Accessing Files From Off-Grounds
If you are trying to access files from an off-grounds location, there are multiple ways for you to do so.
Why do you need to do any of this?
In the summer of 2003, ITC began filtering TCP traffic on port 445 in response to an onslaught of worms that propagated through this port. Their firewall works by checking the IP address of incoming traffic. If the address falls within our netmask (128.143.XXX.xxx), then the computer is allowed access on port 445. When you try to connect from an outside computer, the IP address will not match the 128.143 netmask, and you will be blocked from accessing files on the UVA network.
To get around these blocks, there are a couple different options:
This is a GUI based Windows application that will allow you to access your files. From the ITC site: "A simple FTP protocol is insecure, since it transfers files as plain text in ASCII mode or a stream in binary. SecureFX® encrypts the login i.d./password combination and other content into meaningless gibberish so that it cannot be read in transit over the Internet. SecureFX® supports multiple concurrent transfers, server-to-server transfers, and site synchronization (under certain conditions), in both binary and ASCII modes." Visit the ITC Web page to download it if you do not already have it. Along with the installation file you will find instructions on how and when to use it.
This is a good option to use if you would like to transfer an entire file to your computer, if you would like to work on a file without moving its location, look at the CIFS option listed below.
SFTP / SCP
Secure File Transfer Program and Secure CoPy are two file transfer options that come pre-installed on Unix boxes. With SFTP and SCP your password is encrypted through a channel based on the ssh communication protocol. All commands and processes that occur as "children" of the connecting process are all protected by this same channel. This protection lasts as long as the "parent" process is active.
These are the Linux version of SecureFX.
SFTP/SCP can be invoked by typing sftp or scp at any UNIX/Linux prompt respectively. SCP, for example, is very useful because you can copy files from one machine to another:
adder:/ ; scp host1:file1 host2:file2
So, if you want to copy a file from the temporary directory on whirlwind.cs.virginia.edu to your home directory:
adder:/ ; scp whirlwind.cs.virginia.edu:/tmp/filename host:filename
Typing man scp or man sftp will give more information about using these commands.
The Common Internet File System is another way that computer users can access files from outside the system. The University's CIFS is known as UVA-Anywhere, and involves using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Within the VPN, you want to use the UVA-Anywhere profile. UVA-Anywhere gives your remote computer a UVA IP-address by using a NAT (Network Address Translation) box. Your remote computer is then allowed to gain access to UVA's servers, as if you were working from an on-grounds computer. For security purposes, the information being transferred is encrypted by the VPN client.
Visit the ITC web page to register for UVA-Anywhere. This will take you through a multi-step process which will set you up with a UVA-Anywhere account. This account can then be used again and again when you are trying to access the UVA network.
The drawback to using UVA-Anywhere is that the bandwidth requirement is somewhat high. If used during off-peak times this should not create too much of a problem.