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For testing antivirus we have EICAR, for SPAM, we have GTUBE.

Is there a standard site that is or should be included in blacklists that you can use for testing instead of going to your favorite porn site in front of your boss, the CEO, or someone else who feels that seeing such a site is an excuse for a sexual harassment suit?


Update

This is less about getting permission for me to test, though that answer is useful. I do have both permission and responsibility to actually make sure the filter is running. I am able test the filter is functioning with a netcat.

Instead, I am hoping there is a standard domain name that is blocked by most/all filters for testing. I need to be able to share this with my boss and users.

I need to be able to demonstrate what happens when someone go to a filtered page. I need to have a way to quickly prove to others that the filter is working without asking them to go to some site that will not cause grief if for some reason the filter is not working.

If there isn't already a good domain for this purpose I may simply have to register a domain myself, and then add the domain to all the filters I am responsible for.

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15  
The irony being that some naive p*rn filters may actually prevent people from viewing this question ;-) –  LeopardSkinPillBoxHat May 6 '09 at 1:09
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This question has a disproportional number of views! –  Doug Chase May 29 '09 at 19:23
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One of the NOC guys at my last job once told me "if you ever see one of the switches trying to go to Hustler.com, that's me making sure we didn't route around your filters, don't worry about it." Sure enough, I started noticing that every time he worked late on topology stuff. –  Bill Weiss Nov 7 '11 at 14:17

12 Answers 12

up vote 18 down vote accepted

If there isn't, there should be. RFC2606 reserves several top level domains for test purposes with the understanding that they will never be assigned. It also reserves three second level names for use in documentation examples. The reservations are:

  • .test (testing of DNS related code)
  • .example (documentation and examples)
  • .invalid (known and obviously invalid)
  • .localhost (127.0.0.1 by any other name)
  • example.com, example.net, example.org (documentation)

From their described intended uses, it makes sense to me to use something like pr0n.test as a defined positive. You could arrange for that name to resolve to something benign (BANG!) so that on failure of the filter you get something more interesting to happen than just a failed DNS lookup.

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2  
The trouble is, none of those tlds have sites which really exist, and as such, any test will be marginally biased because you're trying to block "nothing", or if you have set it up, trying to block an internal site. Having said that, filtering vendors should probably agree on some test URLs to "prove" you're up-to-date, but the chances of everyone agreeing are ~nil. –  Tom Newton Nov 7 '11 at 13:09
    
I really wish they had an additional reserved 2nd-level name for examples. So often, you want to contrast two different domains in an example, you want them both to look obviously different (example.com vs example.net isn't as clear as it could be) and you want them both to look obviously like a normal URL (other.example isn't exactly normal or clear to many users). –  Joel Coel Aug 3 '12 at 14:15

We randomly chose an obscure domain company wide that would be used for this. We just setup fishing.com (because our network engineer has a fishing addiction) in the blacklist.

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You're going to need a new network engineer soon. –  Michael Hampton Oct 8 '12 at 18:22
    
Why is this easier or better than playboy.com (or such)? –  HopelessN00b Oct 8 '12 at 18:31
    
Not easier or better : funnier (for them) –  Gregory MOUSSAT Oct 8 '12 at 20:30

The service we use provides a lookup site where we can go and see how it categorizes a particular URL:

http://zvelo.com/test-a-site

So we can hit a benign adware site to be sure the filter is working in general or for a specific machine, and use the lookup to be sure specific urls are in the filter list. That's worked well enough to this point. No need to go load up inappropriate sites just for testing.

For sharing a blocked domain with users, most systems allow you to create your own supplementary blacklist. Pick something, make sure it's in your blacklist, and share that. A subdomain of your own website (like filtertest.example.com) could even work, as long as you have the right dns entries so that it tries to pass through you gateway (as opposed to a hairpin or more direct route).

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I'll add a little something here...

The web filtering appliances I use all have a lookup feature that allows the submission of a URL to see how it will be categorized. This is done without actually initiating a connection to the site. In addition, the same content database can be referenced through an online submission form.

These filters have finer granularity in the rulesets and can distinguish between something like lingerie and swimwear, hardcore porn and simple adult content.

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In addition, a browsing test is available directly from the appliance to simulate what the user would see during a browsing session.

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This doesn't test the user's actual setup though... the whole point is to try and go to the site as if you were a user, and to demonstrate what happens when you're blocked. –  Tom Newton Sep 3 '12 at 10:33
    
In addition, a browsing test is available directly from the appliance to simulate what the user would see during a browsing session. –  ewwhite Sep 3 '12 at 11:21
    
"appliance to simulate" being my key phrase here - much as these are handy features, there's nothing like sitting at a real user PC to show up problems (and to demonstrate what happens when you've been blocked etc.) –  Tom Newton Sep 3 '12 at 11:29

We use www.pornsite.com

It should be blocked, but if it isn't, the home page contains a "You must be 18 or over to proceed" type of message with only text and no images.

UPDATE: There are PLENTY of images on www.pornsite.com now...

Lately we've just used www.playboy.com in it's place, but still looking for a better alternative.

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There are some quite graphic words on there, mind - these can easily offend our colleagues if we're not careful, but yes, good one with no obvious images. –  Tom Newton Nov 7 '11 at 16:42
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@TomNewton: your colleagues need to grow some thicker skin. –  insta Nov 7 '11 at 17:26
    
I'm sure their may be other similar "landing pages" that could be used that do not contain offensive language, but I'm sure that this site must be less offensive than one that contains explicit images. Also, since we always use this site to test with, we assume that if it shows up in logs that it was harmless unless they went beyond the landing page. –  compcentral Nov 7 '11 at 18:23

At a previous job we used sex.com and only sex.com. It's easy to remember and a real porn site. If anyone that wasn't an admin and testing a filter changed showed up in the log for that site then you knew they were looking at it.

Unfortunately if there is an issue you will be exposed to porn.

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We (at Smoothwall) have a "daily" URL in the lists to test the filter - with the date of list in the URL so you can tell you are up to date. Your vendor may provide a similar feature. It may well not be documented - ask them!

Alternatively, I like playboy.com. Should be blocked, but the homepage is always fairly benign - girls in bikinis etc. so low HR riskfactor if you just hit /.

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I like this idea... it both proves the filter is in place and that it is current. I'd still like to see an industry agreed URL that will always be blocked, combined with a real page explaining that you shouldn't have been able to see it. –  RBerteig Jul 30 '09 at 20:38

Testing a pr0n filter should be easy enough. Use playboy.com. It's been a known pr0n website for over a decade.

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We generally try to go to www.whitehouse.com, www.hustler.com, and www.playboy.com ... and if our security guy is feeling fiesty he will go to google and search for his favorite type of porn and see what happens :)

I personally have never seen a filtering product miss any of the first three, and honestly if it did something is wrong or the software is very very very bad.

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playboy site is a "de facto" standard for this goal. It's is ok if you talk about url filter. It's rumored that some filter software have a specific routine to find "playboy" (and only "playboy") anywhere in the url to be able to block it even through an anonymizer.

But if you talk about a testing a content filter, no content (string) has been defined.

And, of course, for "image filter", the answer is no.

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Not an adult site, but we use Poker Stars to test that our fitering is working. We block gambling at the same level. So if Poker Stars gets blocked, then the filtering system is working.

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Explain to your boss and HR that you either have to hope the porn filter is working or will need to test it by going to inappropriate sites. Make sure you tell them when your doing the test, and how long it will take so they know your not "testing" the filter all day every day. Then they can decide weather they want to let you try and visit sites like that at work or hope the filters work by default. The second option is to install it at home with out telling your teenage son and see how long it takes him to get angry and ask why the internet isn't working like it used to.

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Your answer is useful, but wasn't quite what I had in mind when I asked the question. I have updated the question, to try and be more clear about what I am looking for. –  Zoredache May 6 '09 at 5:53

protected by Zoredache Oct 11 '12 at 16:53

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