Category: Just Interesting

Using Proxies for Ticketmaster

So why would anyone need to use a proxy server to access Ticketmaster?  After all what’s the point in hiding your location to someone who you’re presumably trying to buy tickets off, after all they have to send them to you don’t they!   Well the reason might surprise you, shock you or perhaps even give you a great idea to give up your day job!!

Anything that’s in demand online has the potential to make someone some money.  Tickets for popular concerts are always very difficult to obtain.  Even if you’re super organised and sit at your computer with credit card in hand the moment they’re released is no guarantee.  As anyone who’s tried this and ended up frustrated as the screen freezes or times out until you end up missing out can testify to.

Proxies for Ticketmaster

The simple fact is that you may think you’re prepared to be first in the queue for the latest Ticketmaster release but there’s a whole bunch of people who will get in front of you.  For a start you’re not competing just against people, because lots are using automated software to buy their tickets.

Special computer bots designed just for ordering and buying tickets as fast as possible are freely available on the internet.   They are impossible to beat by just doing it manually, as their response time is so much quicker and they can be pre-configured with all the information to make a sale instantly.

What’s worse they are rarely used to just buy a couple of tickets, most of the times they are designed to pick up tens or even hundreds of tickets.  Using multiple identities to grab all the best seats and usually the best prices too.   You know what happens next, they appear on those other ticket sites at hugely inflated prices being sold to those who were probably in the same digital queue.

Of course, Ticketmaster and all the other ticketing companies don’t really like this.  They spend lots of resources trying to detect and block the automated purchases but usually results in little more than lots of updates to the Ticket bots.  The other focus is on blocking the multiple purchases usually focusing on detecting connection and IP address information.  This is normally much more effective and anyone who relies solely on the Ticket software will get their IP address blacklisted quickly  at this stage.

Which is why people need lots of IP addresses and hence proxies to buy lots of tickets.

Proxies for Ticketmaster

Now I should point out at this point out that not everyone who uses the automated software and these ticket proxies is trying to make lots of money and resell at inflated prices. Although there’s certainly a lot of these people and firms as you’ve probably seen, they’re normally referred to as Ticket Scalpers. Many people I know simply use the software and proxies to buy their own tickets for friends and families, often only reselling at cover price for people they know.

backconnect proxies

In some ways it’s the only way to guarantee being able to get these tickets without having to pay ridiculous amounts on the secondary market. There is some investment involved the Ticket Bots can be quite expensive, simply because they need to be updated so often. However the costs of proxies has come down significantly if you use the correct set up.

Firstly an ordinary proxy with a standard IP address is absolutely no use if you’re intending to buy multiple tickets from Ticketmaster. There are several pre-requisites that are essential to avoid detection:

  • They must not be blocked or already used recently with Ticketmaster
  • Must be quick in relation to the Ticket agencies website.
  • Residential IP address – these are much less likely
  • Reasonable price – if the costs are too high it’s easier to simply pay the higher costs directly.

This could get expensive, especially because residential IP providers tend to charge a lot for these addresses because they’re hard to get.  So if you combine these with a dedicated proxy which is not used by anyone else then you’re talking a lot of money to even rent for a few weeks.

However the proxy market is well known for being adaptable and a series of providers have developed specialised packages for all sorts of purposes.  This includes some companies who have developed proxies for Ticketmaster, a cheap supply of residential IP addresses which can be used directly to buy from the Ticketmaster site.

So it’s not that hard to do, the biggest initial cost is the Ticketmaster Bot at a few hundred dollars.  The proxies can be hired on short term for however long you need them and are surprisingly inexpensive.  It’s worth pointing out that you have to use residential proxies like these or the software won’t work.  Ticketmaster block multiple connections from single IP addresses and if you try and use free or commercial proxies those accounts you create will get blacklisted and filtered very quickly.

It’s actually quite simple to set up and the advantage of using the software is you don’t have to even be there if you’re computer is switched on and connected.   Of course there is a moral element to this, and these programs do create some shortage in the ticket markets especially when they#’re used on a commercial level.

It’s not actually correct to blame all the woes of the ticket market at the door of these programs and the providers of these monthly proxies.  These bots only allow people to compete for the tickets which are released to the general public which is sometimes only about 10% of the total.   The majority of tickets get siphoned off before this to agencies, sponsors, providers of corporate packages and other such groups.  This is where the real issue is, and these form the majority of the tickets which you’ll find being resold for vast sums.

Anyway if you’re interested in buying concert tickets online or for any high demand event including football and soccer matches then there’s a bot available for you.  Check out the Ticketbot site for a huge range of different automated ticket software including some for UK football tickets like Arsenal and Liverpool.

To make these work you’ll find below the best option to buy Ticketmaster proxies online.

Storm Proxies

 

Using Rotating Residential Proxies Online

Finding a proxy or two online isn’t very hard, there’s always a few new ones being left open somewhere. Perhaps from an inexperienced administrator who’s accidentally left his server open to the world or someone who’s not configured their firewall properly. It’s actually much more easily done than you’d imagine, often web enabled applications install or enable proxy services with little warning. Before you realise then thousands of strangers are piggybacking your server and bandwidth without your permission. Of course, this scenario is even more likely with the prevalence of ‘always on’ internet connections in millions of homes across the world. Lots of malware is configured to install things like Glype proxies or FTP servers for attackers to use without their owners knowledge too.

Rotating Residential Proxies
Despite this, the reliability and of course the safety of using these servers is obviously not great. Using someones misconfigured or worse hacked server is never a wise move even if you accept the fact that you’ll be sharing it with thousands of others. Yet the demand for proxies for a variety of reasons is growing all the time.

So why do people need loads of proxies? After all you can only use one at the time when you’re browsing the web or watching something online. Well there are actually lots of reasons, people use all sorts of automated software which harvest and analyse data, post adverts on multiple sites, or even bots which are used to buy products online.

Internet marketers for instance use all sorts of software to promote their products by automatically posting on social media, creating links on websites publishing adverts on commercial sites. Other people use bots (automated robots) to make multiple applications for online goods like sneakers and concert tickets for reselling. There are literally hundreds of applications which require access to multiple identities to work properly and they need proxies and lots of them.

Let’s take one example, there’s a whole host of online tools which allow people to buy lots of the latest sneakers online. These work by making repeated applications and requests to the web servers until they are successful, unfortunately if all these applications come from the same IP address then they get blocked very quickly. In order to work these ‘bots’ need lots of residential IP addresses to work, they’re commonly described as sneaker proxies but all they are is proxy servers which have access to lots of these home registered addresses. Each one of these residential addresses however is expensive and if they are overloaded become worthless as they end up being blocked by the websites themselves.

There is a solution developed by the specialist residential IP providers who operate in this space, who’ve developed systems that give access to hundred of residential proxies and addresses.

Rotating Residential Proxies

The problem is two fold, the IP addresses that are needed are classified as residential ones which in turn are extremely difficult to obtain unless you own an ISP. These applications also need lots of these addresses to run properly because each individual connection needs to be made from a different IP address. Having dedicated access to hundreds of residential IP addresses would cost a fortune every month so a systems has been developed which allows these addresses to be shared effectively.

They are known as backconnect residential proxies and they are in effect a single proxy gateway which gives access to a whole network of individual proxies with different configurations. The backconnect proxy operates usually under a single gateway IP address yet rotates it’s external calls through randomly selecting individual residential based proxy servers. The gateway will automatically rotate through these addresses every few minutes so that no single address is ever the same or over utilized. This is essential because if too many requests come through a single address then this will be flagged by the destination websites and they’re likely to be blocked. This makes them worthless for that particular site until the block is lifted.

This setup means that all you need to do is configure your application to point at a single gateway IP address and the backconnect proxy will then rotate through individual proxies automatically, making them virtually indistinguishable from normal home users. They can be used to automate all sorts of tasks from applying for concert tickets, to posting hundreds of adverts on localised portals like Craigslist or Gumtree. Without using software and residential proxies then posting more than a single time would be pretty much impossible.

Each individual connection therefore looks like it comes from a completely different location and machine.  Each of these proxies not only has a different residential IP address but a completely different footprint too supplying varying metadata like OS, browser types etc to complete the deception.

The other main advantage though is that it significantly brings down the cost.  Because each server is only used for a couple of minutes by each backconnect proxy before being rotated, that means that they can be shared around users and applications much more effectively.  Paying for dedicated access to thousands of residential proxies would cost a fortune and would simply not pay.

Using this method,  for a few dollars you can have automated software running through this network of residential proxies almost twenty four hours a day. This  means that it’s much more affordable for all sorts of online entrepreneurs.   remember some of the applications only cost a few hundred dollars and can earn people a substantial online income.  We’ve mentioned the ‘sneaker bots’ above, the applications which automate buying designer and limited availability sneakers – many individuals earn a six figure income from running these Bots and reselling the sneakers on places like eBay and Amazon.

So if you’re looking to expand your online empire, or need to run automated software which requires multiple residential IP addresses then you’re best bet is using rotating residential proxies.   This is a very specialised market and they’re only a few companies who maintain and run such a network, here’s our recommendation.

The fastest, safest and best rotating residential proxies come from a company called Storm.

Storm

Check out their backconnect residential proxy trial which you can test for 48 hours and get your money refunded if they don’t work for you.

Is Your Car Secure? Perhaps Not.

We’ve all probably heard the stories about people hacking the internet of things.  Breaking into our toasters, washing machines or expresso makers and indeed any other device which is ‘internet enabled’.  Indeed the problems these devices generate by being online seem to far outweigh the advantages.

 

After all what’s the point in having your toaster internet enabled? To order more bread, emergency crumpet supplies or maintain your bagel supplies at a certain level? Hardly important stuff and personally I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having an army of electrical devices having the ability to order stuff to my house!

Having said that, you might argue that lying awake at night worrying if your toaster has been hacked by a Russian cyber criminal gang might be a bit paranoid too.  At least right up to the point when the police come to investigate why thousands of pedophiles are connecting to an IRC server hosted on your internet connection.

The problem is that however trivial the device sounds, anything internet enabled can potentially act as a either a host or a portal to attack anything else online.  The device is sometimes irrelevant it’s merely your internet connection and IP address that is important.  Although they can also be used to sniff personal details and steal more than bandwidth too.   Each and every device that you have in your home which is connected to the internet is potentially a threat to your privacy and anonymity online.

However there’s always one device that’s increasingly becoming internet aware that worries me a lot and that’s our cars.  It concerns me for a variety of reasons, firstly I am a lot more worried about someone stealing my car than I am my refrigerator.  Secondly the idea that anyone has remote access in any form to a metal device which I hurtle down the motor ways at 80 miles an hour somewhat worrying.

It seems that I have even more cause for concern as a recent study group determined at the last Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit last month.  In the workshop the y demonstrated how simple it is to introduce software into modern internet enabled cars to steal data, take control of functions, bypass alarms and key systems even crashing the car.

Frankly I can think of tons more things to worry about having my car hacked than all the other internet enabled crap sitting in our living rooms and kitchens out together.  Someone accessing my car is very scary indeed, after all even having your computer hacked doesn’t put you into actual physical danger.

Automotive security is important and it doesn’t seem to be taken seriously by most manufacturers.  One of the researchers involved bought a car and ran through a serious of attacks to see how difficult it would be to hack into.  They found it surprisingly easy, even turning the car into a war driving machine with a built in facility to spot and log into open Wi-Fi connections.

One of the attacks involved was actually found on a car hacking site, a piece of code which claimed to give root access to all the car’s control systems.  The researcher installed the code easily using the car’s USB port which was configured to auto-run any code it found.  Instantly the researcher had full access to the car’s infotainment system.

This revealed a surprising and slightly disturbing non-documented feature of the car.  It had previously crawled and downloaded his address, book, email list, SMS messages and even the list of last visited locations.  All of these details were stored and recorded in clear text within the car’s data storage.

There were lots more facets to the investigation including extensive control and manipulation of the car’s built in Wi-Fi system.   There were some even more worrying research into the feasibility of controlling the automatic braking software although nothing conclusive was created.

Safety and privacy issues were not the only concern and one of the more practical problems of car security is the potential for theft.  Keys were considered a huge area of weakness, with many electronic keys have extremely small number of combinations.  Although the biggest potential threat in this area is the technology known as signal amplification technology.  Indeed there is a kit available online which only costs about £50 which can pick up the signal from car keys and copy them to the car directly – both unlocking the car and disabling the alarm system.

Mansfield Radio Station Hacked

Now this is class, a great example of a childish, yet sophisticated attack on an local radio station.    The station is Mansfield 103.2 FM a small local independent radio station based in Mansfield, Nottingham.   Since June 2017 the station has found it’s frequency hijacked by an unknown individual who has been transmitting an adult song called ‘The Winker’s Song’ sung by errmm Ivor Biggun (scroll down for song).

This is of course pretty funny, although some people of course have been offended.  The problem is that it’s actually quite difficult to stop this happening.   The attacker is obviously using some sort of high powered mobile transmitter, and the police would have to catch someone in the act to do anything.

It is apparently a criminal act with the communications regulator Ofcom trying to track the offender several times without success.  They have Spectrum Engineering Officers (cool job title!) working with the radio station in an attempt to identify the culprits.

Having listened to Mansfield 103.2 many years ago, I suspect it will have probably brought them a few more listeners waiting for the next attack.   The prankster had better be careful though as the kill joys have pointed out that maliciously causing radio interference carries a maximum punishment of two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

I for one would look carefully to people who have an association with the radio company, perhaps a disgruntled ex-employee.   The song selected has to be a big clue – it is of course a rude little ditty about mastrubation which basically loops through the words – “I’m a W*nker” to a George Formby type soundtrack.   It is also introduced by a male voice with a local Nottinghamshire accent, that song is a message dedicated to someone in the radio station I suspect.

To save you all googling – here’s the song –

The prankster also seems to be trying a little comedic timing too, with the latest hijack taking place half way through a live family broadcast from a local Mansfield event.    Hopefully he’ll now stop, because he’s bound to get caught eventually and we need more proper hackers around like this guy.

Maybe though, perhaps he’s a millionaire super hacker who’s adapted some long range drones with a radio transmitters controlled by a secure VPN and will never actually be caught – just the drone shot down. Only to mysteriously return and play the same song every time Nigel Farage does a radio interview somewhere, excellent….

 

 

Best Smart DNS vs VPN – (Making a Choice)

For the expat, the traveller or the film/TV buff the internet can often seem to contain lots of filters and blocks on their favourite websites.  This is because of something called geo-blocking or  geo-restrictions (also a host of of other names) and is effectively a system used to limit access to web content based on your physical location.

So for example if you try and watch coverage of the UK election madness on the BBC website from outside the UK the geo-restrictions will stop you watching. Try and access your US Netflix or Hulu account whilst travelling and the same thing will happen.  It seems that on the internet your  physical location shouldn’t really matter, however it does – very much.

Smart DNS vs VPN

In fact this practice is growing exponentially, literally thousands of websites restrict access based on your location.   Just browse on YouTube and you’ll find thousands of videos on that site which are restricted to specific countries.  It can be very frustrating, especially for those who travel a lot and inevitably people find one of two solutions to bypass these restrictions – Smart DNS or VPN.

The technology for these has been around for a long time, and both can be used to access most region blocked websites.  So what’s the difference, which one should you choose?

Should it be Smart DNS or a VPN Service?

Both of these technologies are mostly effective in bypassing most region blocks, however the way they work is quite different.

VPN (Virtual Private Network) – these are services which create secure, encrypted tunnels between your computer and a specially configured VPN server.  They have been used for decades to provide security by encrypting all your data and anonymity by hiding your IP address and location.  When you are connected to a VPN server the website cannot see you true location only that of the VPN server.

To bypass the region locks you just need to ensure that the VPN server is based in the location that does have access.  So for instance to access the BBC iPlayer you’d need a UK VPN server, a US one for Hulu and so on.   The connections are made from your device on demand, so you could connect to a UK VPN from your computer or tablet and watch the BBC or ITV then disconnect and browse normally.  the majority of the VPN services will offer servers based in many countries, so you can just select which one you need.

Smart DNS – is a newer technology based on using specially configured DNS (Domain Name Service) Servers.  These normally just look up the IP address or name of the server you are trying to access, but Smart DNS servers offer an additional service.   They are configured to intercept requests to certain region locked websites and route the connection through a server based in that particular country.

So if you request access to the Hulu website for example to watch a video, the Smart DNS server would automatically route your connection through a US based server.  This means that your connection is only rerouted through a different server when it’s required to bypass a region lock.

So that’s it really – both will usually allow access to region locked websites, so which one should you choose?

Well firstly the price – you’ll find that both are relatively inexpensive however Smart DNS will normally be slightly cheaper.  This is because a Smart DNS server routes through a simpler server and only incurs bandwidth charges for specific servers.   A VPN service will tunnel your entire connection through the VPN server and therefore the bandwidth costs will be much greater.

Smart DNS is also easier to set up on different network devices, it requires no software or client component.  You just change your DNS settings to point at  the Smart DNS servers, therefore it’s simpler for things like Smart TVs and media devices where you can’t always set up a VPN connection.   You can even set it up directly on your router fairly easily too, this has the advantage of applying the settings to all devices on your network.  It’s not always convenient to do this, however it is essential if you want to apply to devices which have no configurable network settings.  This video is a demonstration of setting up best Smart DNS directly on a router –


The VPN is the only one which provides security and anonymity.  Not only is all your data encrypted, your identity is hidden too.  You should always use a VPN to access secure sites like email, online banking and Paypal when using public internet access like Wifi hotspots.

The choice between smart dns vs VPN really depends on your circumstances if you have any requirements for privacy, security and encryption then a VPN is definitely your only option.  Remember Smart DNS services provide no security beyond basic routing to bypass region locks.  A VPN connection is also much harder to detect than a Smart DNS relay, so they generally work better with sites like Netflix which try and block the workarounds.

Here’s two options –

IDC is a full security product with a super fast VPN service  for accessing BBC Iplayer, Hulu and all media sites.  They have loads of  USA and UK based servers so if you want to watch the BBC Iplayer service then it’s probably your best option. They do have lots of servers in the France, Germany, Australia, Canada and throughout Europe as well though.  They also don’t automatically renew your subscription either which I like.

Overplay is another great little company, I like their VPN with Smart DNS  which is easy to use.  Lots of US servers included in the standard subscription. They also have the widest selection of servers although perhaps many won’t use most of them.  If you need a server in somewhere unusual they are most likely to have them.