[Full-disclosure] Gmail and China's GFW



Gmail can be blocked by simply blocking Google's SSL certificate(s).

When you visit Gmail, Google sends your browser its SSL Server
Certificate. Without this certificate, no connection can be made.

For example, running the following command, then browsing to
<https://mail.google.com/>, will produce the following output:

$ sudo ngrep -d eth0 -x 'Google Inc'
...
47 6f 6f 67 6c 65 20 49 6e 63 31 18 30 16 06 03 Google Inc1.0...
55 04 03 14 0f 6d 61 69 6c 2e 67 6f 6f 67 6c 65 U....mail.google
2e 63 6f 6d 30 81 9f 30 0d 06 09 2a 86 48 86 f7 .com0..0...*.H..
...

This output shows part of Google's ASN.1 encoded X.509 certificate.

Therefore, the following Linux firewall commands will stop any
connection to Gmail:

$ sudo iptables -I INPUT -m string --algo bm --hex-string
'|476f6f676c6520496e63311830160603550403140f6d61696c2e676f6f676c652e636f6d30819f30|'
-j DROP

Try it, you will get a connection timeout:

$ curl --connect-timeout 60 https://mail.google.com/
curl: (28) SSL connection timeout

The same applies for Twitter, Facebook... Much more efficient than
DNS/IP blocking!

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