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How to bypass Nazi filtering programs

A handy hint from a Reg reader

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Updated Sick and tired of a nannying piece of filtering software preventing access to your favourites sites? Worry no longer.

A reader has informed us that using a technique that we'd covered in a spoof CNN story about Al Gore, you can bypass filter software. While we thought this was interesting, it has become a far greater issue. Following a story yesterday in which we mentioned filter program SurfControl, a different reader wrote to us explaining that when he installed the software, it prevented access to The Register.

He uninstalled it and still no access. In the end, he had to clear the cache and wipe the machine clean of SurfControl to get in. Apparently, Vulture Central is congruent with sex and violence. And we thought it was just about IT.

Take that, bitch!

The only trouble is that those with the software won't be able to read this, so they won't know how to bypass not reading it. Oh well.

So, what's the technique, you cry. Monkeying around with IP addresses. Find the IP address of the site you're after - not hard, just ping it - then switch the components into Hex, then back into Decimal (if this is gobbledegook to you, don't panic - there's a link coming up that explains it all in simple English).

Thus for The Register: Our IP is 213.40.196.64, which boils down to D528C440 in Hex. Which turns into 3576218688 in decimal. Thus, if you type in http://3576218688 into your PC, you will still arrive at our front page.

This technique is used by spammers and spoofers alike but it would seem that some filtering software hasn't thought of it. We haven't tested it on lots of different filter programs, so don't start moaning if it doesn't work on yours. However, if there are any young kids out there that need to get to that porn and the filter software is stopping them, we'd be interested in your results (a joke! a joke! [no, but seriously kids...]).

So there you have it. Oh, yeah, the link. It's here. As yet we haven't seen an automated system for creating these numbers, although it would be very easy to set up and put online.

Just thought y'all might like it. ®

Update

Tell a lie. We have found a conversion program. And another had been knocked up by a reader. These are them:

http://www.fichtner.net/tools/ip2dword/?ip=213.40.196.64
http://www.douglas-adams.com/ob (don't swamp it though)

Related Link

IP fun for all the family

Related Story

Spoofed story pokes fun at Gore

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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