Know your proxy – develop-behind-proxy
Before configuring your computer applications to work with your proxy, you have to know which configuration settings to apply.
These can typically be obtained from your IT department:
the proxy’s host and port for the two protocols (HTTP and HTTPs). For example proxyhost:8080 and proxyhost:4443
the list of hosts that do not require a proxy, in other words the hosts for which the applications should still use a direct connection. These are typically computers located in the intranet, but also some external hosts that have been put in a ‘whitelist’ by your IT department. For example localhost, 127. 0. 1, mylocalserver
(optional) your credentials (username and password). Note that NTML proxies such as ZScaler do not require this – this is even dangerous in term of security to write your username and password in a file or an environment variable, so we don’t recommend it
Some tools are able to get their configuration with “auto-config” from a script. If your organization provides such a script, make sure that you retrieve it.
Advanced: proxies that modify the SSL certification chain¶
Some proxies such as ZScaler modify the SSL certification chain by replacing the root Certification Authority (CA)’s certificate signature with their own CA certificate.
In these cases, you will have to tell all your software applications to trust this new CA certificate. We will see below how to do that, but first let’s check if you need it with your proxy.
Check if your proxy needs to be trusted¶
To check if your proxy changes the certification chain, here is the procedure on Firefox (but you can probably find equivalent possibilities in other browsers):
connect to any page such as click on the small ‘locker’ icon at the left of the URL bar
extend the popup. It should state “secure connection, verified by xxx”:
if xxx has the name of your proxy (in this example, Zscaler) instead of being a known certification authority (such as DigiCert, Thawte, Verisign, Symantec, etc. ), that means that your proxy has modified the certification chain. Otherwise, that means that either your proxy does not modify it, or bad luck: you picked a site that is in the whitelist:) select another url and try again, to be sure.
Download your proxy’s root certificate¶
If the test was positive, you will need to download the proxy’s CA certificate in order to be able to trust it. For this:
Click on More Information > View Certificate > Details.
Select the ROOT certificate, at the top of the hierarchy – not the intermediate ones! – and export it as a * or * file. If your browser asks you which certificate format is needed, select base64. This format is a string representation of the certificate’s bytes, so you may open the file in Notepad and copy/paste the certificate easily if you need to.
You now have a file.
Note:, and are both valid extensions for such a base64 encoded file, see this article. They can be opened with a text editor if needed.
Create a certificate bundle including your proxy’s root certificate¶
As we’ll see in the next session, some tools are able to support addition of trusted certificates one by one (= separate certificate files), while some others only support changing the whole trusted certificate bundle entirely (= a single file containing all trusted certificates).
You will therefore need to build such a certificate bundle file. This is done by appending your proxy’s root certificate (, downloaded in previous section) to an existing certificate bundle.
Get an existing certificate bundle. For example you may wish to get it from certifi by downloading it from this adress: IMPORTANT please check that this link is still the link recommended by! Downloading a compromised list of certificate authorities can enfringe your computer’s (and IT dept) security rules, proceed with care and/or double-check with your IT department.
save the file somewhere on your computer, and rename it for example Make sure that only administrator account has write permissions on this file. This will prevent programs to add other trusted certificates later on.
open it in your favorite text editor to edit it: at the end of the file, append your Proxy’s certificate (the contents of the file downloaded in previous step). The bottom of the resulting certificate bundle file should therefore now look like this:
(… end of the file provided by certifi)
My Proxy’s Root CA
(… this is fairly long)
You are now all set:
You have a file containing your proxy’s certificate only. This will be referred to as <> in next section
You have a file containing a bundle of trusted certificates, as well as your proxy’s. This will be referred to as <> in next section
(Remember that, and are both valid extensions for these files)
Specifying a proxy account for root – Centrify Product …
The most common scenario for most UNIX systems is to have the Privileged Access Service manage the password for the local root user. However, it is also very common to configure secure shell environments to prevent the root user from opening secure shell connections, which would prevent the account from being used to log on to target systems.
To address these two common scenarios, the Privileged Access Service allows you to specify a “proxy” account to use in place of the root account. The “proxy” account is used to open the secure shell session on the target system. The account used as the “proxy” for the root account does not require any special privileges. The only requirement for the “proxy” account is that it must be allowed to open secure shell sessions on the target system. After the “proxy” account opens the secure shell connection, the Privileged Access Service gets root privileges programmatically, enabling the account to perform administrative tasks on the target system.
Note: Accounts using SSH key as the credential type cannot have a proxy account.
Checking whether a “proxy” account is required
If you have configured ssh to prevent the root user account from logging on using secure shell (ssh) connections, you must add a user name and password for an account that can open a secure shell connection on the target system. If necessary, you can open the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file on the server to verify whether the PermitRootLogin parameter is set to no. If the PermitRootLogin parameter is set to no, you must specify a “proxy” account.
Managing the password for a “proxy” account
If you are using a “proxy” account as a substitute for the root user account, you also have the option to have the password for the “proxy” account managed by the Privileged Access Service. If you select Manage this credential for a “proxy” account, only the Privileged Access Service will know the password for the account. The managed password for the “proxy” account will not be available to any other applications or users.
You can specify the proxy account information when adding the system using the Add System wizard or an import template or after you have added the system using the System Settings.
What is a Proxy Server? How It Works & How to Use It | Fortinet
What Is a Proxy Server?
A proxy server provides a gateway between users and the internet. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online.
When a computer connects to the internet, it uses an IP address. This is similar to your home’s street address, telling incoming data where to go and marking outgoing data with a return address for other devices to authenticate. A proxy server is essentially a computer on the internet that has an IP address of its own.
Proxy Servers and Network Security
Proxies provide a valuable layer of security for your computer. They can be set up as web filters or firewalls, protecting your computer from internet threats like malware.
This extra security is also valuable when coupled with a secure web gateway or other email security products. This way, you can filter traffic according to its level of safety or how much traffic your network—or individual computers—can handle.
How to use a proxy? Some people use proxies for personal purposes, such as hiding their location while watching movies online, for example. For a company, however, they can be used to accomplish several key tasks such as:
Secure employees’ internet activity from people trying to snoop on them
Balance internet traffic to prevent crashes
Control the websites employees and staff access in the office
Save bandwidth by caching files or compressing incoming traffic
How a Proxy Works
Because a proxy server has its own IP address, it acts as a go-between for a computer and the internet. Your computer knows this address, and when you send a request on the internet, it is routed to the proxy, which then gets the response from the web server and forwards the data from the page to your computer’s browser, like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge
How to Get a Proxy
There are hardware and software versions. Hardware connections sit between your network and the internet, where they get, send, and forward data from the web. Software proxies are typically hosted by a provider or reside in the cloud. You download and install an application on your computer that facilitates interaction with the proxy.
Often, a software proxy can be obtained for a monthly fee. Sometimes, they are free. The free versions tend to offer users fewer addresses and may only cover a few devices, while the paid proxies can meet the demands of a business with many devices.
How Is the Server Set Up?
To get started with a proxy server, you have to configure it in your computer, device, or network. Each operating system has its own setup procedures, so check the steps required for your computer or network.
In most cases, however, setup means using an automatic configuration script. If you want to do it manually, there will be options to enter the IP address and the appropriate port.
How Does the Proxy Protect Computer Privacy and Data?
A proxy server performs the function of a firewall and filter. The end-user or a network administrator can choose a proxy designed to protect data and privacy. This examines the data going in and out of your computer or network. It then applies rules to prevent you from having to expose your digital address to the world. Only the proxy’s IP address is seen by hackers or other bad actors. Without your personal IP address, people on the internet do not have direct access to your personal data, schedules, apps, or files.
With it in place, web requests go to the proxy, which then reaches out and gets what you want from the internet. If the server has encryption capabilities, passwords and other personal data get an extra tier of protection.
Benefits of a Proxy Server
Proxies come with several benefits that can give your business an advantage:
Enhanced security: Can act like a firewall between your systems and the internet. Without them, hackers have easy access to your IP address, which they can use to infiltrate your computer or network.
Private browsing, watching, listening, and shopping: Use different proxies to help you avoid getting inundated with unwanted ads or the collection of IP-specific data.
Access to location-specific content: You can designate a proxy server with an address associated with another country. You can, in effect, make it look like you are in that country and gain full access to all the content computers in that country are allowed to interact with.
Prevent employees from browsing inappropriate or distracting sites: You can use it to block access to websites that run contrary to your organization’s principles. Also, you can block sites that typically end up distracting employees from important tasks. Some organizations block social media sites like Facebook and others to remove time-wasting temptations.
Types of Proxy Servers
While all proxy servers give users an alternate address with which to use the internet, there are several different kinds—each with its own features.
A forward proxy sits in front of clients and is used to get data to groups of users within an internal network. When a request is sent, the proxy server examines it to decide whether it should proceed with making a connection.
A forward proxy is best suited for internal networks that need a single point of entry. It provides IP address security for those in the network and allows for straightforward administrative control. However, a forward proxy may limit an organization’s ability to cater to the needs of individual end-users.
A transparent proxy can give users an experience identical to what they would have if they were using their home computer. In that way, it is “transparent. ” They can also be “forced” on users, meaning they are connected without knowing it.
Transparent proxies are well-suited for companies that want to make use of a proxy without making employees aware they are using one. It carries the advantage of providing a seamless user experience. On the other hand, transparent proxies are more susceptible to certain security threats, such as SYN-flood denial-of-service attacks.
An anonymous proxy focuses on making internet activity untraceable. It works by accessing the internet on behalf of the user while hiding their identity and computer information.
A transparent proxy is best suited for users who want to have full anonymity while accessing the internet. While transparent proxies provide some of the best identity protection possible, they are not without drawbacks. Many view the use of transparent proxies as underhanded, and users sometimes face pushback or discrimination as a result.
High Anonymity Proxy
A high anonymity proxy is an anonymous proxy that takes anonymity one step further. It works by erasing your information before the proxy attempts to connect to the target site.
The server is best suited for users for whom anonymity is an absolute necessity, such as employees who do not want their activity traced back to the organization. On the downside, some of them, particularly the free ones, are decoys set up to trap users in order to access their personal information or data.
A distorting proxy identifies itself as a proxy to a website but hides its own identity. It does this by changing its IP address to an incorrect one.
Distorting proxies are a good choice for people who want to hide their location while accessing the internet. This type of proxy can make it look like you are browsing from a specific country and give you the advantage of hiding not just your identity but that of the proxy, too. This means even if you are associated with the proxy, your identity is still secure. However, some websites automatically block distorting proxies, which could keep an end-user from accessing sites they need.
Data Center Proxy
Data center proxies are not affiliated with an internet service provider (ISP) but are provided by another corporation through a data center. The proxy server exists in a physical data center, and the user’s requests are routed through that server.
Data center proxies are a good choice for people who need quick response times and an inexpensive solution. They are therefore a good choice for people who need to gather intelligence on a person or organization very quickly. They carry the benefit of giving users the power to swiftly and inexpensively harvest data. On the other hand, they do not offer the highest level of anonymity, which may put users’ information or identity at risk.
A residential proxy gives you an IP address that belongs to a specific, physical device. All requests are then channeled through that device.
Residential proxies are well-suited for users who need to verify the ads that go on their website, so you can block cookies, suspicious or unwanted ads from competitors or bad actors. Residential proxies are more trustworthy than other proxy options. However, they often cost more money to use, so users should carefully analyze whether the benefits are worth the extra investment.
A public proxy is accessible by anyone free of charge. It works by giving users access to its IP address, hiding their identity as they visit sites.
Public proxies are best suited for users for whom cost is a major concern and security and speed are not. Although they are free and easily accessible, they are often slow because they get bogged down with free users. When you use a public proxy, you also run an increased risk of having your information accessed by others on the internet.
Shared proxies are used by more than one user at once. They give you access to an IP address that may be shared by other people, and then you can surf the internet while appearing to browse from a location of your choice.
Shared proxies are a solid option for people who do not have a lot of money to spend and do not necessarily need a fast connection. The main advantage of a shared proxy is its low cost. Because they are shared by others, you may get blamed for someone else’s bad decisions, which could get you banned from a site.
A secure sockets layer (SSL) proxy provides decryption between the client and the server. As the data is encrypted in both directions, the proxy hides its existence from both the client and the server.
These proxies are best suited for organizations that need enhanced protection against threats that the SSL protocol reveals and stops. Because Google prefers servers that use SSL, an SSL proxy, when used in connection with a website, may help its search engine ranking. On the downside, content encrypted on an SSL proxy cannot be cached, so when visiting websites multiple times, you may experience slower performance than you would otherwise.
A rotating proxy assigns a different IP address to each user that connects to it. As users connect, they are given an address that is unique from the device that connected before it.
Rotating proxies are ideal for users who need to do a lot of high-volume, continuous web scraping. They allow you to return to the same website again and again anonymously. However, you have to be careful when choosing rotating proxy services. Some of them contain public or shared proxies that could expose your data.
Unlike a forward proxy, which sits in front of clients, a reverse proxy is positioned in front of web servers and forwards requests from a browser to the web servers. It works by intercepting requests from the user at the network edge of the web server. It then sends the requests to and receives replies from the origin server.
Reverse proxies are a strong option for popular websites that need to balance the load of many incoming requests. They can help an organization reduce bandwidth load because they act like another web server managing incoming requests. The downside is reverse proxies can potentially expose the HTTP server architecture if an attacker is able to penetrate it. This means network administrators may have to beef up or reposition their firewall if they are using a reverse proxy.
Proxy Server vs. VPN
On the surface, proxy servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) may seem interchangeable because they both route requests and responses through an external server. Both also allow you to access websites that would otherwise block the country you’re physically located in. However, VPNs provide better protection against hackers because they encrypt all traffic.
Choosing VPN or Proxy
If you need to constantly access the internet to send and receive data that should be encrypted or if your company has to reveal data you must hide from hackers and corporate spies, a VPN would be a better choice.
If an organization merely needs to allow its users to browse the internet anonymously, a proxy server may do the trick. This is the better solution if you simply want to know which websites team members are using or you want to make sure they have access to sites that block users from your country.
A VPN is better suited for business use because users usually need secure data transmission in both directions. Company information and personnel data can be very valuable in the wrong hands, and a VPN provides the encryption you need to keep it protected. For personal use where a breach would only affect you, a single user, a proxy server may be an adequate choice. You can also use both technologies simultaneously, particularly if you want to limit the websites that users within your network visit while also encrypting their communications.
How Fortinet Can Help
FortiGate has the capability of both proxies and VPNs. It shields users from data breaches that often happen with high-speed traffic and uses IPsec and SSL to enhance security. FortiGate also harnesses the power of the FortiASIC hardware accelerator to enhance performance without compromising privacy. Secure your network with FortiGate VPN and proxy capabilities. Contact us to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions about proxy root
What is root proxy?
The “proxy” account is used to open the secure shell session on the target system. … The account used as the “proxy” for the root account does not require any special privileges.Jun 28, 2021
What is proxy app?
An application proxy or application proxy server receives requests intended for another server and acts as the proxy of the client to obtain the requested service. … If you access the Internet through an application proxy, some Universal Connection applications might use the proxy.
What proxy is used for?
A proxy server provides a gateway between users and the internet. It is a server, referred to as an “intermediary” because it goes between end-users and the web pages they visit online. When a computer connects to the internet, it uses an IP address.