on the fact that the firewall will forward the whole request in a single time. If the whole request is not transferred at one time, Websense will allow the packet to pass, as the packet doesn’t look like a HTTP request. If you want to bypass Websense and browse any page, you can use several techniques to bypass Websense’s filtering and authentication process.


Bypassing Websense using a Web Proxy

One method used to bypass Websense is to use a web-based proxy site. With a web proxy, Websense sees you browse to the web proxy and not to the web site you are actually browsing to. You can browse to the web based proxy site, and then the web proxy browses to the web site you actually wanted to visit. The reason that these web proxies are able to bypass Websense is the ‘S’ in the HTTP address (https://) stands for secure connection and Websense does not block such secured connections. This is probably the simplest way to get around the Websense program as it takes little time and no one will wonder what you are up to.  To find a current web proxy, visit proxy page. 


Creating your own Web proxy

The constraint with the above practice is that the web based proxy site could be blocked under the category “proxy” in websense because these are commonly used proxy site. The alternate approach is that you can build your own proxy site if can afford for a web hosting. PHP Web proxy is an open source tool that can be deployed in your website and enable your website for web proxy access. Here the constraint is that you website could be blocked in any of the other categories mentioned above. For this you could make your website as HTTPS enable using RAPIDSSL or any of the cheap or free SSL certificates.

Bypassing Websense using HTTP Tunneling

You can also bypass Websense by using HTTP Tunneling. HTTP Tunneling programs work well to bypass Websense. Most programs also come with options, which help you to destroy the history of your Internet and Widows activity. What this means is that you can ensure comfort and security of your online activities and can spoof your web browser information. One can download HTTP Tunneling software programs from the Internet for free or inexpensively. HTTP Tunnel software consists of client-server HTTP Tunneling applications that integrate with existing application software, permitting them to be used in conditions of restricted network connectivity including firewall networks, networks behind proxy servers, and NATs.


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Recreating corrupted wireless network profile in Vista

by on Sep.03, 2010, under Windows

If Windows Vista prompts you to enter the Wirless password everytime after reboot even after you save the password, you might want to know something is wired with Windows Wireless Management.  Wireless Management is not saving your passwords and matter of fact not even the profile. You can verify it by going to Network and Sharing > Manage Wireless Networks option.

This means your Wireless profile setting is corrupt and it is better to recreate so that Windows Vista starts saving the wireless profile and password. Follow below steps to recreate the profiles.

  1. Goto Windows Services and Stop WLAN AutoConfig service.
  2. In regedit find the following key and delete all the sub keys under it.
  3. Now go back to Windows services and restore the WLAN AutoConfig service
  4. Add the wireless profiles again and save the password. The wireless profiles will start appearing in your Manage Wireless window.

Hope this has helped your resolve the issue. If you have any questions please let me know.

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Choosing a perfect point and shoot digital camera

by on Oct.19, 2009, under Buyers Guide

If you’re thinking of buying a digital camera, you have already discovered that there is an endless option out there in the market. Even if you have narrowed down to a particular brand, you will be still having options to choose from. I did have to undergo lot of dilemma when I  purchased my first digital camera few years back. I am compiling this post based on my experience and hope it will definitely help the first time digital camera buyers.

Well when it comes to digital camera the border classification would fall as said below,

  1. Point and Shoot
  2. Advanced or SLR-like
  3. DSLR

Here I’m going to talk only about Point and Shoot Digital cameras.

Why Point and Shoot?
If you’re looking for a digital camera that automates everything it has then you should be going for this. Point and Shoot stands for that you ‘point’ and ‘shoot’ the picture; the camera does the rest for you like auto focus, exposure control and more. I would suggest this if you’re a beginner and who doesn’t feel comfortable in using advanced features. Also it would suit depends on the usage; this suits best if you intend to use camera for party, function or to capture more lively things. In those cases you will never have time to control the camera’s advanced functionality and this is the place where point and shoot does the real help.

If you think point to shoot type camera is what you’re looking for then read future to decide upon the specification.

Form Factor
Ultimately when it comes to Point and Shoot camera, you need to decide up on the Form factor before you proceed with the selection. I personally prefer to have something handy when it comes to point and shoot camera. I would say “No” to bulkier designs even if it comes with more sophisticated feature. Well it depends on individuals’ mindset on how they want it. I would suggest going with compact camera if size doesn’t matter you much.

Form factors commonly available to you are,

  1. Ultra-compact
  2. Compact
  3. Standard
  4. Large

Megapixel (Sensor photo detectors) – Do you print photos?
Pixel refers least single point in a graphic element. A megapixel is commonly used term in digital cameras to refer million pixels in an image and also used to express the number of sensor elements of digital cameras or the number of display elements of digital displays. A camera with an array of 3264 x 2448 sensor elements is commonly said to have “8.0 megapixels” (3264 x 2448 = 7,990,272). Here is a useful Megapixel calculator.

For Web / Email purpose 6 Megapixel camera is more than enough. You need to go to higher megapixels, if you want to print out the high-resolution images . For optimal use anything between 6MP ~ 10 MP would be great. You need to have a good balance between the budget and megapixel.

Sensor – Does that matter?
The sensor is heart of digital camera. It records the image in digital format when you take a picture. CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) are two types of sensors. CCD is known for superior image performance than CMOS. However, CMOS is cheaper comparatively and consume less power than CCD. Sensor type shouldn’t bother you if you have good lens and better image quality.

Zoom –
Normal P&S camera can’t have high zoom ratio. Anything between 3x to 5x optical zoom is decent enough. Digital Zoom is different from Optical zoom.  Optical zoom is achieved by the lens used by the camera. Digital zoom is software technique to zoom the captured image by optical lens. Give more importance to Optical zoom.

Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization (IS) is technology that helps reduce blur in image due to vibration or shaking. You should be more concerned about IS when you take picture without a tripod and it would be a case with most of PS (point and shoot) photographers. Widely, there are two types of IS, optical and digital. Optical IS is much preferable than digital IS, since Optical IS is hardware based where as digital IS just increases the ISO (ISO at higher level will lead to noise). Optical IS will typically will have a built-in sensor to detect camera shake and stabilizer to compensate such movements. So ask for Optical IS before you buy rather than falling a victim of marketing gimmick which calls out by fancy name such as anti-blur or anti-share etc.

The memory can be extend as much you want these days. Make sure you have little space in internal memory in the camera so you can use it when you’re memory cards are full.

Viewfinders are used to compose and frame a scene. There are two types, Optical and Electronic. Electronic few disadvantages it consumes extra power and not clear and bright has Optical Viewfinder. Few camera models sport hybrid viewfinder. When you choose a camera, make sure you have the viewfinder that is more comfortable for you to capture the moments.

The above parameters are for your comparing guideline. Before purchasing you will have to compare the value/benefit of each and select a camera that better suits you.

Hope this will be of help to someone. Let me know if it does. Cheers.

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Splitting file based on line numbers in UNIX

by on Aug.22, 2009, under Unix

This script will be useful if you require to split a huge file based on number of lines or records. Normal file splitters available in the market split the file based on the size (byte, KB, MB) which cannot be used to split based on number of lines or records.

Steps to use the script:

  1. Save the below script as lsplit.ksh
    while read line
    startLineNo=`echo $line | cut -f1 -d,`
    endLineNo=`echo $line | cut -f2 -d,`
    if [ "$endLineNo" != "" -a "$startLineNo" != "" ]; then
    echo "Cut here from $startLineNo to $endLineNo"
    sed -n "$startLineNo","$endLineNo"p $inpFile > $inpFile.split.$count
    count=`expr $count + 1`
    done < $propFile
  2. Create a properties file SSNRange.txt.prop which would contain the range of records or lines. Example of properties file is as follows

    1505, 7000

  3. Run the script
    $ lsplit.ksh infile.txt

  4. Three output files will be created
    • infile.txt.split.1 –> Creates a file with first 400 lines
    • infile.txt.split.2 –> Creates a file with lines starting from 401 to 1504
    • infile.txt.split.3 –> Creates a file with lines starting from 1505 to 7000

Advantages of this script:

  • File is split based on line numbers are records.
  • No manual editing is required the correct the first and last records
  • Easy to handle it in batch

Courtesy: Santhosh Fabian

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Disabling compressed files (ZIP/CAB) search in Windows XP/Vista

by on Jun.11, 2009, under Windows

Windows XP / Vista have a built in feature of supporting compressed archive files. The file types supported are .zip and .cab. Windows treats these as folders and displays it in the windows explorer tree and also includes these files during the search. This would a hindrance to the users who had used their favorite compression utility like winzip, winrar or 7-zip in their previous versions of operating system. Windows file search functionality will be slow when there are lots of compressed files in the search folder. We can overcome this hurdle by disabling this feature. This can be later enabled when required.

For Window XP to Disable

1. Open start > Run

2. Type the command regsvr32 %systemroot%zipfldr.dll /u

3. Press ok on the popup message

4. The change will take effect immediately, but you may have to restart Windows for all features of the built-in ZIP support to disappear

For Windows XP to Enable

1. Open start > Run

2. Type the command regsvr32 %systemroot%zipfldr.dll /u

3. Press ok on the popup message

4. The change will take effect immediately, but you may have to restart Windows for all features of the built-in ZIP support to be available

Where %systemroot% normally is C:windowssystem32

For Windows vista to Disable

1. Open Start > Run

2. Type “regedit.exe and click ok

3. Navigate to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID

4. Export the values under the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31} and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262}

(This process is to backup those keys incase later if this feature needs to be enabled)

5. Delete the keys HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31} and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262}

(The key keys HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{E88DCCE0-B7B3-11d1-A9F0-00AA0060FA31} is associated with the zip file and the key

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{0CD7A5C0-9F37-11CE-AE65-08002B2E1262} is associated with cab files. In case you need to disable one of the feature zip/cab you can do it by deleting the corresponding keys.)

6. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Alternate Method:

1. Download the reg file here

2. Double click to install

3. It is successful, restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

For Windows Vista to Enable

1. Open Start > Run

2. Type “regedit.exe and click ok

3. Go to File > Import and select the files that are taken backup in step 4 (For Windows vista to Disable).

4. On successful import, restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Alternate Method:

1. Download the reg file here

2. Double click to install

3. It is successful, restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

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Closing telnet session without terminating the foreground process

by on Nov.04, 2008, under Unix

Finally have found out a way to terminate the telnet session with out killing the foreground process which is running. Anyone struck with the above situation can follow this 🙂

Assume a script “script1” is running in the foreground for a long time and this script needs to be retained even if the telnet session is closed. Here are the steps which needs to be followed.

  1. On the telnet screen press <CTRL + Z>. This will temporarily stop the script or process to run.
    $ ./script1.ksh
    [1] + Stopped (SIGTSTP)        ./script1.ksh
  2. Type in the command “bg” to run the process in background
    $ bg
    [1]     ./script1.ksh&
  3. Identify the session process ID. This can be done by giving the “ps” command in the prompt.
    $  ps
    PID      TTY   TIME  CMD
    4882522  pts/7  0:00 ps
    4984988  pts/7  0:00 -sh
  4. Identify the PID of the script which is is shifted to background. In our case “script1” This can be done by ps command piped with grep as below.
    $ ps -ef | grep script1.ksh
    user1 4399240 4984988   0 08:57:49  pts/7  0:00 grep script1.ksh
    user1 5029960 4829226   0 07:57:23      -  0:00 /usr/lpp/ars/bin/script1.ksh
  5. Now with all the PID’s collected, use “nohup” command
    $ nohup -p 4984988
    $ nohup -p 5029960

This will make the script or process not to be terminated even if the telnet session is closed.

NB: The telnet session process 4984988, will be running at the background unless it is killed.

Courtesy: Santhosh Fabian

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Customizing / Automating windows installation with nLite/vLite

by on Oct.26, 2008, under Windows

Installation of windows will not be a new thing for one who owns a laptop/computer with Windows OS running on it. This comes true when coming to re-installation too. Here is a way where you can make your installation much easier. A freeware tool nLite or vLite can be used to customize your windows installation to make it easier.

Advantages of nLite and vLite:

  1. These software are freewares.
  2. Windows service packs can be slipstream to the original installation disk
  3. The hot fix or patches can be integrated.
  4. Drivers can be integrated
  5. Customized boot can be created.]
  6. Installation can be made unattended by giving default values.
  7. Windows installation components can be added / removed.
  8. Registry tweaks can be done before installation.
  9. Burn it into a bootable image file or CD.
  10. Saves installation time and reduces manual intervention

Freeware usage:

nLite -> Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003

vLite -> Windows Vista, Windows 2008

*All editions of the above OS is supported.

How to use it?

  1. Download nLite or vLite from their official websites.
  2. Install the nLite/vLite package.
  3. Choose the location of original windows installation disk.
  4. Choose the modification that needs to be done in windows installation in the tabs Integrate/Remove/Setup/Create.
  5. Provide all the inputs as a part of customization.
  6. Finally burn it to CD/DVD.
  7. Use it for your future installation.

Note: The developers claim that not to get support from Microsoft for any installation errors which is created by nLite/vLite.

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Connecting to a hidden administrative default share in Windows Vista

by on Oct.11, 2008, under Windows

In windows vista by default the hidden default shares like c$, ADMIN$, IPC$ and Print$ are disabled due to User Account Control (UAC) feature avoiding it to be connected in the network. So when you try to connect from other computers in the network you might possibly get the below errors.

Logon unsuccessful:
Windows is unable to log you on.
Make sure that your user name and password are correct.

You may get the below error when you try to connect using “Net Use” command:

System error 5
has occurred. Access is denied.

How to get rid of it?

There are 2 solution for this problem

  1. You can create an explicit share of the required device.
  2. You can modify the registry to enable LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy key.

Creating explicit share for the device:

  1. Open Explorer
  2. Choose the folder or drive
  3. Right click on the folder or drive and click on share
  4. If you have password protected sharing enabled, select which users can access the shared folder and their permission level. To let all users have access, select Everyone in the list of users. By default, the permission level is “Reader.” Users who have this permission level cannot change files or create new files in the share. To let a user change files, change folders, create new files, and create new folders, use the “Co-owner” permission level.
    If you have password protected sharing disabled, select the Guest account or the Everyone account. This is the same as simple sharing in Windows XP.
  5. Click on share and then press OK

This method is safe and can be done by beginners.

Modify registry to enable LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy Key:

Here is also an alternate which requires some expertize in the operating system. Here are the steps.

  1. In Run prompt type regedit to open registry editor
  2. Browse through the following sub key
  3. Create a new entry with the below information
    Key Name : LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
    Key Type : DWORD (32-bit)
    Key Value : 1
  4. Exit registry editor.

To disable this option modify the registry key value to 0.

Warning: If you are trying out this method user need to have a knowledge on windows registry. If some of the keys are modified incorrectly it may cause a serious problem to the operation system for proper functioning. Backup registry before doing any changes.

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Comparing two columns in excel spreedsheet

by on Sep.22, 2008, under Office

If you in a software service based industry you may get many questions in Microsoft Excel. One such question is “How to compare two columns in the excel if the data is in thousands of rows”. Here is a solution for it.

Imagine you have two columns A and B. Column A has the data which needs to be compared against column B. Here I would show you 3 excel formulas to archive this.

  1. MATCH

Here is the syntax

  1. =Match( value, array, match_type )
  2. =CountIf( range, criteria )
  3. =VLookup( value, table_array, index_number, not_exact_match )

Here is a example usage :

  1. The below syntax can be used if we want to find out a match and mark the result as ‘Y’ or ‘N’ and consolidate it.
  2. The below syntax is used to find the count of the matches in the resultant column. If the count is 0, then there is no match. If the count is 1 then there is 1 match. If the count is 2 then the matched data count is 2 and so on.
  3. The usage below is similar to the first option where there is change in the function idiom

Where to use what?

Now the question is, of all of them which performs the same function and now where to use what function. The MATCH/VLOOKUP can be used to find out the existence of the data in the column but COUNTIF can be used to find out the existence of data and to find the number of instances the data exists.

Which one is faster?

MATCH/VLOOKUP is more faster than the COUNTIF, since COUNTIF has to look up the entire array to throw out the count. But MATCH/VLOOKUP terminates it loop once it find the data in the array.

There are more functions too in excel for comparison of data. I shall explain it when I come across it.

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Disconnecting a hidden remote connection

by on Sep.21, 2008, under Windows

One fine morning I was surprised to see the error “Multiple connections to a server or shared resource by the same user using more than one user name are not allowed” when I was trying to connect a network drive. I  verified for network connection in  windows explorer but I could not find any connections. Here is a way to solve it.

1. Goto command prompt.
2. Type “NET USE” (with out codes) to view all the connections active or inactive.

Status       Local     Remote                    Network
Unavailable  M:        \     Microsoft Windows Network
OK                     \$        Microsoft Windows Network
The command completed successfully.

3. Type “NET USE \<remote_resource_name>” (with out codes and replace <remote_resource_name> with the actual name) to display the complete details.

Local name        Z:
Remote name       \<remote_resource_name>
Resource type     Disk
Status            OK
# Opens           2
# Connections     1
The command completed successfully.

4. To disconnect this resource use the command without codes as “NET USE \<remote_resource_name> /DELETE
5. Now you are available to connect the remote resource.

Here are the other ways to disconnect through GUI if the connection is visible.

If the connection is mapped to the drive letter.
1. Open the Windows explorer
2. Goto Tools and choose the option Disconnect Network Drive
3. Choose the drive letter and click Disconnect.

If the connect is not mapped to the drive letter.
1. Right click on MyComputer
2. Choose Disconnect Network Drive and it display the all the resources connected
3. Choose the resource name or the drive letter and click OK

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