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Open Web Proxies

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Encyclopedia of Cryptography, Security and Privacy


A web proxy is a device or a software acting as an intermediary for HTTP(S) traffic between users and web services. There are different types of web proxies including enterprise proxies – used to enforce company policies as well as security purposes – and Internet Service Providers (ISP) proxies – used to optimize ISP traffic – just to cite a few. This chapter focuses on open web proxies, another type of web proxies which are free and open to the public. Lists of free web proxies are maintained by specialized forums, websites, and even VPN service providers.


There are three main use cases for open web proxies: (1) hide a user’s IP address, for privacy reasons; (2) enable access to geographically restricted content by “shifting” a user’s IP to a country where the desired content can be accessed; and (3) censorship-avoidance by reaching censored content via proxy. A recent analysis of the traffic carried by proxies provided by a Chrome extension indicates that the...

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Correspondence to Diego Perino .

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Perino, D., Varvello, M., Soriente, C. (2022). Open Web Proxies. In: Jajodia, S., Samarati, P., Yung, M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Cryptography, Security and Privacy. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-27739-9

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