Sunday, September 11, 2011

People Like Me Don't Trust Public Wifi Because of People Like Me

Let's face it, there are a myriad of ways for someone to intercept data sent over unencrypted wireless networks. Any 13 year old kid with access to google and enough luck to have a laptop with a compatible wireless chip can steal your packets and possibly intercept sensitive data.

One easy way to help prevent this is to set up a socks proxy when you use public wireless networks.

All you'll need is a publicly accessible computer running openssh and a laptop or other device with ssh installed.

The process is much the same as you would use ssh normally, with the addition of the -D switch and a port number. Open a terminal or command prompt and run this command:

 ssh -D 9999 [username]@[openssh host] 

When 9999 is the port number the socks proxy will run on,
[username] is your username on the openssh host and
[openssh host] is the ip address or domain name of the openssh host.

Then open your browsers proxy settings and set up a socks proxy on port 9999 and a host of

*The above image if from chromium browser which uses the system proxy settings. Other browsers will handle proxy settings differently.

Voila, encrypted traffic over public wifi.