SOCKS proxy the easy way

by postbreak

Safe computing on the go can be difficult these days. With more and more stolen identities ranging from the high up, including credit card info to the lesser of two evils, email usernames and passwords, someone will always try to get your credentials. One of the best ways to protect yourself while on a hostile network (say the coffee house) is to tunnel your network traffic. You can do that a few ways, such as a VPN or my favorite, the ssh SOCKS proxy.

In short an ssh SOCKS proxy is using ssh to tunnel all traffic to a secured machine. This basically wraps all network traffic keeping your passwords safe from being clear text sniffed out of the network. Setting up an ssh SOCKS proxy on your Mac just requires a few commands this can be annoying to do on the go. This is where Secret Socks comes into play.

Secret Socks simply asks you for your ssh connection information and does the command line work to set up the SOCKS proxy automatically. It couldn’t get any easier than this.

In order to run an ssh SOCKS proxy you obviously need something to connect to. For me I connect to my server at home so I know my connection is secure. In the screenshot below you can see what it looks like when you are successfully connected.

Secret-socks

The only down fall to this application currently is that it only works on normal built in network cards. My USB ralink based card doesn’t update the network settings but I’m sure I can get that working. This application is great and you could probably make it yourself with Automator but I always like off the shelf apps. I’ll be sure to use this when on campus now.

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