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Blocking eBay

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Ian Meaton

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Posted: 2 Jun 2005
 

Problem

At our college, restricting access to eBay services is an issue. Students need to access ebay as part of their courses, although college policies state that students cannot use college equipment and Internet services to sell or purchase items. We needed to implement a filtering solution needs to control access to eBay.

Solution

We created two BorderManager access rules: the first allows specified eBay pages, and the second is a "blanket block" of all eBay pages. The version of Bordermanager we use is 3.8 running on Netware6.5sp3. This solution should work on earlier versions but has not been tested on them.

The solution may not be bullet-proof (and I welcome improvements), as users could use IP addresses to access eBay directly. Also, I have not checked for any https access, though this solution will deter the casual user.

Example: Bordermanager Definitions

Definition 1

Action: Allow URL
Destination: Specified URLs
http://buy.ebay.*/*
http://keyword.ebay.*/*
http://search.ebay.*/*
http://cgi.ebay.*/*
http://www.ebay.*/*

Definition 2

Action: Deny URL
Destination: Specified URLs
http://*.ebay.*/*

The allowed URLs can be modified to allow greater or lesser parts of eBay to be accessable when necessary. These filters allow students to search or view eBay, but they give "403" errors when the Buy or Sell button is clicked.

It is also possible to add time restrictions to the definitions, allowing full access outside of class time if policies permit. The eBay site will need to be periodically checked to make sure students have not changed any of the URLs.


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