Trends in cybercrime
All the computers require a unique internet protocol address. Therefore, a proxy server is usually a computer on the internet that contains its IP address, which is known only by your personal computer. Whenever a web request is sent, it first goes to the proxy server. Hence, the proxy server then performs your web request on behalf of your request, gathers response from the webserver, and then forwards the web page data to your computer so that the webpage is visible on your browser. Upon forwarding your web request, the proxy server can adjust the data you send and obtain for you the information that a person expected to see.
Additionally, the proxy server can adjust the user computer’s IP so that the web servers can not precisely locate where the computer user is located worldwide (Chen et al. 2017, p116). It also encrypts personal data making it unreadable in transit. Furthermore, it blocks access to various web pages under the basis of IP addresses.
How Internet users have used the proxy server for legitimate purposes
There are several critical ways through which the proxy server is used for legitimate purposes. For instance, it is to regulate the internet usage of employees and children. The older adults and organizations usually set up proxy servers to control and manage their employees’ or children’s internet usage. Numerous organizations contain internet connectivity. Hence, they do not like their employees to have access to various web pages or specific web sites to avoid wastage of company time that could be spent at work. Therefore, the proxy server is used in this situation to send users an exact text that requests them to refrain from using such sites.
The proxy server is also used for bandwidth savings and upgraded speed. Organizations use proxy servers to boost their performance on the internet. This is possible since the proxy servers can cache popular websites. Whenever the users try to visit such sites, the proxy server will check and see if they recently attempted to visit the site. If it exists, the proxy can send you the saved copy. Ideally, if considerable numbers of users hit a particular website simultaneously from the proxy server, it can only send a single request to the site. Hence, this action saves bandwidth from the company and upgrades network performance. The proxy servers provide access to blocked resources (Das and Tuna, 2017, pp1-6). The server allows the computer users to circumvent the restriction of content that is imposed on organization bodies.
The proxy server has also been used for privacy advantages since it is utilized to browse more privately. This is possible since the proxy server would adjust the IP address and intensify the web request’s data. Hence, this action ensures that the destination server does not understand the actual user who made the request, which helps to privatize the user’s personal information and browsing habits. Besides, the proxy server is used to improve security. It provides users with security benefits since it enables them to encrypt their web requests to keep cyber hackers from accessing your recommendations on the internet. Also, it provides internet security since it is used to prevent known malware sites from being accessed by the user’s personal computer. In various organizations, the proxy servers are used to couple them with crucial private networks to allow users in remote areas to access the internet through the company proxy.
Uses of the proxy server for illegal purposes
Numerous anonymous proxy servers are used for tracking purposes by gathering computer users who attempt to conceal their identification details. Hence using a proxy server exposes the users to cybercrimes. Cybercriminals use the IP address that of the users that try to visit a given site to track their personal information. The cyber hackers use the proxy servers to intercept the data between the client and the sere sides. Hence, an organization that uses anonymous proxy services can be easily captured through any data they submit together with their credentials and the details of their browsing functions. Therefore, hackers use this information and link it to the organization’s IP address for tracking purposes. Also, suppose the company stops using the captured IP address. In that case, the hackers use the proxy servers to access their previously browsing patterns. This gives them the chance to link with the organization’s actual identity for malicious purposes.
Besides, the proxy server is used to access personal information by cyberhackers. Ideally, all personal data that a person posts via various online logins, including personal email login details and bank information, are accessible at the proxy servers’ access point. Therefore, owning this data, the third party can perform malicious activities like stealing identity, money extortion, and data theft. Additionally, fraud and crime groups can use proxy servers to provide consumers of specific markets with spam emails. For instance, various proxies are precisely operated by crime groups to convert marketing agencies to free open brokers (Gbenga et al. 2016, p 163). They manage to perform such activities by using algorithms to generate the users’ precise serving partners, collect the demographics, and analyze their consumer habits. When the research is done, crime groups use the data to spam the target audience’s email addresses. Such emails are vital since they are used for phishing by cybercriminals.
Additionally, the cybercrimes are done in proxy servers through the utilization of malicious software. The criminals set up anonymous proxy servers and use them to steal people’s personal information. For instance, they form malicious links whereby whenever a person clicks on, it may utilize a browser flaw to integrate a silent keystroke logger in the user computer. Furthermore, such installed software could be directly used to capture every single keystroke on your personal computer while online or offline.
Securing proxy from cybercrimes
To maximize network security for the proxy serves, it is essential to implement advanced security measures. These measures would include the proxy server’s upgraded security features and dedicated configurations to enhance its web security potentials. Ideally, it is essential to tighten network security beyond the basic default security configuration. This activity would require a few changes on the existing network to protect the proxy servers from being used for malicious purposes. Ideally, in numerous customer-based applications, the proxy server connects them to the internet, and hence, a network edge is required to guarantee secure internet access. Therefore, users should consider securing the NT services, which provides a massage block that gives personal file access (Turgeman et al. 2018,p17). Therefore, this extension should be disabled since exposing it to the internet presents a vital security threat.
The proxy server users should verify that their default configurations for their IP forwarding are enabled. Ideally, a disabled IP forwarding is the assumed proxy server configuration except with the RAS, whereby, in this case, the used sites and applications leave IP forwarding enabled. Therefore, disabling IP forwarding deters the NT from forwarding packets from one interface to another on the entire system. Therefore, this is essential to secure your proxy server from third-party data access fully.
Additionally, to secure the proxy servers from cybercrimes, the proxy server users should filter finesse of the sites being accessed. Filtering finesse is a crucial server configuration that can be performed on securing proxy servers, although it’s highly overlooked. Filtering allows the user to specify under a server-by-server basis, precisely the type of traffic a person permits to access your network through the server external NIC. Therefore, the proxy server filtering features use a security rule that denies all the trafficking, except those highly secured.
Contrasting and comparing the legitimate and illegitimate viewpoints of proxy servers
According to Cabaj, Gregorczyk, and Mazurczyk. (2018, p, 360), the use of proxy servers is used both legitimately and illegitimately. For legitimate purposes, the proxy servers allow users to access internet connectivity to find the required material. In contrast, in illegitimate use, the proxy servers are used to access the internet to access data for illegal purposes. Also, the two activities differ significantly since proxy servers’ legal usage benefits the users since they can access information and perform tasks online that helps to improve their ways of living. Centrally, authorized use of proxy servers harms the users since crime groups use them to track the client’s personal information, which they base to perform malicious activities like stealing identity, money theft, and phishing private information. Although the two uses of the proxy servers have diversified aims, they also have some similarities. For instance, they are both performed on the internet, whereby computer IP addresses are required. Additionally, they are both used to source information online regardless of whether it is legally or illegally. Also, the proxy server ethical use and the illegal uses are used to source information and require knowledge and computer literacy to perform them.
Cabaj, K., Gregorczyk, M., and Mazurczyk, W., 2018. Software-defined networking-based crypto-ransomware detection using HTTP traffic characteristics. Computers & Electrical Engineering, 66, pp.353-368.
Chen, P., Visschers, J., Verstraete, C., Paoli, L., Huygens, C., Desmet, L., and Joosen, W., 2017, September. The relationship between the cost of cybercrime and web security posture: a case study on Belgian companies. In Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Software Architecture: Companion Proceedings (pp. 115-120).
Das, R., and Tuna, G., 2017, April. Packet tracing and analysis of network cameras with Wireshark. In 2017 5th International Symposium on Digital Forensic and Security (ISDFS) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
Gbenga, F.S., Adekunle, A., Olumide, O., Opeyemi, O., Saseyi, A., and Rasheed, T., 2016. Development of an identity management system for a web proxy server in a tertiary institution using anonymity technology. International Journal of Physical Sciences, 11(13), pp.157-167.
Turgeman, A., Lehmann, Y., Azizi, Y. and Novick, I., BioCatch Ltd, 2018. Detection of the proxy server. U.S. Patent 10,069,837.