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Decided to have a look at a list of "open" proxies. I've noticed that a good deal of these proxies are on residential IPs.

One of the IPs, 68.188.59.198, is owned by Charter Communications and looks to be the IP of someone's house. It looks to have a few other random ports open, such as a VPN, telnet, and an additional HTTP port.

So, whats the point of setting one of these up on a home network? These proxies tend to be used by attackers to mask their true identities, and likley attract a lot of malicious traffic. Do they serve as honeypots for criminals? It seems to me that the only result of setting one of these up would be a knock from the police or an ISP.

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  • I'm sure there are lots of reasons, with no way to know why a particular person decided to set one up. Exactly what sort of answer are you looking for? Apr 15, 2021 at 15:41
  • Random one off the top of my head: you're traveling to a country that heavily restricts internet traffic and also blocks known proxies. In that case, your own home IP is very unlikely to be blocked, so it's a convenient place to bounce traffic from, and there is no harm in using your own IP address (unlike, some who is trying to hide their traffic from their own government) Apr 15, 2021 at 15:43
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    OP, it's possible that the resident's network has been compromised.
    – mti2935
    Apr 15, 2021 at 17:42

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Most of the time, this would be a misconfiguration, and those residential users are probably not aware until someone (their ISP) tips them off. Open proxies often tend to be short-lived, because they were not meant to be in the first place.

Even assuming the open proxy is not the result of somebody experimenting with software without the proper skills - people usually don't have security in mind when plugging in a router, a NAS, an IP camera or some Internet-enabled appliance. But many of those devices are shipped with a default password, or no password, lax configuration rules, and may expose a number services to the Internet at large. But people just don't realize the stuff they are exposing unwittingly.

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  • that happened to me one time. I've inadvertendly left an open proxy in a server and got notified by the ISP. The point is that many people use this open proxies to anonymize their traffic. Other people use it to circunvent restrictions imposed in their country (china, russia)
    – Raul Luna
    Mar 18 at 12:17

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