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Re: US internet providers hijacking users' search queries
From: Scott Helms <khelms () ispalliance net>
Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 22:03:32 -0400

Not trying to be obtuse, but none of the technical docs you cite appear to talk about HTTP proxies nor does the newswire report have any technical details. I have tested several of the networks listed in the report and in none of the cases I saw was there HTTP proxy activity. Picking up on WCCP/TCS isn't that hard (I used to install those myself) so unless there is some functionality in IOS and/or JUNOS that allows I don't see it happening. Paxfire can operate all of the proxies they want but the network infrastructure has to be able to pass the traffic over to those proxies and I don't see it (on at least 3 of the networks cited).

What the FAQ doesn't tell you is that the Paxfire appliances can tamper with DNS
traffic  received from authoritative DNS servers not operated by the ISP.
A paxfire box can alter NXDOMAIN queries, and queries that respond with known search engines' IPs.
to send your HTTP traffic to their HTTP proxies instead.

Ty, http://netalyzr.icsi.berkeley.edu/blog/
In addition, some ISPs employ an optional, unadvertised Paxfire feature that redirects the entire stream of affected customers' web search requests to Bing, Google, and Yahoo via HTTP proxies operated by Paxfire. These proxies seemingly relay most searches and their corresponding results passively, in a process that remains invisible to the user. Certain keyword searches, however, trigger active interference by the HTTP proxies.



Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
ISP Alliance, Inc. DBA ZCorum
(678) 507-5000

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