Internet filtering software, internet babysitter
programs, web blocking software...call it what you will, it is software
that runs in the background on the machine you surf the 'net with for the
purpose of restricting access to certain types of Web content--client-side
Web censorship. By blocking access to "inappropriate" sites and keeping
intricate logs of any "offensive" sites you've tried to visit, these programs
not only restrict your freedoms, but could also violate your privacy by
telling your employer/co-workers/parents all the sites you've tried to
access--be they about breast cancer, certain religious, political or sexual
orientations, drug/alcohol use, AIDS, sites for helping you find a new
employer....the privacy and job-security ramifications are far-reaching
to say the least. Censorware is a tool-of-choice for overprotective parents
and paranoid employers, and is typically fairly easy to disable despite
password-protection and other schemes designed to deter cybersabotage.
Disabling most censorware
on Windows ME
Windows ME reportedly has a system restore feature that lets you revert your system to a previous configuration. If you can use this to revert it to a day before the censorware was installed, viola! No more censorware.
how to disable AOL Parental Controls
Prior to AOL version 6, blocked sites can be accessed by placing a dot "." at the end of the URL. For example: to access http://controversialsite.com/ enter it as http://controversialsite.com/. to bypass the filter. See thishow to disable Cyber Patrol 4! (and some earlier):
C|Net articlefor more information. AOL is presently aware of this problem and has fixed it in the current version of the AOL client. I have a report (for AOL 5.0) this no longer works.
(The fix may also have been implemented server-side, making this work for NO versions of the software. Please let me know if you have success with this or not, and what version of AOL's software you are using.)
(Note: the address http://controversialsite.com is used for purposes of example only. At the time of this writing, there is no site by this name.)
|The now-infamous cp4break,
or "The Breaking of Cyber Patrol (R) 4" whitepaper, contains this
paragraph on forcibly removing the Cyber Patrol 4 censorship from your
computer. The short and sweet version is as follows (you may want to print
these instructions before trying to disable the software):
Exit Windows (go to MS-DOS mode) so that you can move important Windows files around without any worry about the files being in use. Cyber Patrol 4 will have overwritten your system's original "system.drv" file with its own, cheat-protected version, and renamed your original file to "system.386". Find "system.386" and rename it to "system.drv", overwriting the CP version. This done, you can safely reboot the computer to remove the rest of the CP files without setting off any anti-hacker protection. You can now remove the load entry (FltProcess) it placed in your WIN.INI and the other load entry (FltProcess) in the Registry.
If you are trying to bypass an unregistered version of CP 4, try entering omed as your password. omed is "demo" spelled backwards. Talk about your high security.
The cp4break document also
goes into much detail about the cryptography (if you can reasonably call
it that) used to keep the blocklist secret, and how this can be circumvented.
Although the document itself is perfectly legal, hot-headed lawyers
from Mattel (R) (yes, the same company that makes Barbies), which owns
the CP program, have gone to some length to censor this paper from the
Internet by harassing ISPs with various threats. If you are afflicted with
Cyber Patrol and cannot access the downloads here, there are
You can use cphack.exe to
decrypt much of what is in the encoded CP configuration files--including
the passwords needed to disable the censorware.
For more info regarding the CPHack program and cp4break, and the lawsuits that have sprung up surrounding it, see the
press release, the opinionated Slashdot
article w/ comments, Politechbot's
coverage (w/ legal docs), and especially the homepage
of Matthew Skala, who co-wrote the cp4break file (not cphack, which
is a different program) and reached the infamous "$1 settlement" with Mattel,
clears up many misconceptions surrounding the issue.
For older versions:
For Windows2: Peacefire.org produces
program that disables most blocking software made before 12/17/2000.
For Windows1: Download this set of Windows batch files for enabling and disabling Cyber Patrol. Once installed, type DISABLE in MS-DOS mode to kill the program, and ENABLE to return it to its original form.
Method 22: (This will disable Cyber Patrol's blocking features without uninstalling the program)
Use what's known as the Jack Harris Method © to take advantage of a situation where the program temporarily lets down its defenses to tampering. This file also covers the "Dummy Default" to trick your parents/sysadmin/boss into thinking the program is still running when it's disabled.
how to disable CYBERsitter 2002: Jeremy Rand informs me that the "permanent" removal procedure for CYBERsitter 2000, below, also works for the 2002 edition. The "per-session" method, however, does not.
how to disable CYBERsitter 2000:
Andrew shares the following tips for disabling CYBERsitter 2000.This procedure disables CS2000 on a session-by-session basis (e.g. until you reset the computer or change users) ...
1) click start~run and type regedit, then press enter. this will open the registry editor.
2) navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SecurityProviders.
3) delete the key 'net98'.
you are now filter-free. (note: this must be done every time you start windows or change users.)
This procedure disables the censorware permanently (e.g. remains disabled if you reboot the computer, change users, etc.)
1) run regedit.
2) navigate to
3) delete any instances of 'C2K'
You will probably need to restart the computer for the above to take effect.
Riley Shea has a
webpagethat details a method for obtaining the CYBERsitter 2000 master password. You can then use this password to bypass the program. It also explains how to remove tattletale entries from the program's logfiles. This process involves the installation of a known Trojan Horse, so this procedure is aimed at computer gurus only--preferably ones with a 'sacrificial' PC for such an occasion. See How to completely stop cybersitter2000!for details.
Warning!! Part of this process involves installing Sub Seven, a nasty Trojan program that can give others access to your computer. Once you retrieve the password you must remove Sub Seven from your system to prevent unauthorized access. See a free
removal utility here. Simply deleting the Sub Seven files will not rid you of the Trojan. Again, this procedure is for gurus only.
how to disable CYBERsitter (older versions):
Download this small program (written by Saruman of DFR Rese*rch & Engineering). It contains a program to display CYBERsitter 97's master password and another to decrypt its blockfiles and let you see exactly what is being blocked by this software:
CYBERsitter inserts its settings in Windows' win.ini file, but before it does, it saves a backup copy as win.cyb in your Windows directory (same place as win.ini). To disable CYBERsitter, rename win.ini to something you'll remember (win.censor, for example) and rename win.cyb to win.ini.
If you've installed other
software after CYBERsitter was installed on your system, the setup processes
of these programs may have made their own entries to win.ini (the one with
all the cybersitter crap in it) and may not run properly if you swap in
the copy of win.ini without these settings. In this case, instead of renaming
the win.cyb file, open your existing win.ini file (remember, make a backup
copy first!!!) and delete the sections [TCPIP
User] and [TCPIP
Settings], as well
as the line load=TCPWAIT.EXE,
which should be near the beginning of the file. Your win.ini will look
something like this:
load=TCPWAIT.EXE (delete this line)
... (other stuff in between, just ignore it)
[TCPIP User] (Delete
this entire section)
[TCPIP Settings] (Delete
this entire section too)
This will disable CYBERsitter's blocking of websites. (Unfortunately, CYBERsitter will still log all accesses and may censor individual "offensive" words.)
To prevent inappropriate sites/words from being found in your CYBERsitter logs:
How to disable Cyber Snoop:
how to disable Eyeguard "flesh tone" scanning program
Got some great information in from Chris C. on this one. Bypass is ridiculously easy on this:How to disable Net Nanny:
Basically you install it and it checks your screen for flesh colours, it can then either just log it or lock your screen. It's pretty crappy as it would lock out on kids bare feet (people seem to have a passion to baby pictures on their desktops, uurgh), and scanned Financial Times articles (a browny paper we have in the uk).
Disabling this program simply involves killing it off in Windows Ctrl-Alt-Del task menu (or Wintop). The prog. apparently uses Rundll32 to do its dirty work.
Net Nanny Version 4.0: In Windows 98 or Windows ME, click Start > Run, and type msconfig in the box to start a Windows configuration tool. Go to the Startup tab, which displays a list of programs that run at startup. Uncheck the entries for "nntray.exe"and "NNSvsc", then restart. Net Nanny disabled! Thanks Jon M. for the info.
To disable Net Nanny for a single session in Windows 95, press CTRL-ALT-DELETE to bring up the Close Program dialogue. Depending on the version of Net Nanny you are afflicted with, either OCRAWARE or Wnldr32 will appear on the list. Select whichever is listed and press End Task.
To disable it more permanently, try some of these methods of getting rid of it for good:
Open the file c:\windows\system.ini. Under the section marked "[boot]", there should be a line labeled "drivers=" with some stuff listed after it. Remove the word "wndrv16.dll" from the "drivers=" line. (If there are other words listed on the "drivers=" line, leave them there, just remove "wndrv16.dll".) Save changes to the file and restart your computer, and Net Nanny is gone for good!
(note: this may only apply to the win3.x version):
Open the file config.sys (it should be in your c:\ directory) and look for the line DEVICE=C:\NN\NNDRV.SYS. This is the net nanny driver. To prevent it from loading type REM in front of this line, so it appears as REM DEVICE=C:\NN\NNDRV.SYS. (REM stands for Remark; it tells the computer not to process that line because it is a user-inserted remark or comment.) Reboot to eliminate the copy of NN resident in memory, and you'll be censor-free! Net Nanny will no longer load when you restart your system.
To clear Net Nanny's log
Delete the file Wnn3.log (it should be in your Net Nanny directory). Note that you can't open the file and delete individual entries, because the file is encrypted.
How to disable SurfWatch:
Permanently uninstalls SurfWatch from your computer. (This information
taken word-for-word directly from
SurfWatch will now be disabled on your computer. Reverse all of the steps above to re-enable it.
Ideas for getting around a Proxy Filter (such as BESS):
There is a special type of censorware that works by acting as a proxy between your browser and the Internet. What this means is, when you request a page thru your browser, the censorware requests the page off the 'Net, verifies that it's "clean", then passes it on to the browser. Some methods of trying to get around a Proxy censorware are as follows:Some workarounds for BESS proxy filter
- Look at your browser's Proxy Settings, and see if the censorware is listed and see if it can be removed. The censorware makers have probably thought of this, but it never hurts to try the simple stuff first.
- If trying to access a blocked page, try accessing it thru an anonymizing proxy server. Unfortunately the censorware makers have thought of this too, and so the biggest and well-known anonymizers (anonymizer.com, etc.) may be blocked by the program. If possible, find one that encodes the URL being requested. Alternatively, try piping the restricted URL thru the Akamai server's forwarding scheme as
described on this Peacefire page(here I'm using this method to link to the site to bypass censorware filters, in lieu of stealing any page and reposting it here). Note that most proxies will not work against CYBERsitter, which filters by keywords instead of URLs.
- Use the site's numerical IP address (see the Worldspy workaround page for instructions on getting a site's numeric address). Also, try using this numeric address in combination with a proxy server such as the Akamai proxy as described above.
- Try some of the URL-encoding suggestions on the
PC-Help URL Obfuscation page. This information is intended for tracing spammers who encode their fraud-page addresses, but has proven successful is bypassing many a stupid censorware filter. (To access any blocked page http://controversialsite.com/controversialpage.html, try http://email@example.com/controversialpage.html)
- Check out
SASIC's Bypass Tools.
- Try accessing through a cache or translation service.
Web.archive.orgalso provides a cache. Google also provides a language translator, as do Systransoftand AltaVista. Enter the blocked site as the URL to be translated (even if it is already in your language).
- See below, under "BESS proxy filter". Some of the BESS solutions may work for a variety of other proxy filters...
http://firstname.lastname@example.orgThat is, substitute the domain name of any non-blocked sited, followed by an @ and the blocked URL. (This format is used by most browsers to supply a username and password to FTP sites, but can be included in HTTP URLs as well.) Presumably, the filtering software assumes that the "@" and everything following it is not part of the domain name and should not be checked.
At my school we found away to get around bess which is pretty easy, it may be different at your school. Are school uses bess to supposedly block inapropriate materials, what a joke. We use netscape Navigator to access the internet but you can do this in Interent Explorer too. In Netscape click on the edit section on the top of your screen and move your mouse down to preferences and click. Once the Preference screen pops up click the + sign on the advanced section. Then once the advanced area expands you will see a section that says proxies. click on it. Then there will be 3 bullets. Place the bullet in the one that says manual proxy configuration. Then click the button that says view. Then the manual proxy configuration window will pop up. Copy the data in the http text box and paste it in the socks text box. Change the last number of the data you pasted to a 3. Then delete everthing in the http and security text boxes. Now trying going to a web site that was once blocked and poof bess is no longer monitoring or blocking what you do on the interent. This worked at my school, maybe it will work at yours. email me at Slacker_17@graffiti.net if it worked or have any other ideas to get around bess. It no longer works at my school because they called in some so called security expert to fix the loop whole but we will find a new way. WE CAN NOT BE CENSORED.Anyway, try fiddling with your browser's proxy settings, particularly if it's someone such as parents (as opposed to a school admin. or boss) who installed the software. They are typically not too knowledgeable when it comes to these things, and will likely have left loopholes open :)
Censorware Not Listed
If you know that your parent/admin sometimes types in the password, put a key logger program onto your system. Key loggers monitor all keystrokes and save them to a file you can read later...you'll see everything that's been typed, including the censorware password.