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When filters are Evil

Posted 8th July 2009 at 01:10 AM by Ashlann

I work for a rather prominent Australian business largely involved in the medical field. They have very strict guidelines about internet usage, and endless 'Standard Operating Procedures' that outline these rules. IE is the browser supplied to us on all PCs, and very aggressive filters monitor our activities.

However, about 2 years ago I did something rather clever. No executable can be run without sysadmin rights. Somehow they overlooked applying this rule to our 'My Documents' folder (a virtual doc folder that is accessible from any terminal). So, I created the folder 'FireFox' and ran the .exe there. And because FF uses a different range of ports, none of the filters was looking for traffic here I have been able to browse TOG from work, check my gmail (a monumental no-no) etc etc. All without being sniffed out.

...and this has been wonderful, until today. Someone in IS/IT finally found my traffic trail and blocked all ports FireFox uses.

Un.Freakin.Believable. Any FireFox user must feel my pain. Going back to IE (6!) behind aggressive firewalls -- as if the program isn't sluggy enough already!

I'm lucky if I can check Reuters from work now.

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  1. Old Comment
    Lowmount's Avatar
    LOL i feel your pain....
    A net-book and USB 3G card could be a cheap solution...just an idea
    Posted 8th July 2009 at 02:17 PM by Lowmount Lowmount is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Wayfarer's Avatar
    There's always revenge.
    Here's some ideas:

    • Put blue-tak into your mouse laser thingy. Then call Tech guys for assistance.
    • Throw up on your mouse mat, then call them in for a replacement.
    • Put a rubber snake in your computer then call them up "My computer is making a hissing noise!"
    Posted 8th July 2009 at 03:54 PM by Wayfarer Wayfarer is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Mecha-Wombat's Avatar
    Yep had that at one company I worked for

    one word Proxy

    Unless that has being banned too
    Posted 11th July 2009 at 02:51 AM by Mecha-Wombat Mecha-Wombat is offline
  4. Old Comment
    theZee's Avatar
    I remember that feeling Ash, at my previous job. Not quite as bad as what you've described at your work, but just as annoying! =(

    At my current work, it's like they haven't heard of a filter. Although we do have it in place, but only to block the baughty parts of the internet, warez sites etc.

    All social websites are open, msn working, some online games ...it's awesome =D
    Posted 11th July 2009 at 09:48 AM by theZee theZee is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Sibron's Avatar
    internet? at work????
    boy. I get a phone, but only so customers can call me at any time
    Posted 15th July 2009 at 10:06 PM by Sibron Sibron is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Tilce's Avatar
    I was just checking the best post in the blog field and this was it Ash. As a teacher in Education QLD. Our whole system is run through one huge filter. Absolutely everything good and bad goes through the filter. You think you have problems... It's sooo slow - it's woeful. Kids are used to high speed internet and then they come to school to get the slug - and I don't mean single lock up garage.
    Posted 23rd March 2010 at 10:19 PM by Tilce Tilce is offline

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