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Secure Socket (SOCKS)

Posted on 2014-04-22
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Last Modified: 2014-04-23
Is SockS basically just a reverse proxy that can prevent unauthorized access.

If so, what API does it use to determine if the access is authorized
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Question by:Anthony Lucia
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Rich Rumble earned 500 total points
ID: 40016094
A SOCKS proxy, is one that is protocol agnostic, it's more of a VPN in that way, SOCKS is a network protocol that allows connections to be made on behalf of a client.
The protocol is a tunnel, and whatever your asking for is relayed across and then the results back to you, and the proxy is pretty much unaware of what it just asked the destination.
http://etherealmind.com/fast-introduction-to-socks-proxy/
It should be called a SOCKS tunnel, although proxy is still accurate.
It (SOCKS) can be similar in operation to a reverse proxy, but a reverse proxy is often associated with HTTP/FTP protocols only. Forward and Reverse proxies are the same thing really, you just differentiate their placement or the direction of the requests.

200_Servers <-Reverse Proxy<- el-tuba-reno's
200_Users ->Fwd Proxy -> el-tuba-reno's
In the above, the server example, traffic comes in from the intertubes, some might be cached, scanned or possibly SSL decryption is being done at the proxy level. The requests come from outside to inside, the output from the server is probably going to cached so the proxy doesn't have to ask the servers for some popular content, it will already know the answer.
The second example, the users make the request to the outside world of the intertubes, and the results that come back in are cached, scanned or compressed. User_1 goes to ee.com, and user_2 goes to ee.com 10 minutes later, user_2 gets the cached version of that site or some of it's content.
Each proxy is the same, rev/fwd doesn't matter, the name changes based on who the proxy works for.
Reverse is a way into the private networks/dmz's, and a forward is way into the public spaces(typically). SOCKS can do both, it could let people into your network, and it can certainly let them out of it. Or it can sit on the internet, and others connect to it, and then to somewhere else on the internet, like a public (fwd) proxy can.
-rich
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