A means by which crackers can visit Internet Protocol (IP) Websites without leaving a trace of their visit. Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique IP address (just as every house on a street has a unique street address). If the IP address is always the same when any given computer connects to the network, it is referred to as a static address. However, when a random IP address is assigned every time a computer connects to the network, it is referred to as a dynamic IP address.
Crackers have a number of means of accessing services and computers on the Internet without leaving a trace. One of the most popular tools is called “The Anonymizer,” which allows for anonymous surfing using either a free service or a fee-for-service. The shortcoming of this tool is that a few Websites are inaccessible, particularly Web-based free email services. Another tool used by crackers located in Germany, in particular, is called Janus. An alternative to The Anonymizer, Janus is free and fast and can encrypt the URL and pass it to the server without allowing the user to receive information about the server address. Also, crackers can mask their Web surfing by using a proxy server; Web pages are retrieved by the latter rather than by the cracker browsing the Web. The shortcoming associated with proxy servers is that they slow down the data transfer rate and place additional loads on the network and the servers.
A list of available proxy servers can be found at http://tools.rosinstrument.com/cgi-bin/dored/ cgi-bin/fp.pl/showlog. However, these lists frequently contain inactive servers or nonworking servers. To avoid wasting the effort of contacting inactive servers, an individual can use tools such as proxyfinder, which can be used to detect live and active proxy servers.
It should be noted that using proxy servers for purchasing items with a bogus credit card number is illegal and, if detected by legal authorities, can lead to imprisonment. Because all connections are logged, a Website administrator can review the logs, communicate with the proxy’s administrator, and discover the perpetrator’s real IP address. Together, they can contact the perpetrator’s Internet Service Provider, which also keeps logs. This is the manner in which system administrators assist law enforcement in capturing crackers intent on committing a crime through computers using anonymous IP addresses.
Link Exchange. Hiding Your IP Address or Anonymous Internet Surfing HOWTO. [Online, July 6, 2004.] Link Exchange Website. http://tools.rosinstrument.com/ proxy/howto.htm; Proxy Finder Website. [Online, April 5, 2006.] http://www.edge-security .com/soft/proxyfinder-0.3.pl.