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Secure Communications on the Cloud with a SOCKS Proxy

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IBM Senior Software Engineer Alexander Amies and Advisory Software Engineer Qiang Guo Tong, co-authors on Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud, discuss how to use the SOCKet Secure (SOCKS) protocol, working through the cloud to access resources on your local virtual machines and VLANs, even if they're protected by firewall.

Abstract

This article explains how to use the SOCKet Secure (SOCKS) protocol to enhance security when accessing cloud resources. SOCKS is a secure protocol that can be used for secure access to a virtual machine protected by a firewall, and in particular is a convenient way to access systems on a private virtual local area network (VLAN). Using an OpenSSH server as a SOCKS proxy, all traffic over the Internet will be encrypted, and there's no need to open ports for additional services beyond SSH. We provide detailed steps for basic setup and use, as well as tips for troubleshooting. We also look at proxification of client applications that don't support SOCKS directly.

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