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Gaining Remote Access Through a Firewall

written by: Ada Stoy•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 11/21/2010

Remote access through a firewall is one of the ultimate hacker's dreams. However, if the firewall is configured properly, it isn't that easy to penetrate it. On the other hand, if you have the required credentials, gaining remote access through a firewall is a piece of cake.

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    There are legitimate and illegitimate ways to gain remote access through a firewall. As you probably guess, this article will deal only with the first group. So, if you thought you will learn some hacking secrets here, you are out of luck - unethical, if not outright illegal practices are not something you can find here.

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    Ways to Gain Legitimate Remote Access through a Firewall

    Gaining remote access through a firewall, when everything is configured properly, is a very easy task. When gaining remote access through a firewall, you are connecting with a certain application, such as a remote desktop.

    This application uses a specified port to accept connections and you need to know the port on which on the application is running. If you don't know the port, ask the administrator of the other machine to tell you the port.

    Alternatively, you can also try some default ports because many applications have such default ports and can't be run on another port. Search the Internet and see which ports are typically used by the application you are trying to access.

    In theory, port scanning is also an option to learn the port where the application of interest to you is running but if you do it, it can be interpreted as a hacking attempt and this could have some negative consequences for you. Port scanning is used when you need to detect a firewall but since you already know there is a firewall, it is pointless to scan ports.

    If you know the port but you still can't connect, this most likely means that either the port is blocked, or you are blocked from accessing it. If the port is blocked, ask the other party to open the port. It is safest if they open it just for you (i.e. your IP, or an authenticated user). If you are blocked from accessing the port, which is not very probable, unless you did something bad, ask to be removed from the blacklist.

    In many cases you can't gain remote access through a firewall simply because you are providing the wrong credentials. Just check if you are entering the right credentials and this is it.

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    Can Gaining Remote Access Through a Firewall be used to Hack?

    Sure! If you connect to the other machine and have sufficient rights, you can do quite some damage. This is why I won't tell you how to do it because I wouldn't like you to victimize other people's computers. In a sense, this is knowledge you'd better lack! Sometimes the damage can be done even without gaining remote access through a firewall – for instance, if you intercept an unencrypted connection, this could reveal a lot information to you, but since gaining remote access through a firewall gives you full power, I will refrain from telling you how to do it.