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More students 'bypassing school internet security', says analysts

By Jonathan Ong
29 December 2009 @ 03:40 pm AEST

Many young people are turning to 'proxy servers' to get round their school's internet security systems to access banned websites, including social networks and gaming sites.

Despite the numerous sophisticated security softwares employed by schools, proxy servers are still able to disguise a user's activity from the monitoring software. A student will appear to be visiting only one site, that of the proxy itself. Any internet surfing they do after that is effectively invisible.

Experts fear more students are putting themselves at risk of cyber crime as released figures suggest that the use of proxies has risen drastically over the past few years.

M86 Security monitors such sites. In 2006 it was tracking 7,111 proxies. By 2009 that had risen to 91,490.

Con Mallon from Symantec carried out a scan on a random selection of free proxies.

"There is a site which is hosting what we call a trojan. It may invite you to install some software onto your machine. Once that is installed, it allows the bad guys to come back to your machine at any time... what they would probably then do is install something called a keylogger."

"It will sit there and monitor what you are typing-in. What they are really looking for is passwords and logins," he said.

A spokesman for JANET, which carries data traffic between many local school networks in the United Kingdom, said: "I would agree that using proxy servers to get around security systems is indeed a problem. Technical solutions need to be used as one aspect of a wider approach to protecting users, including educating children, teachers, and parents in how to use the web safely."

This article is copyrighted by Ibtimes.com.au.

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