Ever wonder how you can tunnel web and AIM traffic securely from one location to another? This can be accomplished with ssh’s “-D” option. This allows traffic to be sent securely over a SSH session, and routed out through a remote endpoint. This looks like:
Firefox/GAIM < -- HTTP/AIM--> loopback:PORT < -- SSH --> REMOTE END < -- HTTP/AIM --> Internet
To create a local proxy on TCP port 8000, we can pass the value 8000 to the “-D” option:
$ ssh -C -D 8000 -p 443 firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the SSH connection is established, you need to configure your client (e.g., firefox, gaim) to proxy connections to the loopback interface on TCP port 8000. Once your clients are configured to use the localhost.8000 listener, all application traffic will be sent securely through your ssh session, and routed through the Internet connection on the remote end.
Since most web proxies tunnel secure connections, you can setup your remote endpoint to accept SSH connections on TCP port 443. This is amazingly useful for routing around corporate firewalls and proxies. You don’t want to get caught looking for jobs while your at work, right? ;)