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Re: US internet providers hijacking users' search queries
From: Damian Menscher <damian () google com>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 20:03:22 -0700

I can confirm the report is about DNS providers that are doing hijacking by
sending the traffic through dedicated proxies, either in the ISP's network
or in the DNS provider's network.

If you didn't see this happening, it might be because you were testing on
www.google.com rather than on Yahoo or Bing traffic.  While the hijacking
*used* to affect Google also, we took a fairly aggressive stance and got it
stopped a while ago.  The fact that there are no currently-known cases where
it affects Google was unfortunately not made clear in the Netalyzer/EFF
reports.  If any of you find evidence of hijacking of Google, please shoot
me an email with details (DNS server, destination IP, etc) and I'll do what
I can to get it stopped.


On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 7:03 PM, Scott Helms <khelms () ispalliance net> wrote:

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/<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

Damian Menscher :: Security Reliability Engineer :: Google

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