socks - Computer Definition
An internal development name that remained after general release.An IETF standard (RFC 1928, 1929, and 1961) networking proxy protocol that enables clients on one side of a firewall server to gain full access to clients on the other side without a direct Internet Protocol (IP) connection.The SOCKS server authenticates and authorizes requests from one side of the server, establishes a proxy connection to the other side, and relays data between the two through the use of secure sockets negotiated between client and server over a virtual circuit on a session-by-session basis. This process enables clients behind the firewall to gain full access to the Internet, but prevents unauthorized access from the Internet to the internal hosts. SOCKSv5, the current version, supports a variety of authentication methods and supports User Datagram Protocol (UDP) proxy. SOCKS runs at the Session Layer (Layer 5) of the OSI Reference Model. SOCKSv5 is a cross-platform technique, working across multiple operating systems (OSs) and browsers. SOCKSv5 also interoperates on top of IPv4, IPsec, PPTP, L2TP, and other lower-level protocols. See also authentication, authorization, browser, client, firewall, host, IETF, Internet, IP, IPsec, IPv4, IPv6, L2TP, OS, OSI Reference Model, PPTP, protocol, proxy, server, session, Session Layer, socket, tunneling, UDP, and virtual circuit.
(SOCKetS) A circuit-level proxy server for IP networks from the IETF. Written by David and Michelle Koblas in the early 1990s, SOCKS became a de facto standard before ratification of SOCKS5 by the IETF. SOCKS is a general-purpose proxy that is typically used for non-HTTP traffic such as FTP, Telnet, etc. SOCKS4 handles TCP connections while SOCKS5 added support for UDP, ICMP, user authentication and hostname resolution. SOCKS requires that the client be configured to transmit directly to the SOCKS server, or a SOCKS driver can be used to intercept calls from a non-SOCKS application. Many Web browsers and other Internet applications support SOCKS, and applications can be "SOCKSified" by compiling them with the SOCKS library. For a line of SOCKS-compliant applications, visit Blue Coat Systems' ProxySG software series at www.bluecoat.com. See proxy server and TCP/IP stack.