We can set up a socks proxy on top of a SSH tunnel. Besides the common proxy functions, such as web browsing, the proxy on top of SSH tunnel also ensures the security between the browser and the proxy server (the SSH server). In this post, we introduce and explain how to set up a proxy over SSH tunnel and the mechanism of it.

A simple example

Let’s start with a simple example. We can access a sshd server sshd_server and we want to use it as a socks5 proxy server. It is simple by using ssh:

$ ssh -D 8080 username@sshd_server

After that, set the browser such as firefox’s proxy option to use socks5 proxy 127.0.0.1:8080. That’s it!

Then, check whether your IP is from the proxy from the websites’ view: Who am I.

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I actually wrote a blog post along these lines a few moments back about setting up a cache-only DNS server for a local network (to resolve DNS locally if possible, instead of query out to public DNS servers).

Fortunately, there’s not a huge difference between this and setting up a public DNS server (more on that below) except you’ll want to have the following instead of what’s listed in the blog post linked above:

options {
// to allow recursive lookup from root name servers if necessary
recursion yes;
// allow any hosts to query BIND; having ‚internal;‘ maps to the acl listed at the top, you can use similar to restrict to certain external IPs if you desire
allowquery {any;}
}

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While reading about DNS servers and BIND9, I came across the concept of Caching-Only DNS servers. I’m not going to go into great detail about how DNS works, but simply put, a Caching-Only DNS, well, caches DNS query results for the domain name being queried. The results are stored for a period of time known as the time-to-live, or TTL, which is specified on the name servers of the particular queried domain. Most computers and routers query the ISP’s DNS servers each time by default.

Preface:
To really get a good understanding of how DNS works, I’ve found the following quite helpful:
– DNS and BIND (you can pickup a used copy for fairly cheap, or even get the previous version for even less!)
– DNS & BIND Cookbook (supplement to the above; has many great examples and configurations for various DNS setups)
– Otherwise there are many good resources online; I’ve used StackOverflow to help guide me in the right direction and many other web pages for help and information.

What you are going to need:
– A Computer to host the Caching-Only DNS server (I’ll be deploying this in a VM as there is no need for a powerful computer to run a small DNS server)
– A Linux distribution (I’ll be using Ubuntu Server 8.04)
– Some basic Linux knowledge as well as networking knowledge

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Last time we covered a very basic setup. Multiple people have contacted me so far requesting an explanation on how to move towards a slightly more sophisticated authentication setup. Usually involving a php script to authenticate against. Maybe you want to use an existing mySQL or mariaDB database to set up users and channels? Fear not, this is not that complicated to start out with.

Server side configuration

Starting from this example, we set up a basic rtmp section:

rtmp {
  server {
    listen 1935;
	ping 30s;
	notify_method get;
	  
	application stream {
	  live on;
	  on_publish http://yourdomain.com/rtmp_auth.php;
	  record off;
	}
  }
}

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