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SSH Tunneling


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SSH tunneling will help you out if you have a client (telnet, or something more powerful) and need to get through a company firewall that won't allow normal telnet access. It involves using Putty (a small, but very powerful and popular little program) to open up what we cann an SSH tunnel, which you then may be able to sneak through to 3K.

This is relatively easy to setup, but you need to do everything right. If things go well, you end up with a very useful little encrypted tunnel through which you can MUD to your heart's content.

First, you will need an SSH machine account address to leap from. This is actually the only real difficult part. If you or a friend owns one, that's the ideal one to use. Ask around on your MUD and you might be able to find someone who can help you out and give you access to one.

Then, download Putty version 0.59 (or greater) by searching Google for putty. It is a popular connection program, specifically powerful with SSH. It has a tiny footprint and no "installation" (you run directly from the executable). Best of all, Putty is a legitimate connection tool that very few network audits will question.

In Putty, configure the following...
  • Category: Session
  • Host Name: Name of the host "leap pad" you are connecting to
  • Port: 22
  • Connection type: SSH
Now you need to setup your proxy tunnel. These will be setting up your computer to reroute certain connections through the SSH tunnel to the host machine you're going to be connecting to.

The connection you want to setup is to reroute telnet connections to your local machine (localhost) to then be rerouted through the tunnel, to the MUD you want to connect to.
  • Source Port: 23
  • Destination: MUD host:port (example: 3k.org:3000)
  • Make sure the Local radio button is selected, then click Add. You should see the forwarded port added.
In your client...

Instead of connecting to the mud address as you normally would, connect to localhost:23.
Have Putty running and connected to your leap pad host, then connect with your client and you should be all set.

Note: You need to have Putty connected (and keep it so) every time you want to connect, because that opens up the tunnel. If you don't have the tunnel open, you'll be connecting to root localost:23 on your local machine, which won't have anything there.

Points to remember about your company's IT staff...
  • They will be able to see the leap-pad machine you are connected to
  • They will see data streaming across the SSH tunnel, if they are looking or monitoring
  • They will not be able to examine the stream to know what you are sending, due to the SSH encryption (nice!)
  • They may ask a question about the stream, so be prepared to answer with something like how you use it as a peer-discussion forum that you use as a resource to help you do your job better
  • To keep them not looking, or to keep any alarms from going off, keep the overall stream flow low (which is why text-based MUDs are great for this)
  • Make friends with your operations/network guys. Seriously, it'll make your work life SO much easier
In general, don't abuse it and you will not likely have to answer any tough questions an operations or network guy may ask you.


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