HTTP tunneling

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Introduction

In networking, tunneling is using a protocol of higher level (in our case HTTP) to transport a lower level protocol (in our case TCP).

Create the tunnel using httptunnel

httptunnel [available in extra] creates a bidirectional virtual data connection tunneled in HTTP requests. The HTTP requests can be sent via an HTTP proxy if so desired. This can be useful for users behind restrictive firewalls. If WWW access is allowed through a HTTP proxy, it's possible to use httptunnel and, say, telnet or PPP to connect to a computer outside the firewall.

If you already have a web server listening on port 80 you are probably going to want to create a virtual host and tell your web server to proxy request to the hts server. This is not covered here.

If you do not have any web server listening on port 80 you can do:

  • on the server:
hts --forward-port localhost:22 80
  • on the client:
htc --forward-port 8888 example.net:80
ssh -ND user@localhost -p 8888
Note: As SSH thinks it is connecting to localhost it will not recognize the fingerprint and display a warning.

You can now use localhost:8888 as a SOCKS proxy.

Using the tunnel

See Using a SOCKS proxy.