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Get a telnet reply from an SBS 2003 server

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We're setting up port forwarding on port 443 on our outside IP to go to an SBS 2003 server on the LAN.  Typically for testing this, I run telnet publicIP 443, but that simply returns a black screen.  Is there a way to set something up on the SBS 2003 server so that when I telnet into it, it replies with something like "Hello 443 is working (or whatever message)" instead of the black screen?
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Question by:sedberg1
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danny1875 earned 250 total points
ID: 34907769
If telnet returns a black screen when connecting to port 443 i'd pretty much be certain that is port forwarding OK. the easiest way to test this is the case would be to log on to OWA remotely. if you have setup a DNS A record you could use that (i.e: https://mail.yourorganisation.com/exchange) or hit the external IP (https://externalip/exchange) as that will use https traffic (port 443)
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by:sedberg1
ID: 34908967
That wasn't my question, but thanks.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 34909059
@danny1875
Didn't mean to sound rude, sorry.  But yes, with this particular instance, that would do fine.  But in the future, it would be nice to know how to do this.
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Expert Comment

by:danny1875
ID: 34909613
I presumed you needed to test your port forward setup hence the answer above. The message displayed is service specific so it all depends on what is listening on that port as to what message you get. How you change that i'm not sure. Maybe somebody else will be able to point you in the right direction.
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 34911971
443 is somewhat special in that it is the default port for HTTPS...an encrypted protocol thus a blank screen is actually expected behavior for a service actually offering HTTPS. You could, in theory, shut down IIS temporarily and set up a telnet server to listen on a custom port so you saw a banner and answer, and that would let you see that the forwarding is working, but wouldn't verify much else. If it were me, I'd actually use wireshark and just look for incoming traffic on 443, then I would know that the traffic is coming in, regardless of what is seen on the other end. Saves the hassle of mucking around with IIS and a telnet server as well.
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