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Content Control blocking websites


firebrand
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Hi, I've got a problem which I don't know how to resolve. When I use my Vodafone (UK cellphone network) HSDPA USB dongle to browse the internet (using Firefox on my Ubuntu Jaunty computer), I get a Content Control screen blocking me from viewing certain kinds of sites - pr0n, sites related to "crime" (like hacking, damn them!), sites that offer rival services like VOIP... I know I can get round this by using some sort of proxy; but when I do so, the connection speed gets really low. So I'd like to bypass the Content Control screen. (Incidentally, I'm not stopped from accessing hak5.org - maybe because of the spelling "hak"?)

To try and see what happens when I try to access a banned site and get redirected, I fired up Wireshark and captured the traffic exchange (capture file here). In the capture, 10.97.81.227 is me. 64.128.121.254 is the IP address of www.hackerthreads.org (the banned site). 195.232.193.8 belongs to online.vodafone.co.uk - when I get redirected there from the banned site, I get the Content Control screen (see attachment); if I just type '195.232.193.8' into the URL bar, I get Vodafone's homepage for customers.

I'm afraid I don't know much about Wireshark and packets. All I can make out is that I exchange some packets with 64.128.121.254 (which I don't really understand - how am I sending packets there without getting a DNS from its URL first? I typed 'www.hackerthreads.org' into Firefox, not the IP address); then there is DNS traffic between me and 10.205.65.68 (which I assume is Vodafone's DNS server); and then I send packet to 195.232.193.8!

If anyone can explain what's going on, and maybe how I can bypass this, I'll be really grateful.

post-14531-1253561409_thumb.png

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Hi, I've got a problem which I don't know how to resolve. When I use my Vodafone (UK cellphone network) HSDPA USB dongle to browse the internet (using Firefox on my Ubuntu Jaunty computer), I get a Content Control screen blocking me from viewing certain kinds of sites - pr0n, sites related to "crime" (like hacking, damn them!), sites that offer rival services like VOIP... I know I can get round this by using some sort of proxy; but when I do so, the connection speed gets really low. So I'd like to bypass the Content Control screen. (Incidentally, I'm not stopped from accessing hak5.org - maybe because of the spelling "hak"?)

To try and see what happens when I try to access a banned site and get redirected, I fired up Wireshark and captured the traffic exchange (capture file here). In the capture, 10.97.81.227 is me. 64.128.121.254 is the IP address of www.hackerthreads.org (the banned site). 195.232.193.8 belongs to online.vodafone.co.uk - when I get redirected there from the banned site, I get the Content Control screen (see attachment); if I just type '195.232.193.8' into the URL bar, I get Vodafone's homepage for customers.

I'm afraid I don't know much about Wireshark and packets. All I can make out is that I exchange some packets with 64.128.121.254 (which I don't really understand - how am I sending packets there without getting a DNS from its URL first? I typed 'www.hackerthreads.org' into Firefox, not the IP address); then there is DNS traffic between me and 10.205.65.68 (which I assume is Vodafone's DNS server); and then I send packet to 195.232.193.8!

If anyone can explain what's going on, and maybe how I can bypass this, I'll be really grateful.

Are you 18 or over?

"If you're 18 years or over, you can remove Content Control by contacting your mobile services provider's team"

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Are you 18 or over?

"If you're 18 years or over, you can remove Content Control by contacting your mobile services provider's team"

I am over 18. But Vodafone require me to prove this by having a credit card. And unfortunately, I don't have a credit card.

It's a real pisser, actually, that Vodafone will only remove Content Control if I can provide a credit card number. But that's their rule, and according to everything I've read, they will not make any exceptions. Other mobile service providers offer other ways to do it - for instance I was able to get T-mobile Content Control removed by going into my local T-mobile store and telling them who I was; they only need to see me to know I'm not a minor - but Vodafone won't play nice. Which means I've got to remove the Content Control myself. If I can.

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I am over 18. But Vodafone require me to prove this by having a credit card. And unfortunately, I don't have a credit card.

It's a real pisser, actually, that Vodafone will only remove Content Control if I can provide a credit card number. But that's their rule, and according to everything I've read, they will not make any exceptions. Other mobile service providers offer other ways to do it - for instance I was able to get T-mobile Content Control removed by going into my local T-mobile store and telling them who I was; they only need to see me to know I'm not a minor - but Vodafone won't play nice. Which means I've got to remove the Content Control myself. If I can.

Switch to a different provider if you are not satisfied with there service.

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Switch to a different provider if you are not satisfied with there service.

I don't want to switch to a different provider. I've bought this HSDPA dongle, I want to use it. I can't afford to just dump functional hardware. But unfortunately Vodafone's Content Control stops me browsing certain sites. Using a proxy slows connection speed right down. So I'd like to find out if I can do something to swerve the Content Control.

Anyone got any ideas how I might do that please? I've posted here a Wireshark capture file of traffic when I try to browse a banned site and get redirected to the Content Control page.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention, I can ping www.hackerthreads.org. Like so:

user@ubuntu:~$ ping -c 5 www.hackerthreads.org
PING web3.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from grendel.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254): icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=539 ms
64 bytes from grendel.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254): icmp_seq=2 ttl=49 time=469 ms
64 bytes from grendel.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254): icmp_seq=3 ttl=49 time=449 ms
64 bytes from grendel.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254): icmp_seq=4 ttl=49 time=459 ms
64 bytes from grendel.redbarncomputers.com (64.128.121.254): icmp_seq=5 ttl=49 time=449 ms

--- web3.redbarncomputers.com ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4000ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 449.332/473.519/539.550/33.868 ms
user@ubuntu:~$

So DNS resolves to send ping packets at the site, but trying to browse the site gets me redirected to the Content Control page. Does this suggest there might be a way to avoid the Content Control? Or is it just wishful thinking?

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Use a friend's or family member's card that trusts you. It should go without saying, but ask them first.

Thanks for the suggestion. But I wouldn't want a friend or family member to do anything that's going to connect them to an internet connection of mine.

What I'm really hoping for is some technical advice. That's why I posted the link to the packet capture file.

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I'm sure I just used a link in the 'my account' on their website to unlock my phone.

Maybe you'd already proven your age to them in some way? For instance by registering a card with them for top-up purposes?

When I log in at online.vodafone.co.uk, there is a link labelled "Manage settings for call barring and content control". But when I click on it, I get the message: "Unfortunately your request cannot be processed". From reading the faq I have concluded this is because I need to prove my age by giving them a credit card number. It's definitely not due to some temporary glitch in teir web site - I've tried clicking that link many times on many different days over the past few months.

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Maybe you'd already proven your age to them in some way? For instance by registering a card with them for top-up purposes?

When I log in at online.vodafone.co.uk, there is a link labelled "Manage settings for call barring and content control". But when I click on it, I get the message: "Unfortunately your request cannot be processed". From reading the faq I have concluded this is because I need to prove my age by giving them a credit card number. It's definitely not due to some temporary glitch in teir web site - I've tried clicking that link many times on many different days over the past few months.

I don't know about where you live but here in NY a credit card cannot be used as the sole means as proof of age/ability to pay. It goes back to a lawsuit against Rental car agencies that required a credit card in order to rent a car. Now you have to have 2 forms of ability to pay (utility in your name, checking account, rent, etc).

I don't know if you'd be able to do something similar "on your side on the puddle".

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First off, if you did want to keep the dongle but change networks, most of those dongles can be unlocked, I've unlocked two "Three" dongles, one Huawei and another ZTE, easy as pie.

Second, if you have a PC on at home, or you have access to a server or shell somewhere, check out VPNs or SSH tunnels, both should allow you to browse unhindered via HSDPA.

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First off, if you did want to keep the dongle but change networks, most of those dongles can be unlocked, I've unlocked two "Three" dongles, one Huawei and another ZTE, easy as pie.

I am very interested in unlocking this dongle. It's a Huawei K3565/e160, currently locked to Vodafone (UK). i've looked into this before, but the only solutions I could find was to pay Vodafone or some third party to do it for me - and for the money they want to charge I could buy a new dongle.

But if you know of a way I can unlock this dongle myself, please fill me in.

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The Huawei was a little harder, if I recall, than the ZTE, but it was still reasonably easy. Some modems can be unlocked with a simple flash update using generic, unbranded, manufacturer firmware (in this case, Huawei, rather than Vodafone's firmware). In the case of the E220 I unlocked, though, I think it required reading a couple of bytes from the firmware (the unlock code, easily done with a hex editor and a few seconds).

Here's an example of an E220 method, it may work for the E160 (replacing firmware and references to E220 with E160 where appropriate):

http://www.avforums.com/forums/mobile-phon...e-vodafone.html

Here's another method, since many have reported the first one failing:

http://3g-modem.wetpaint.com/page/Huawei+E220

Again, both of these are for the E220, but it may be possible to adapt them for the E160. If I come across any E160-specific instructions I'll post them.

Edit: Apparently the E160 uses either a slightly different method (the key is not as easily, or not at all readable) or different length key. Maybe a bit harder than other Huawei models.

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The Huawei was a little harder, if I recall, than the ZTE, but it was still reasonably easy. Some modems can be unlocked with a simple flash update using generic, unbranded, manufacturer firmware (in this case, Huawei, rather than Vodafone's firmware). In the case of the E220 I unlocked, though, I think it required reading a couple of bytes from the firmware (the unlock code, easily done with a hex editor and a few seconds).

Here's an example of an E220 method, it may work for the E160 (replacing firmware and references to E220 with E160 where appropriate):

http://www.avforums.com/forums/mobile-phon...e-vodafone.html

Here's another method, since many have reported the first one failing:

http://3g-modem.wetpaint.com/page/Huawei+E220

Again, both of these are for the E220, but it may be possible to adapt them for the E160. If I come across any E160-specific instructions I'll post them.

Edit: Apparently the E160 uses either a slightly different method (the key is not as easily, or not at all readable) or different length key. Maybe a bit harder than other Huawei models.

Thanks moonlit, I'll check that out.

dns tunnel , one of the hak5 ep's explained it, moobix (can't remember the spelling) covered this subject it was for avoiding pay to surf access but this should also work in the same manner

Unfortunately I can't use this particular method to solve my particular problem. DNS tunnelling will involve having access to another computer, and my only internet access is via the HSDPA dongle or a cellphone.

Has anyone looked at the packet capture file I posted and seen how I might defeat the content lock?

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I would have to recommend that you call customer services and start to make a ruckus. The very fact that you have a contract in your name means you are over 18, you couldn't have got a contract otherwise. If you repeatedly escalate the issue to managers, and offer other evidence such as a passport and so forth, you may get somewhere, especially if you say that this device is not fit for purpose and ask to be let out of your contract at no charge before its term is due. However 1st line will not be able to do this for you, you need to make a noise up the chain of command including such tactics as executive mail bombs.

I cannot stress this enough though, be polite. These people you talk to on the phone are paid to do a job, they don't make the polices, so you need to be calm, rational and persistent if you want the "for fucks sake, just do it" principle to work.

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I would have to recommend that you call customer services and start to make a ruckus. The very fact that you have a contract in your name means you are over 18, you couldn't have got a contract otherwise. If you repeatedly escalate the issue to managers, and offer other evidence such as a passport and so forth, you may get somewhere, especially if you say that this device is not fit for purpose and ask to be let out of your contract at no charge before its term is due. However 1st line will not be able to do this for you, you need to make a noise up the chain of command including such tactics as executive mail bombs.

I cannot stress this enough though, be polite. These people you talk to on the phone are paid to do a job, they don't make the polices, so you need to be calm, rational and persistent if you want the "for fucks sake, just do it" principle to work.

I don't have a contract. This is a pay as you go deal. The terms of service are very clear - I must prove I'm over 18 by producing a credit card if I want them to lift the Content Control.

Look, they are not going to lift the Content Control. So I want to bypass it.

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VPN then, its easy to setup. However, I'm pretty sure my PAYG 3 Mobile USB stick can be used to access porn and so forth, and I just used a debit card with that one. I do some tests for you, you may just want to unlock it and get a new SIM.

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