Thursday, 30 April 2015

How to Bypass Sky Broadband Shield

In this post I'll explain how to get past Sky's Broadband Shield website block.

(For international readers - this post is about content blocking controls implemented by one of the UK's largest ISPs.)


Where the porn at?

I recently tried to load xvideos.com and was redirected to a page at "http://block.nb.sky.com".


Without the credentials for the Sky user account I was unable to login and switch off the Sky Broadband Shield as suggested.


How does it work?

Curious how Sky were performing such a redirection I checked the DNS records. I discovered that the Sky DNS record for xvideos.com had been modified to point to the Sky block site (90.207.238.183).


Lucky for us this is easy to bypass by using an alternative DNS server.


Time To Modify Your DNS Settings!

By default your home router will retrieve DNS settings from Sky and your local machine will retrieve DNS settings from the router. By modifying either the DNS settings on the router or on the local machine to point to a different DNS server we can retrieve the real DNS record and bypass the block.

Windows 7

First go to network connections to view network adapters, select your main adapter, right click and open properties:


Under the properties menu select "Internet Protocol Version 4" and then click "Properties":


Next modify the DNS settings to use Google's DNS instead of Sky's DNS server.



Once the settings have been saved when querying the DNS for a blocked site you should now get the correct ip's returned.



Windows 8

DNS settings for Windows 8 can be changed using the following guide - http://www.plus.net/support/software/dns/changing-dns-windows-8.shtml

Mac OS X

For Mac, the same DNS settings (server set to 8.8.8.8) can be applied following the instructions here - http://www.plus.net/support/software/dns/changing_dns_mac.shtml

iPhone/iPad

On the iPhone and iPad you just go to settings -> wifi, select the connection and change the DNS to 8.8.8.8, an example can be found here - http://www.iphonehacks.com/2014/08/change-dns-iphone-ipad.html

Android

Just change the DNS setting for the connection to 8.8.8.8, instructions here -
https://support.opendns.com/entries/42848890-Android-Configuration-instructions-for-OpenDNS


Alternatives

Another option is to go direct to the ip address. Most but not all sites will happily load when directly connecting over ip. For xvideos.com you can for example connect directly to the ip in your browser: http://141.0.174.37

It's also worth mentioning that if Sky had chosen to use ip based filtering this could have been bypassed using a proxy or VPN. Although do remember that the operators of such services can potentially view and modify your traffic!

Thanks for reading. Questions or comments, just leave a message below!