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London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Thread, Synetrix filtering in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); We have just discovered today that Limewire and other file sharing programs go straight through the LGFL/Synetrix filtering. Has anyone ...
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    vsnider's Avatar
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    Synetrix filtering

    We have just discovered today that Limewire and other file sharing programs go straight through the LGFL/Synetrix filtering. Has anyone else tested this and found the same results or are we unique. We dont use any other filtering (cache boxes, isa server etc). Any replies would be appreciated.
    Thanks

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    Which PCs are running such guff?
    I hope I am safe in assuming its not domain PCs. If is pupil's own laptops, etc. - would it be feasible to firewall them off behind a NAT where you can exercise control?

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    vsnider's Avatar
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    Stopping it isnt a problem (theres numerous solutions), its the fact that Synetrix allows it. We only found this out by accident because we had a problem with MSNmessenger getting through. We thought if that does, what about other programs. According to our account info it was blocked.

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    tonyd's Avatar
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    Admin & Curric networks

    I'm guessing you're using the Admin port of the Synetric router to run your combined or curric network. The Admin side is typically left a lot more open and may explain why they're allowing access...

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    vsnider's Avatar
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    We were behind our ISA server which Synetrix said wasnt recommended and that we should go directly through their switch. Imagine our surprise. Long conversations with Synetrix ensued and the upshot is we are back behind the ISA.

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    tonyd's Avatar
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    Quite agree with you, I always prefer to use an ISA box to do NAT & secure my networks, as well as for publishing internal servers. But, which port (and IP) address are you using on the Synetrix supplied switch? As I recall, the top left is normally configured for admin networks, and the bottom left for curriculum.

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    Face-Man's Avatar
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    You should be able to adjust the filtering using a login to OpenDNS there is a whole section on P2P sites and is great for white and black listing. The only problem may be that you will need to get a password from your LA. Obviously you can phone them up to block stuff but having access to the netsweeper rules is far better

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    We also looking to block P2P traffic at specific times and even block all access to the internet at specific times.

    I logged on to the synetrix URL filtering site looked at the category definitions section and rubbed my hands together because I saw 'file sharing' - p2p as a category.

    However

    The option is no where to be seen on the page where you choose what category to block! I phoned up synetrix and they told me they no longer support this option along with many other of the options listed on the definitions page. How lame, considering how much we pay them.

    So what to do now?

    Having an ISA server looks costly.

    Can anyone recommend a free proxy server that allows for timed blocks + that is easy to setup?

    ...or any other solution?

    Thanks!

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    Me again

    After a bit of reading it seems that blocking p2p traffic totally is very difficult, as many different ports can get used.

    I have basically been asked to lock down the internet at certain times: I have set up a new policy in the synetrix url filtering page and named it 'denyinternet' I then have ticked every category to be blocked including general sites. Also added in the deny list http://*.* and set the policy to be active over the time we want.

    Will see how it goes.. obviously this will not stop connections still being made by p2p programs. But blocking access to the torrent sites is probably the best I can do without spending any money. Will disallow running of exes too.

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    How is this software being installed on your network?

    This is as much a acceptable use / disciplinary problem as a technical problem in my oppinion.

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    It appears they are using portable versions of limewire and other p2p software.

    I agree with you that disciplinary action is needed, shall leave that for the head to deal with though.

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    Yes we've had issues with TOR on USB drives as well. Smoothwall has sorted most of our issues now though

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    Yes we've had issues with TOR on USB drives as well. Smoothwall has sorted most of our issues now though
    If you have any left, let us know

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    If you have any left, let us know
    We can't get NTLM auth working correctly (SSL doesn't work with Citrix) but support are giving me a call back next week to sort it. Thanks.



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