Encrypted Chatrooms & VoIP Applications

Encrypted chatrooms and VoIP services, such as like WhatsApp and Telegram, are not only great for business communications, but they critically important for human rights defenders and political activists fighting around the world – especially in at risk or oppressive countries. It is important to understand that even if you are living in a country which has banned Tor, VPN’s or applications such as Telegram, and you are afraid to use/install those programs out of fear of persecution, encrypted chatrooms can be equally as easy to use and remain 100% legal to boot.

For example, even in countries like Egypt, Iran, Pakistan – et cetera – which have either outright or periodically banned VoIP services such as Telegram and Viber, other chatroom-based services like Chatbox or Slack are still free and legal to own, and can be used to protect private communications all the same. In fact, political activists in countries such as Ethiopia and Egypt are known to have used encrypted chat services to safely coordinate communications, rallies and protests in times of great civil unrest, such as during the Oromo protests and Rabba Massacre. I know this because I was there on the front-lines helping to set up their accounts.

It’s usually free to sign up for these services, and all you need is a verified email address or phone number to login. Then, once enrolled, you can encrypt your chatroom by setting up a custom name/URL for it and requiring password authentication for entry. This assures that only the people you give the URL address to will be able to find it, and only those who know the password to it will be able to enter. Additionally, once set up, you can even set up individual channels within the chatroom itself for a duel level of security/encryption. This includes setting custom rules for different channels, such as requiring Administrator approval for access. This assures that if even someone is able to brute-force their way into your chatroom itself, there are still protocols in place to protect individual communications and information within the chatroom itself.

Additionally, especially if you are doing activism or human rights work, or feel that your life/security could be in danger for the work you do, it is always recommended to never use your real life identity or personal email accounts to set up an encrypted chatroom or channel. Instead, you should always create an online alias and use it to register a new account within an encrypted email service provider, such as ProtonMail or Tutanota. Obviously, this advice need not apply for those of you who are using these services for business purposes. Lastly, some chatroom services actually offer built in video chats, allowing for a third means to make secure voice connections outside of standard phone calls or VoIP services.

For more information on how to keep a safe, private and Anonymous identity online, please read the following tutorial: https://anonhq.com/anonymous-security-guide-2-0/

For more information on different encrypted email service providers and how you can make the switch, please read the following link: https://roguemedia.co/2019/11/02/making-the-switch-to-encrypted-emails-2/

Best/Top Chatroom Service Providers:

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP):

While VoIP services are not necessarily essential for everyday phone use, they do offer critical protections for political activists, journalists, researchers and citizens living under oppressive regimes all around the world. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying they transport all calls and messages over established internet connections, rather than routing them through your telecommunications or phone service provider – such as AT&T or Verizon.

In areas like the United States and European Union, VoIP services are important to own because they prevent your data from being intercepted, recorded or stolen by telecommunications companies and other interested 3rd parties, such as Governments, thus protecting any information you send across the wires. VoIP services also offer the ability to encrypt messages or calls between like users, further protecting customer privacy. By comparison, both of these options are unavailable on standard text messages or phone calls straight from your phone provider. In politically oppressive countries around the world, VoIP services are even more important because they offer a critical means to bypass Government imposed restrictions or blockades on national telecommunications on a local level, while also allowing users to make international calls entirely for free.

While this might sound a bit complex or advanced, once installed, operating a VoIP connection/application is no more different or complicated than making a regular phone call or sending traditional text messages. Instead of using your normal texts messages or phone App, you simply download a VoIP App and log into that to make/receive calls and texts – it’s literally that easy. Lastly, VoIP connections offer a secondary means to reach your contacts, should your phone lose service, go out of cell tower range or come under blackout. Rather than relying on the signal strength of your network service provider of choice, all you need is an active internet connection to utilize a VoIP services.

The Best/Top VoIP Service Providers:

 

Securing Social Media

As always, strong password protection is the number one priority for securing social media accounts. This includes using your phone to enable two factor authentication (2FA) for them. Due to the simple fact that social accounts usually hold far less important data/information than emails, I am willing to bet anything that close to 100% of all hacks against your social accounts will be deterred if you simply enable 2FA for them. It is also a widely known fact that more social accounts are compromised as a result of weak passwords than any other single factor.

Password Security Guide + 2FA: https://roguemedia.co/2019/10/30/tutorial-learning-how-to-write-remember-un-hackable-passwords/

While using your social media accounts, just as with emails, never open a message from or click on links by users, senders or accounts you do not know personally, were not expecting to hear from or haven’t done business with in the past. As I have already with emails, hackers can phish your social media accounts all the same. Moreover, it is actually much easier for a hacker to uncover your “IP Address” through something like Facebook Messenger than it is through email. This can also be done without you clicking on any individual hyperlink. For example, you can find someone’s IP when engaging them on Facebook by using a simple sequence of “cmd commands” – which are freely available on every Windows device.

Like your mother always told you, never talk to strangers – especially online 😉

You can add an extra layer of security to your accounts by preventing them from being “indexed” by search engines and web crawlers. This can be accomplished by making small changes to your account settings. By default, the largest social media platforms are all designed to connect to search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, in order to make social networking more accessible and convenient for everyone. However, allowing your account to be indexed means that theoretically anyone in the world could search for and find your account if they really wanted. Whereas if you disable your account from being indexed then the only people you personally give your account information to will know where to find it.

To do this, simply go under your accounts setting, scroll to Privacy Settings and uncheck the “Public Search Results” box. This will remove your profile’s page from Google, Bing, and Yahoo search returns. This is also a security practice instructed to Federal Employees and members of the US Defense Department.

Email Security Strategies

Before we begin, you can have the most advanced cyber security practices and anti-virus in place, but if you do not have a strong enough password to secure your devices or online accounts, all your security measures might as well be useless. As I have already explained in a previous tutorial, more people are hacked as a result of weak passwords than any other single factor. With that established, the 2nd most common way to hack someone is through their email inboxes or accounts – just ask Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, John Brennan and the DNC about that.

Make no mistake, if some of the worlds most powerful people can have their personal emails hacked, so can you. This is also why learning how to practice better email habits should be of the upmost importance for you heading into the future.

What To Avoid & How Email Hacks are Pulled Off:

While browsing through your email account(s), never open a single email or click on any link(s) from a sender you do not know personally. It might seem harmless, but the simple act of curiously opening an email or clicking on a link within an email can open Malware or register and transmit the IP Address of the device you are using to the sender of that email or link.

When a hacker sends compromising emails or links to your personal inbox it is a technique known as “Phishing,” and it is perhaps the most common form of cyber-attack you will ever encounter. I am willing to bet that everyone whom has ever owned an email account has seen a phishing scheme at one point or another in their lifetime, whether they were even aware of it or not. This is also why it is important to not just leave your email out in the open for all the world to see, or blindly pass it around to so many pages across the internet – especially if you have something to lose.

Believe it or not, there are even free and public services which allow any person to secretly attach a program to any given link or email they send, which automatically transmits data such as your IP Address as soon as you open it. This type of program also reveals things like the time of day you clicked the link, the type of browser you were using and how long you kept the window open. This is also what is referred to as a “trap-link.” The most common of which comes in the form of an “IP-logger,” which automatically registers the data of any device that clicks on it. While this might sound extremely complicated or foreign to you, again, regardless of the legality of it all, there are actually multiple free services, platforms and tools available on the internet for people to do just this.

Needless to say, always use caution and judgement when clicking on any links in your inbox, online chat, message or social media network alike – especially from people/sources/senders you do not know/trust or have never done business with directly. Lastly, getting your IP logged is the least of your concerns – it’s just the most common practice. Typically, hackers will “Spear-Phish” different/specific emails with malicious links that can secretly upload or install malware onto a users device, granting further access to their information. Additionally, every file you download should be immediately scanned by your anti-virus, because Microsoft Word documents and weaponized pdf’s are increasingly being used by the world’s most sophisticated hackers – because these are the most widely downloaded types of documents online, making them the easiest means to widely install malware on more peoples devices.

Separate Your Inboxes:

A good practice is to also use separate accounts for different purposes. For example, use a separate email account for your online banking and/or business than you would use for family, friends, or subscribing to magazines. This ensures that if one account is ever breached or compromised, not every aspect of your life gets compromised along with it. Additionally, use separate passwords for separate accounts and always reserve your strongest passwords for your most important accounts. You should also utilize two-factor authentication whenever and wherever possible.

If you are a website domain owner, or own multiple email accounts, you can also secure your personal or business inbox behind a mail forwarding service through your domains DNS settings or an alternative service provider. Selecting this option will allow you to pass out an email address without actually revealing the true end destination where those emails will be sent, essentially turning the mail forwarding address into an “alias” or “proxy” for your real account.

If you would like to learn more about alternative/encrypted email service providers, as well as why you should consider making the switch to them, please utilize the following link: https://roguemedia.co/2019/11/02/making-the-switch-to-encrypted-emails-2/

If you need help learning how to read, write and remember stronger passwords to secure your online accounts, please utilize the following link: https://roguemedia.co/2019/10/30/tutorial-learning-how-to-write-remember-un-hackable-passwords/

Making The Switch To Encrypted Emails

This past February a US judge ordered Microsoft, an American based tech company, to honor the search warrants of American law enforcement agencies requiring the company to hand over any/all data, emails and the like which the company stores on servers located overseas. The ruling came in direct contradiction to a previous ruling from a Federal Appeals Court in August of 2016, which upheld a US Circuit court ruling from July 2016, prohibiting the US Government from seizing data stored on servers located outside of US borders.

The principle behind this case is very simple to understand, does the United States Government have the right to demand foreign businesses located outside of the United States hand over their records to the United States Government if that company happens to do business with a US citizen? In other words, are foreign nations forced to abide by US law and comply with all US based legal requests? Well, according to the most recent ruling, as of February 2017, at least as far as US courts are concerned, the answer is “yes.

What Other “Authority” Does The US Government Have?

Let’s use the world’s most popular email service provider as a quick example – Gmail. Quite literally, everything you do on your Gmail account is accessible by Google at any given moment in time. After-all, you are using their service. If the US Government ever wants to see your account or any of the information on it, then all they have to do is pull up the file of a generic document, insert your name on top of it, print it out and just like that they magically have a “subpoena” to obtain all of your information from Google.

Despite how simple of a process this is, it is all groundbreaking stuff too. Believe it or not, it was not until May 2016 that the US government even needed to get a warrant or legal document of any kind to search through all of your personal emails. Don’t believe me?

Read More – Email Privacy Act of 2016: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/699

For you international folk out there, the news isn’t much better. You see, the US Government has its own private court known as a FISC court which, historically speaking, blindly grants “99.96%” of all warrant request brought in front of it – but who’s counting, right?

With that out of the way, all of the information above only goes to show how easy it is for the US Governments to go about obtaining all your data “legally.” But as I think we are all aware by now, agencies like the NSA or CIA do not necessarily care about US law and have the very real authority to act outside of it – #PatriotAct. To be fair, this does not necessarily mean that someone working for the US Government is literally watching/reading every single email you write every minute of the day, but they theoretically could be if/whenever they wanted to.

To that very point, early in 2016 Google came out with a press release addressing how “state-sponsored hackers” had breached over 1 million Gmail accounts over the course of that year. This was also not an isolated incident and it’s not just Google which has been targeted by these types of breaches. Literally hundreds of millions of Yahoo and Hotmail accounts have also been exposed over the years.

Read More – 3 Billion Yahoo User Accounts Hacked, Including 500 Million Email Addresses: http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/03/technology/business/yahoo-breach-3-billion-accounts/index.html

So far I have only addressed how easy it is for the US Government and/or law enforcement agencies to access all of your personal accounts/information, this does not even account for all of the non-Government organizations or hackers out there or oppressive regimes located in countries all over the world. In fact, I am willing to bet that at least 95% of all hackers worldwide are non-Government affiliated. Moreover, Hillary Clinton, the DNC, CIA, John Brennan and John Podesta should all serve as evidence for just how easy it can be for hackers to compromise anyone’s email account if they really want to – even some of the most powerful people in society.

Quite frankly, there is a reason why politicians and members of the Armed Forces are told never to use their own personal or private email accounts, because none of these services are properly protected or encrypted! While members of the Government and Armed Forces use their own private versions of encrypted email services which are NOT open or available to the public sector, thankfully, there are a number of free and paid email encryption services out there open to the general public.

For Example:

Mailfence

Mailfence is a relatively new company globally, but one which I have already placed at the top of all encrypted email service providers. Mailfence operates their servers out of Belgium, a country internationally renown for having some of the strongest and most resolute privacy laws in the world. Unlike the United States, every surveillance request or request for information inside Belgium, including on Mailfence’s servers, must be legally brought in front of a Belgium judge and proven in court as legitimate. In this way Belgium protects user data and business confidentiality in a way that no other country in the world does.

Sign Up/Create an Account Here: https://mailfence.com

ProtonMail

This email service provider offers free end to end encryption and hosts its servers in Switzerland, outside of US jurisdiction – theoretically. When signing up, at no point in time are you asked for any personal information and you do not need to attach any other emails account or phone numbers in order to register. This service also utilizes 2-factor authentication to log in, preventing hacking attempts. ProtonMail has also partnered with humanitarian organizations around the world, such as Amnesty International, in order to help fight back against Government surveillance and cyber censorship in developing countries around the world.

On a lighter note, if you are a fan of the Television drama “Mr. Robot” this is Elliot’s email provider of choice on the show.

Sign Up/Create an Account Here: https://protonmail.com/

Tutanota

This is another free encrypted email service that has become quite popular in recent times. In fact, earlier in 2016 Tutanota officially surpassed 1 million accounts – becoming the world’s largest encrypted email service provider. In 2017, Tutanota then went on to surpass 2 million accounts, furthering the countries rock solid reputation as an industry leader.

What makes Tutanota unique is that the company makes their source code “open source,” meaning that security researches investigate for themselves the level of encryption they are receiving. For all you n00bs out there, making your source code public record and still not having it hacked proves just how good the code really is.

Sign Up/Create an Account Here: https://tutanota.com/

Tutorial: How To Fit +13,000 Terabytes of Data On A 15 Gigabyte USB Stick

Over the course of the last few months I have been neglecting my primary business site, so I figured I would write a brief article here today and combine it with my online tutorials series. Today’s article is simple, really, instructing internet users how easy it is to host and store massive amounts of data with even the simplest of technologies. Say for example you own a 15 GB USB stick, most people think that you can only hold 15 GB of data on it – right? However, as I will attempt to demonstrate, not only is this untrue, but given the right amount of knowledge and skill, you can actually host thousands of Terabytes worth of data on a simple 15 Gigabyte USB stick. In the remainder of this article, I will attempt to do my best to explain why you might as well look at a 15 GB data stick as home to potentially infinite amounts of data storage.

The perfect example of this phenomenon can be observed with WikileaksDeadman’s Switch” insurance file, which contains approximately 88 GB of data, but offered to the public in the form of a 110 KB torrent file download. For some perspective on this figure, you can fit 1,000,000 Kilobytes (KB) in 1 GB of data. So, if a 100 KB Torrent File essentially equals 88 GB of data storage, this means you can store approximately 13,200,000 GB of data on a 15 GB USB Stick – or 13,200 TB. Mind 💥 yet?

Download Wikileaks Encrypted Torrent File: https://file.wikileaks.org/torrent/2016-06-03_insurance.aes256.torrent

Proof of Concept:

100 KB Torrent File = 88 GB Storage

100 KB of Normal Storage Space x 10,000 KB = 1 GB of Storage Space

88 GB x 10,000 = 880,000 GB of Storage Space in a 1 GB Torrent File

1 TB of Data = 1,000 GB of Data

880,000 GB x 15 GB = 13,200,000 GB or 13,200 TB of Data Storage in 15 GB USB Stick

As the math is clear, you can see that it’s indeed possible to store well over 13,000 Terabytes of data on something as small as a 15 Gigabyte USB stick – the standard size available at most computer hardware stores, at least here in the US. As for how to compress a file into a torrent, this is also extremely simple given the right software. In fact, making a torrent file is literally as easy or takes up as much time/energy as creating a zip file. All you need to do is install a 3rd party torrenting program, some of which you can find below, then use the programs setting to upload and compress your file into a torrent. It’s literally as easy as clicking 3 buttons!

Sample Demo Using uTorrent:

While this may be somewhat of an extreme example, you can also dramatically free up storage space by combing all of your documents/files into a singular or multiple zip files – drastically freeing up vast amounts of storage space on your computer or USB stick. For the purposes of this article I did not do the exact math for zip files, as torrents far and away compress the greatest amount of data into the smallest of locations.

Lastly, most people tend to stay away from torrent files because they think they are “illegal,” but this is merely just a fallacy. You see, just as with anything else in life, torrent files are what you make of them. It just so happens because of their storage capacity, most people on the DarkNet use torrents as a means to easily transport large amounts of data – usually illegal or stolen. However, a torrent file itself is only as illegal as the information you put on it. Meaning that it is only illegal if you put illegal information on it. If you are simply using your own files from your computer or work, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Top Torrenting Applications:

BitTorrent: https://bittorrent.com/
uTorrent: https://www.utorrent.com/
qBitTorrent: https://www.qbittorrent.org/
BitComet: https://www.bitcomet.com/en/
Vuse: https://www.vuze.com/

Tutorial: Learning How To Write & Remember Un-Hackable Passwords

Before we begin, why should learning how to write strong passwords be of much more importance to you? Believe it or not, it is a statistical fact that more people are hacked as a result of weak passwords than any other single factor. This is also why encryption – aka passwords – should be much more important to you. With that said, learning how to read, write and remember strong passwords is not nearly as hard or complicated as people might think, in fact it is rather easy once you understand the core concepts.

Lesson 1 – Password Length:

To unlock someone’s password, “law enforcement authorities” and/or “hackers” will either run something known as a “Brute Force Attack” or “Dictionary Attack” against it, in an attempt to break or de-crypt the numbers, letters and symbols contained within the password itself. One by one over time, these software programs will slowly decrypt the password, just like cracking the numbers to open a vault or safe.

Quite simply, the more complicated/randomized the sequence of numbers, letters and symbols in your password are, and the longer the password is, the longer it takes hackers to break. Moreover, each letter, number or symbol you add on to the end of your password literally makes it exponentially harder for even the most sophisticated programs to crack. For example, here are estimates from the FBI regarding how long it takes them to crack lengthier encrypted passwords.

  • seven-digit passcodes will take up to 9.2 days, and on average 4.6 days, to crack
  • eight-digit passcodes will take up to three months, and on average 46 days, to crack
  • nine-digit passcodes will take up to 2.5 years, and on average 1.2 years, to crack
  • 10-digit passcodes will take up to 25 years, and on average 12.6 years, to crack
  • 11-digit passcodes will take up to 253 years, and on average 127 years, to crack
  • 12-digit passcodes will take up to 2,536 years, and on average 1,268 years, to crack
  • 13-digit passcodes will take up to 25,367 years, and on average 12,683 years, to crack

Lesson 2: LEET or “1337” Language:

L33t Language is a way of replacing letters with numbers and symbols in everyday sentences and it is perhaps the most basic form of encoding used to encrypt messages. To understand how it works, here are some quick examples:

Normal Statement v 1337 Version:

BankruptMedi4 – 84nkru97M3di4
TheDailyProletariat – 7h3D@i1y9r0L37@Ri@7
Elitepassword – 31it3p4$$w0rd
Activism – 4ctivi$m
Encryption – 3ncry9ti0n
Brian Dunn – 8ri4nDunn

It doesn’t necessarily have to be that complicated and you don’t necessarily have to replace as many letters with numbers and symbols, those are just examples of how it works. You can run any attack your little heart desires at “84nkru97M3di4” or “7h3D@i1y9r0L37@Ri@7” all day long, go ahead – have fun. To make the password even stronger mix in capitalized and un-capitalized letters throughout.

I think I have explained the concept easily enough? To make an un-hackable password simply take a name, phrase, short sentence – et cetera – that is personable to you and convert it into l33t language, then use that as your new password. Not only will it be impossible to break, but it should be fairly easy for you to remember. And as always, use two-factor-authentication whenever possible.

Lesson 3: Two-Factor Authentication

I’ve always understood that 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a concept lost on most “normal people” in society right now, but a new statistic really puts it all into perspective. This would be the news that, according to Google’s own statistics, less than 10% of all Gmail or Google business owners currently have enabled 2-Factor Authentication for their online accounts. Considering that Google is estimated to host well over 2 billion accounts globally, this means that there are over 2 billion insecure accounts floating around the internet right now – and that’s just from Google alone!

This is not to mention the fact that there are literally billions of email addresses, along with their passwords, currently available on the Deep Web and DarkNet for search. For example, there are single websites around the internet that are currently selling the log in credentials of 1.4 billion people and if anyone of those people simply just enable 2-factor authentication for their accounts, all the information stored on those would become utterly useless.

Responding to the news last week Grzegorz Milka, a Google software engineer, said that the company’s latest statistics “demonstrates the lack of awareness of cyber threats and the way to mitigate them.” Adding that he believes more people don’t or haven’t “configured 2-Factor Authentication for their accounts” because “many users believe 2FA can make their experience worse,” or at least more of a hassle. To do everything they could to mitigate the problem from their end, Google also took the occasion/platform to release a 2-Factor Authentication tutorial of their own, imploring Google users to immediately begin securing their accounts in this way.

Google 2FA Tutorial: https://myaccount.google.com/signinoptions/two-step-verification/enroll-welcome

As for what 2-Factor Authentication is, does or means, it’s not nearly as complex or complicated as people think. In fact, it only adds about 10 seconds to the amount of time it already takes you to log into your accounts anyways. Essentially, as soon as you type in your password and press enter you will receive a text message on your phone, which will have a short code for you to type in. Without that secondary code no one is allowed to login, even you. That’s it – literally. That’s the amount of “hassle” it will take you to begin practicing strong cyber security in the future. Again, despite the simplicity of it all, less than ten percent of people in society have taken this step.

2-Factor Authentication should be available for nearly every App or account you own, and you can find/enable it by searching for it in your account(s) settings. As I also once explained in a different article on this subject earlier last year, even if someone already knows your password, “close to 100% of hackers will be prevented from successfully hacking into your social media accounts if you simply enable 2-Factor Authentication” for them – and I still believe this holds true today.

Interestingly/Coincidentally Enough?

As I was in the process of writing this article I got a text message informing me of new log in codes to verify, because someone had somehow managed to brute-force their way past my password – which no one has ever been able to do before. Put another way, my site was literally saved from being hacked/hijacked by malicious cyber actors, all because I once enabled 2-factor authentication on my account(s) months ago. To put the importance of 2-Factor Authentication into focus, I’ve invested thousands upon thousands of hours of my personal time into this website, and it took me less than one minute to turn on and verify 2-Factor Authentication for it – certainly worth the time/effort!

CgAn – Rogue Media: Introductory Guide To DarkNet’s

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks.

The 3 Layers of The Internet:

ClearNet. The “World Wide Web,Surface Web, ClearNet or simply referred to as the Web. Quite simply, the Surface Web refers to the portion of the internet only accessible by standard search engines – such as Yahoo, Bing and Google. While Google search results may feel endless at times and while you might think of them as being quite large in size, in reality, the Surface Web only consists of roughly 7% of the combined browse-able/accessible internet. Typically, it’s used for Email, Fax, File sharing, File transfer, Games, Instant messaging, Podcasts, Voice over IP, Searches, Streaming – etc.

Deep Web. The “Deep Web,” invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents aren’t indexed by standard search engines – for any reason. Rather, the content is hidden behind HTML forms, Javascript and custom code to protect it from the public eye. Generally speaking, the Deep Web is host to roughly 92% of anything which can be found on the internet. Typically, the Deep Web consists of information such as web archives, scholarly articles/resources and network databases such as cloud servers. While this isn’t the case 100% of the time, you usually also need a 3rd party software system, such as the “Tor Browser,” in order to access at least some of its content as well.

To describe how it works, think about all of the web pages you can visit on your bank accounts homepage or email account. While all of those sites, links, addresses and emails technically exist on the internet, and while you can still search Google for Bank of America‘s website, this doesn’t mean you can search Google for the web pages associated with each Bank of America’s customers accounts. Nor can you search Google to find everyone elses emails hosted on Gmail – get it? Those web archives still exist on the internet all the same as their homepages, but are not indexed on the Surface Web to be publicly available – which is why we say they exist on the Deep Web, below the normal surface layer of the internet.

DarkNet. While the Deep Web is in reference to any site that cannot be accessed through traditional search engines, the “DarkNet” or “Dark Web” is a small portion of the Deep Web that has been intentionally hidden to hide in plain site, and is completely inaccessible via standard browsers and search methods. The DarkNet is by far the smallest layer of the Internet, estimated to consist of less than 40,000 websites in total – less than 1% of the browse-able internet.

Not only will you need to install a special type of software to access a DarkNet website, but the URL Address associated with it will almost certainly be encrypted with a randomized sequence of numbers and letters – literally making it impossible to find or type in by accident. Instead, you must know exactly what this sequence is – usually from someone else who already knows or has it. Even then, once there, you will also most likely need to enter a custom password in order to enter – making it virtually impossible to browse any DarkNet webpage without the proper permission.

As explained by CyberGuerrilla, DarkNet websites don’t rely on the IP/DNS system (typing mysite.org in a web browser will take you to an IP address like 10.11.12.13). Darknet websites are accessible only through networks such as Tor “The Onion Router” and I2PInvisible Internet Project” and their respective software. Identities and locations of DarkNet users stay anonymous and cannot be tracked due to the layered encryption system. The DarkNet encryption technology routes users’ data through a large number of intermediate servers, which protects the users’ identity and guarantees anonymity. Due to the high level of encryption, websites are not able to track geo-location and IP of their users, and users are not able to get this information about the host; communication between DarkNet users is highly encrypted allowing users to talk, blog, and share files confidentially.

The DarkNet is also used for illegal activity such as illegal trade, forums, and media exchange, making it a prime target for Law Enforcement Agencies around the world. The 2 main DarkNet‘s networks are TOR (The Onion Router) and I2P ( Invisible Internet Project). While Tor focuses on providing anonymous access to the Internet, I2P specializes on allowing “anonymous” hosting of websites called “Eepsites.

Active Darknets worth mentioning:

Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant communication. It uses a decentralized distributed data store to keep and deliver information, and has a suite of free software for publishing and communicating on the Web without fear of censorship
GNUnet another peer-to-peer network that offers users full link encryption.

Decentralized network 42 (not for anonymity but research purposes)

Syndie is software used to publish distributed forums over the anonymous networks of I2P, Tor and Freenet.

Riffle is a client-server Darknet system that provides secure anonymity and minimal bandwidth

Tor Browser and Tor-accessible sites are widely used among the Darknet users and can be identified by the domain (.onion). Servers configured to receive inbound connections only through Tor are called hidden services. Rather than revealing a server’s IP address (and thus its network location), a hidden service is accessed through its onion address,

The TOR Network works by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays (nodes) run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

Tor passes your traffic through at least 3 different servers before sending it on to the destination. Encrypting your packets and bouncing them around the Internet isn’t cost less. All that extra work means that browsing the Web via Tor feels sluggish compared to using a conventional browser. Tor is not meant to completely solve the issue of anonymity on the web and is not designed to completely erase tracks but instead to reduce the likelihood for sites to trace actions and data back to the user. Users are also warned to use https versions of websites, not to use Tor over Tor, not to torrent with Tor, not to enable browser plugins, not to open documents downloaded through Tor while online, and to use safe bridges. Also, Bittorrent over Tor is not anonymous.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_web
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)

Software:

The FreeNet Project: https://freenetproject.org/pages/download.html
The Tor Project: https://www.torproject.org/
I2P: https://geti2p.net/en/download

Projects Using TOR:

Tor Browser: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en – comes with a pre-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained (portable)

TAILS Operating System (Linux): https://tails.boum.org/about/index.en.html – Tails is a live system that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity

Whonix Operating Systems (Linux): https://www.whonix.org/ – Whonix is a Debian GNU/Linux based security-focused Linux distribution. It aims to provide privacy, security and anonymity on the internet

Orbot (Tor for Android OS’s): https://guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/

Warnings:

Some links may be disturbing and dangerous to visit.

To avoid be tracked or watched online, I strongly recommend you to run a VPN service on the system that you access. VPN will give you a double layer protection against the unknown.

** DISCLAIMER: BEFORE YOU ACCESS THESE LINKS YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT SOME CONTENT PROVIDED ON THESE DEEP WEB LINKS MIGHT BE DISTURBING, UNPLEASANT OR FRAUDULENT. VISIT THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE RECOMMEND TO USE THOSE DEEP WEB LINKS ONLY FOR RESEARCHING PURPOSES! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED BY YOUR ACTIONS! **

Some Popular TOR .onion Sites:

http://hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion/ (notEvil search engine)
http://xmh57jrzrnw6insl.onion/ (TORCH search engine)
http://uhwikih256ynt57t.onion/wiki/index.php/Main_Page (Uncensored Hidden Wiki onion link)
http://answerstedhctbek.onion/ (uncensored General-subject Q&A forum)
http://torvps7kzis5ujfz.onion/ (VPSSHell .onion hosting)
http://grrmailb3fxpjbwm.onion/ (TorGuerrillaMail – Disposable Temporary E-Mail Address)
https://protonirockerxow.onion/ (Fully encrypted email hosted in Switzerland offering free accounts)

Clearnet HTTPS signup & JavaScript! Must pay or verify via previously existing email or SMS to get an account

http://nzh3fv6jc6jskki3.onion/ – Riseup provides online communication tools for people and groups working on liberatory social change
http://tetatl6umgbmtv27.onion/ (Tor Chat roulette style service)
http://6dvj6v5imhny3anf.onion/ (CyberGuerrilla leAkboX)
http://76qugh5bey5gum7l.onion/status.xsl (Deep Web Radio)
http://deepdot35wvmeyd5.onion (DeepDotWeb -Surfacing the News)
http://grams7enufi7jmdl.onion (Search Grams)
http://kpynyvym6xqi7wz2.onion main.paraZite (Anarchy files and Underground)
http://valhallaxmn3fydu.onion (Valhalla Market)
http://silkkitiehdg5mug.onion (Silkkitie Market)
http://lchudifyeqm4ldjj.onion (Dream Market Dark Web Market)

Some I2P:

http://direct.i2p/ (Direct Search)
http://forum.i2p (Main i2p Forum)
http://imgbi.i2p img.bi (Secure Image Hosting)
http://pastethis.i2p/ (Pastebin)
http://zerobin.i2p (ZeroBin)
http://git.repo.i2p/ (Anonymous Git Hosting)
http://freedomforum.i2p/ (Privacy Forum)
http://leakager.i2p/ (A Cat’s Mirror of Wikileak)

General Chatter Putting In Perspective:

[Mink] oh, then go go go
[Mink] right, today we are going to talk about Darnets and TOR in particoular
[Mink] *darknets
[Mink] i made few notes to read to get us started
[Mink] https://pad.riseup.net/p/r.50b7831a5a3e919781433e4819976169
[Chanlog] Title: Riseup Pad (at pad.riseup.net)
[Mink] please, wait 10 minutes before starting to ask questions
[Aspire] ok
[n1ck1] yeah
[Mink] i’ll just write few points here while you read
[Mink] the Internet is big, really big
[Mink] what we think of the internet are webpages, blogs, email, instant messaging, webradio, voip (like skype) etc
[Mink] most of those services use the tcp/ip protocol to connect the resouces together
[amoruxX] When do we start ?
[RedAcor] Already started.
[Mink] oh amoruxX , we just did
[Mink] fundamental to make the internet work is the IP/dns concept, where a number (like 176.23.98) gets translated to a name (like mysite.com) and back
[Mink] this makes these resources available to the public and available to Search Engines (like google and yahoo)
[Mink] once a new website name is registered, a IP address is assigned to it
[Mink] this is what most people call “the internet” but there is much more
[Mink] there is a part most people will never see
[Mink] it is hidden on purpose
[B[U]G] where the address is assigned by your isp Internet Provider Service , where are two ip address ( public ) and ( local ) with mask subnet and principal gateway , the public have han UDP connetion to the internet call other service and TCP have an entrance connection to localhost
[Mink] imagine big companies networks, government agencies, or really anyone that doesn’t want their site or resources been indexed by search engines
[Mink] that we will call “DARKNET” or hidden web
[Mink] sorry “deepweb”
[Mink] :”)
[Mink] deepweb/invisible/hidden, basically not available to the public
[Mink] unless you have a login/password or a very precise address
[Mink] the deepweb is the biggest part of the internet
[B[U]G] This is because it is not possible to search through a search engine because each address is generated randomly
[Mink] in the deepweb, there is a small portion that we can only see with “special software”
[Mink] that we will call “darknet”
[Mink] for today we will talk about the main Darknet networ, the TOR (onion) network
[Mink] with TOR software (like torbrowser) we can access the normal web AND the onion network
[Mink] onion sites end with .onion and use different protocols from the norm
[Mink] the TOR network anonimize both the user and the server, automatically
[Mink] as a user, your traffic will pass trough at least 3 different servers, before reaching the target site
[n1ck1] what are the names of the different protocols for me to look for later?
[B[U]G] thanks to a connection called “onion”, by most users who share the relay
[Mink] sock
[B[U]G] “cipolla”
[n1ck1] ok tks
[n1ck1] I need t reed more about socks
[Mink] all the traffic from those servers (called “nodes” or “relay nodes” is encrypted
[Mink] making using the tor network slower than normal
[Mink] surfing the web is the main use of TOR, but it can be used to send/receive mail, IRC (like i’nm doing right now) or even voip (IF YOU CAN GET A FAST CONNECTION
[Aeolus] you can voip through tor?
[Mink] yes, with a bit of luck
[Aeolus] cool, didnt know that
[Mink] TOR can be used pretty much like any other proxy
[Mink] u could plug it in Thunderbird for emails
[Mink] in Hexchat for IRC
[B[U]G] using the gpg encryption with thunderbird or claws mail for more security
[Mink] in Mozilla for ftp, etc
[n1ck1] voip + “proxuchains firefox(TOR)”
[n1ck1] three at a time, using a VPN to open the terminal with the configured proxychains and run the TOR browser??
[Arkhangel] why with torrent no, p2p
[Arkhangel] ?
[n1ck1] VPN….voip=error
[Mink] no, but you can use vpn+TOR
[Aeolus] like me
[n1ck1] why not proxychains too?
[n1ck1] tor first or VPN first?
[B[U]G] proxychains is a simple script
[Aeolus] vpn then tor
[Aeolus] for me
[B[U]G] tht filter tor
[Aeolus] others prefer elseway
[Mink] Bittorrent over Tor is not anonymous, becouse needs to aware of other seeds/leecher sharing the files
[B[U]G] you can use for launch any application
[l0t3D_] what difference does it make
[Mink] also would put too much stress on the network
[Arkhangel] Aeolus, if someone uses TOR then VPN, I dont think he can access to onion network xD
[l0t3D_] Mink how do you even Bittorrent over tor?
[Mink] so p2p with TOR: possible, but really a waste of time
[n1ck1] yeah…rsrsrs I see
[B[U]G] l0t3D_, set tor as proxy socks
[B[U]G] or http
[B[U]G] (client)
[B[U]G] or generate
[Mink] again, it’s just possible to plug TOR port in your client
[B[U]G] iptables rules
[n1ck1] VPN + TOR is the best right?
[Mink] yes n1ck1
[Arkhangel] Mink do u mean that seeders/leechers should know your real IP?
[B[U]G] the best configuration are , tor – vpn – tor ,
[Mink] but now.. the bad part
[Aeolus] Arkhangel i used to be able to do that especially with my whonix settings
[l0t3D_] so to “torrent over tor” you need to plug TOR into my bittorent client
[Aeolus] i talk about normal browsing when you want to use tor as an extra layer
[Arkhangel] Aeolus U think that the best configuration is the config shown by B[U]G XD
[l0t3D_] but if i torrent normally and TOR is running that’s okay right?
[Mink] yes Arkhangel ,serius bitorrent users should use proxies or VPNs , not TOR
[Aeolus] Arkhangel xD
[Mink] yes l0t3D_
[l0t3D_] okay
[Arkhangel] what is the bad part? Mink
[Mink] ok, let me make one more point, then u free to ask questionbs
[Mink] right, bad part is TOR is not perfect
[n1ck1] a few days ago they tracked the IP of many users
[Mink] and it’s been under scrutiny for vulnerabilies for years
[Arkhangel] I think* (I wrong to write before lol)
[Mink] “”Tor is not meant to completely solve the issue of anonymity on the web and is not designed to completely erase tracks but instead to reduce the likelihood for sites to trace actions and data back to the user””
[Mink] there are ways and attacks to “deanonimize” a small portion of TOR users
[n1ck1] how?
[B[U]G] for example
[Aeolus] like FBI running nodes
[B[U]G] a plugin
[Aeolus] 😀
[B[U]G] in browser
[B[U]G] you can deanonymize you
[Mink] ” Users are also warned to use https versions of websites, not to use Tor over Tor, not to torrent with Tor, not to enable browser plugins, not to open documents downloaded through Tor while online, and to use safe bridges.”
[Arkhangel] why?
[B[U]G] by an javascript exploit
[Arkhangel] how a plugin can do this?
[l0t3D_] Aeolus do they?
[Aeolus] yes ofc they do
[B[U]G] or you find it on an exit node,
[Arkhangel] a javascript exploit that affects the TOR software or the plugin itself?
[Mink] the NSA is known to have run TOR “nodes” , also known as a man-in-the-middle attack
[n1ck1] TOR over TOR?
[l0t3D_] Tor over Tor? Mink
[Mink] never tor-over-tor
[l0t3D_] hahaha n1ck1
[l0t3D_] how do you even TOR over TOR
[n1ck1] so far so goof rsrsrs
[Mink] that would be running 2 instances of TOR
[Arkhangel] in which manner TOR over TOR can make u not anon?
[l0t3D_] Mink tor stops you from doing that
[n1ck1] like in the real machine and the VM use TOR?
[B[U]G] sure
[Mink] it’s like an internal thing, the “relay” will just not work, 2 likely result, no traffic go trogh, or worse no encryption between the relays
[Arkhangel] lol
[n1ck1] I’m going to print this
[Mink] if you don’t like the 3 “hops” of a standard TOR connection, you can ofcourse increase it
[forceMajeure] the problem with using tor to browse is that 99 out of 100 people will deanonymize themselves by accident without ever realizing it. User error
[Arkhangel] n1ck1 this lesson will be printed later
[Arkhangel] n1ck1 u can access it on the site of cg
[B[U]G] you can use a gateway into your vm as whonix , then use a vpn on you local machine host , and reuse tor setting of your vm gateway
[Mink] ok, now, to cover my ass
[n1ck1] ok thanks Arkhangel
[Mink] WARNING: BEFORE YOU ACCESS THESE LINKS YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT SOME CONTENT PROVIDED ON THESE DEEP WEB LINKS MIGHT BE DISTURBING, UNPLEASANT OR FRAUDULENT.
[Mink] VISIT THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK.
[Arkhangel] forceMajeure how an user can realize it?
[n1ck1] ok….send please
[Mink] you can see from the list at the bottom of the pad
[Mink] there is a bit of everything
[Mink] email services, blogs, forums, chats
[forceMajeure] lets say you visit your own website, log into ANY account associated with your real identity, attack a cpu of someone you know, just little things
[Arkhangel] forceMajeure and what are the user errors that bring the user to be deanonymized?
[Aeolus] use tor to log to FB
[forceMajeure] look up
[Mink] of course all end in .onion, and using a normal browser won’t work
[Aeolus] something stupid like that
[Arkhangel] forceMajeure ah ok… this should answer to my second question
[forceMajeure] turn on js to access a site, etc.
[Arkhangel] ty
[Arkhangel] forceMajeure why if I use js to access a site, I m not anon anymore? js stores my real IP over TOR?
[Mink] remember, and this is for clearnet aswell, your browser is the single most dangerous point of failure
[forceMajeure] if the site is compromised, someone can use something like burp to insert a malicios js
[forceMajeure] they did it at defcon years ago
[forceMajeure] you should always be using noscript
[Mink] ok, questions, and please let me answer first before giving your opinion
* Aeolus agrees with Mink
[Arkhangel] forceMajeure so if I am on TOR network, if I go on a onion malicious website and I click where I have to not click, this malicious js can decrypt the routing information to get my real IP?
[Mink] yes Arkhangel
[Arkhangel] lol
[forceMajeure] ))
[n1ck1] Is it set by default to accept or reject scripts?
[Arkhangel] sorry but, at this point
[n1ck1] TOR Browser
* Aeolus thinks we all tell shit and not let Mink who knows educate us
[Arkhangel] why didnt they do a strong encryption?
[Arkhangel] that cannot be decrypted?
[Arkhangel] like
[Mink] even worse, it can inject code into your browser, activate your webcam and mic, take screen shots and much more, no kidding
[forceMajeure] true story
[Arkhangel] not inverse hash algorithms
[Arkhangel] not invertible*
[Mink] nothing to do with encryption, JS runs on your computer, not the server
[Arkhangel] Mink if I click on a js hosted on an onion website, it runs on my pc?
[B[U]G] depends
[B[U]G] you can
[Mink] not only .onion
[B[U]G] disable flash/javascript
[Aeolus] js runs client-side
[B[U]G] and disable WebRTC leak
[B[U]G] on you browser settings
[Arkhangel] good to know XD
[Arkhangel] y
[Arkhangel] I have other different questions
[Mink] ok
[Arkhangel] the onion websites store the (false) IP of each user accessing to it?
[Mink] no
[m00trix] Let’s just agree on that TOR is great. If used out of the “box” the TOR Browser will in most cases keep you safe. If you decide to disable or allow sites through the build in TOR Browser plugins, you are taking a risk that not even TOR, nor any other level of anon tools can protect you from.
[RedAcor] For webrtc settings: https://www.privacytools.io/#webrtc
[Chanlog] Title: Privacy Tools – Encryption Against Global Mass Surveillance (at www.privacytools.io)
[B[U]G] or simply edit your about:config asd
[Arkhangel] Mink, if today TOR gives me a certain IP address, tomorrow or after a month, another user of another part of the world can be assigned to that same IP?
[B[U]G] to http.refer and media.peer connection
[m00trix] Arkhangel, yes that is the hole point…
[Mink] the TOR network will not need your IP address, the danger of that comes from javascript/ajax/bad code
[B[U]G] how all – all store a log , depends if the owner delete it
[Arkhangel] m00trix why “hole point”?
[m00trix] yea
[m00trix] if 200 users on that exit node
[m00trix] with the same “ip”
[B[U]G] but the node change every time
[m00trix] you get plausible deniability
[Arkhangel] is it a problem if an IP assigned by TOR is used in the future by another user?
[m00trix] no
[m00trix] its a bonus
[Arkhangel] ah ok xD
[Mink] again, TOR will not give you an IP address, but an “identity”
[m00trix] yea Mink
[Arkhangel] Ok Mink so that “IP” address does not work on IP protocol?
[m00trix] I think he means when using the browser, it tells the exit nodes ip
[m00trix] 🙂
[Arkhangel] yes, in practice
[l0t3D_] okay so if i have scripts disabled globally but lets say i enable it only on youtube to play a video
[n1ck1] how many connections can a node make with the same IP
[Mink] yes Arkhangel , TOR architecture does not use the same IP ]DNS as normal internet
[m00trix] that IP is your source proxy IP when browsing trough the TOR browser
[m00trix] or using any service to proxy through it
[n1ck1] and how many users can be on the node at the same time?
[l0t3D_] could another malicious website use that youtube tab to attack me?
[Mink] when a new .onion site is created it doesn’t get a IP address, but a .omnion address
[n1ck1] sorry…. my mistake
[n1ck1] but a node can handle how many requests?
[n1ck1] and perform how many for another node?
[B[U]G] all it’s possible this it happens if youtube link it’s embedded in page builded ad hoc
[m00trix] Mink, still, when you use the TOR Browser, it will tell you what the exit nodes IP is when you start it. That exit node IP is also the source of the browser requests you make and the source of any program you proxy trough it
[Arkhangel] Mink in practice you are saying that, unlike normal internet where a service like a website is on the 3rd level (IP level ISO/OSI), the onion network is completely on the 7th level (application level) of the
[Mink] ok, to spend those few minutes: TOR isn’t the only darknet network
[Arkhangel] ISO/OSI?
[m00trix] okay stop
[l0t3D_] if it’s a normal youtube link i opened myself B[U]G?
[Mink] wot?
[B[U]G] depends if in source
[B[U]G] a function
[B[U]G] call
[m00trix] When you are using the TOR browser, to go on midgetporn.org or whatever. Midgetporn.org will see your source IP as the exit nodes public IP
[B[U]G] a malicious “file”
[B[U]G] or host
[m00trix] simple as that
[Aeolus] guys thanks for today info. i suppose logs will be up later so i can read again, got to go.
[Aeolus] good work Mink thx 🙂
[Mink] you welcome Aeolus
[Arkhangel] in practice m00trix your machine is overlapped on the exit node
[l0t3D_] but if there is nothing in this source but there is a malicious “file” in another tab i have opened in the same time but I have no scripts enabled?
[m00trix] fire up the TOR browser, and press the “test tor…” thingy
[forceMajeure] Is it possible for tor to assign you a new circuit while an existing connection is still established say through a python script ran through port 9050
[B[U]G] for example : [script src=”DownloadThisEvilCode.js”/] [iframe]youtube embedd[/iframe]
[Mink] Arkhangel, , you want to rephase your question?
[B[U]G] afk
[forceMajeure] thus severing the connection
[m00trix] any site that want’s to can see the visitors source IP – and with TOR browser, that source IP is the IP of the current exit node your are on.
[Arkhangel] Mink, about the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model
[Chanlog] Title: OSI model – Wikipedia (at en.wikipedia.org)
[m00trix] really pretty simple
[m00trix] jesus
[Mink] yes forceMajeure , not only possible, but advisable, tor will change nodes randomly to add anonimity
[Mink] Arkhangel, i know the OSi model :/
[forceMajeure] but what happens to the connection that was established before the circuit changes
[Arkhangel] Mink, if the normal websites have associated IP
[forceMajeure] is it passed into the new connection
[Arkhangel] so the 3rd level of OSI model
[Arkhangel] the onion network, since it does not have IP, it is completely on the application level of OSI model?
[m00trix] no
[forceMajeure] I guess I could see what happens by sending newnym to 9051 I just thought of that
[Arkhangel] since it does not have IP ( i mean the onion websites)
[Mink] no Arkhangel
[m00trix] you need to not compare hosting an onion site with using the TOR browser
[Mink] lets’ amke it clear TOR and TORbrowser are 2 different things
[Arkhangel] y
[m00trix] I think Mink covered all the questions really good already
[Arkhangel] in the pad
[Mink] torbrowser connects to tor
[Arkhangel] it talks about the Freenet platform
[Mink] yes?
[Arkhangel] continue xD I was thinking u finished to answer my prev question xD
[Arkhangel] ok so torbroweser, application level, connects to TOR network
[Mink] yes, trough socks
[Arkhangel] socks is an application protocol?
[Mink] taht’s 5 i think
[Arkhangel] ah ok
[m00trix] Arkhangel, you need to unleash your mind from that OSI layer shit 😀
[Arkhangel] ahahahah
[Arkhangel] ok xD
[n1ck1] socks is a protocol right? the TOR Browser is the application?
[Arkhangel] y
[Mink] yes n1ck1 , but it’s easy to confuse “an application(like a program) and the “application layer” of the stack
[Mink] so yes
[Arkhangel] tell me when I can continue with another question
[m00trix] Arkhangel, if you fire up a VM with like parrotsec.org OS – It have a build in function that routes all traffic through TOR. There are other distros that does this as well. But any way, if you do that, you can look into how the traffic flows using the terminal – when all traffic is routed using TOR. Might give you more insight
[l0t3D_] i dont know if this is related to this lesson or not but what are Obfuscated servers?
[l0t3D_] or “obfs”
[Arkhangel] m00trix traceroute?
[forceMajeure] lsof -i -n -P
[m00trix] well for a start heh
[m00trix] and many more
[Arkhangel] ah ok
[m00trix] but it will show you the traffic flow
[Arkhangel] nice to know
[Mink] one thing i wanted to talk about, but we have no time, whonix
[Arkhangel] another doubt is: since ISP knows what I am visiting as website, if I access to an onion website, my ISP can know it?
[vivek] m00trix: you can achieve the same with almost any distro
[m00trix] and if there are like 200 others using the same exit node that you are on, for that current TOR connection – it’s all good.
[m00trix] vivek, I know
[Mink] the ISP will know you are using TOR, but not which sites you are visiting
[Arkhangel] Mink the ISP cannot know the onion address?
[m00trix] no
[vivek] Parrot one is highly unstable and my exp. Was not very good
[m00trix] And if you combine TOR with an OpenVPN on port 443 then even less
[Arkhangel] Mink it because ISP can see destination IP but onion website are not based on IP scheme? this is the reason?
[Arkhangel] or one of the reasons
[m00trix] vivek, I only have a VM with it. But yes, it’s Debian aka unstable heh
[Mink] no Arkhangel , unless the ISp is running the last TOR exit node
[Arkhangel] normally, an ISP in the clearnet precisely what can see from me? Only the IP of website that I am visiting?
[m00trix] Arkhangel, your ISP cant see what sites your are browsing trough TOR
[l0t3D_] [l0t3D_] i dont know if this is related to this lesson or not but what are Obfuscated servers?
[l0t3D_] [l0t3D_] or “obfs”
[m00trix] all your DNS lookups and what you are doing
[m00trix] if you use the ISP’s dns servers
[Mink] in clearnet, your IS know your favourite pornhub page
[Arkhangel] guys so the ISP can read only the DNS lookup table inside the router?
[m00trix] they can see all, but not https login data
[l0t3D_] lol
[Arkhangel] ah ok
[Mink] sorry l0t3D_ , obfuscated are another kinfd of “relay nodes” to help tranport info
[m00trix] Arkhangel, if you use the DNS servers provided by the ISP you have. They can see what sites you visit, the IP of the sites, what traffic you generate, they can see close to anything
[l0t3D_] obfuscated servers are used to access vpn or tor in some places like the great firewall of china?
[Arkhangel] cannot I change the DNS server where I want to go?
[Mink] yes l0t3D_ , and Iran and N korea
[l0t3D_] well i think ill be up on that list soon too
[Arkhangel] provided by other companies?
[m00trix] If you change the DNS servers on your router to some that does not log and are not your ISP’s. They loose the ability to view your DNS req
[l0t3D_] thath’s the only way i can access tor or vpn
[m00trix] next step is then, VPN and TOR
[Arkhangel] m00trix so you mean that then internet in my location does not work lol
[l0t3D_] makes the connection very f’in slow tho
[m00trix] I would advice any one to NOT use the default ISP provided DNS servers as a pure basic step
[m00trix] should be the first step you do on the router
[Mink] l0t3D_, remember for help with anonimity and privacy you can always ask in #opnewblood, we will be happy to help with that
[Arkhangel] m00trix how can we do this?
[m00trix] set WAN DNS to manual and find some good non logging DNS
[Arkhangel] do u know some non logging DNS?
[m00trix] Arkhangel, depends on what router you have
[m00trix] sure
[l0t3D_] thanks Mink
[m00trix] Also you will get arround of most censorship
[m00trix] by stat step alone
[Arkhangel] can you list some of them here?
[m00trix] gov dns blocks
[m00trix] I switch it up
[m00trix] but run
[m00trix] https://blog.uncensoreddns.org/
[l0t3D_] should i call them and ask them nicely to change my DNS? 🙂
[m00trix] some places
[Arkhangel] ty
[m00trix] just login to your router
[m00trix] and change it
[m00trix] if in doubt give me a priv
[Arkhangel] ty very much
[l0t3D_] WAN settings right?
[m00trix] yea
[m00trix] and then
[m00trix] set DNS do manual
[m00trix] not the IP 😀
[m00trix] only dns
[Arkhangel] another question: the pad talks about the freenet platform… is it a software to be installed on my computer?
[Mink] yes Arkhangel
[m00trix] l0t3D_, priv me if you need help
[Arkhangel] what is the difference between freenet platform sw and tor bundle sw?
[m00trix] If I run with my basic ISP DNS servers sites like http://1337x.to/ are blocked 🙂 a torrent site. Gov block
[Chanlog] Title: Torrent Search Engine | 1337x.to (at 1337x.to)
[n1ck1] if I change my DNS the VOIP stops working in my house
[Arkhangel] or better: if torbrowser allows me to access to the tor network, freenet and other shown platforms on pad, what do they allow me to do?
[m00trix] wut n1ck1?
[m00trix] makes no sence
[n1ck1] my ISP has a separate physical VOIP phone but connected by cable to the router
[n1ck1] minha mae é velha e não sabe usar muitas tecnologias e o telefone é similar ao antigo porém funciona como VOIP
[n1ck1] sorry
[n1ck1] my mother is old and does not know how to use many technologies and the phone is similar to the old one but it works like VOIP
[n1ck1] if I switch to any other, VOIP does not work, it has been months of technical visits, tests, and unsolvable configurations.
[RedAcor] Set DNS on your network manager.
[RedAcor] So that will not affect your router.
[RedAcor] Also you can use unbound on your system.
[RedAcor] You can check lesson 4 logs for that.
[m00trix] yes
[m00trix] thx to Mink for a great course 🙂
[RedAcor] There many different and hybrid solutions.
[RedAcor] Anyways. Mink Thanks for delicious lesson. 🙂
[Arkhangel] guys is better vpn tor vpn tor or tor vpn tor?
[Arkhangel] is better starting with vpn or tor?
[n1ck1] YES
[n1ck1] This worked …. It’s simple but I had not thought of it.
[RedAcor] Arkhangel Tor VPN Tor
[Arkhangel] why starting with tor RedAcor?
[RedAcor] Some people use VPN ] VPN ] Tor also
[RedAcor] Because it is secure than VPN. jijiji
[n1ck1] tails pendrive, VPN, TOR, break everything later and throw it in the trash lol
[Arkhangel] instead, when I connect to tor network, when I reach the exit node, the IP of my computer is in clear there?
[RedAcor] If i talk about last bug of TOR: Nah.
[l0t3D_] 2 tor?
[m00trix] Arkhangel, really depends what you are doing also 🙂
[l0t3D_] [RedAcor] Arkhangel Tor VPN Tor
[n1ck1] RedAcor thanks for the DNS tip
[RedAcor] But they fixed that issue.
[RedAcor] n1ck1 You’re welcome.
[Arkhangel] to discover some user, agency like NSA what look for?
[Arkhangel] they use only their exit node and check for all users that go in, or they can know information also about exit node that are not theirs?
[m00trix] hard to say
[m00trix] you need to stop overthinking it
[Arkhangel] im afraid to forget these questions and these doubts xD
[m00trix] I get that bro. But I can’t answer you how the FEDS, CIA or NSA track people on TOR 🙂
[m00trix] or if they even can and with what success
[Arkhangel] dont worry. I have a last question: why tor works on SOCKS and not HTTP/HTTPS protocol?
[m00trix] Arkhangel, per design I think
[Arkhangel] in the network settings, for HTTP/HTTPS I cannot use the 9050 or 9150 port to use TOR, right?
[m00trix] network settings for what?
[m00trix] program
[Arkhangel] for example if you want to use a proxy on the system of the operating system
[m00trix] what OS Arkhangel
[m00trix] You want to route all traffic out through TOR
[Arkhangel] windows or linux-based
[Arkhangel] y
[Arkhangel] in that case for HTTP/HTTPS I cannot use port 9150
[Arkhangel] right?
[Aspire] i have to go bye all and thanks for the lesson
[Arkhangel] since SOCKS and HTTP/HTTPS talk different “languages”
[m00trix] Arkhangel, are you trying to run another browser through TOR?
[m00trix] what are you trying to do, that would help heh
[Arkhangel] no
[Arkhangel] I want to use just the normal browser with no opening torbrowser
[Arkhangel] but where I can surf on tor
[m00trix] you have to have the TOR Browser running to proxy the traffic
[m00trix] unless you run a plain tor from a terminal
[Arkhangel] exactly
[Arkhangel] on windows I should run tor browser
[m00trix] and there is a reason for why the TOR browser is at is is. And have the plugins it have
[m00trix] to protect you
[m00trix] you can do what you are trying to do, but even TOR warns against it
[Arkhangel] i know that torbrowser is better for that, but just for information, if I start torbrowser and I enable a proxy that route the data to the tor network by a normal browser, it is not a connection tor over tor right?
[m00trix] when you start the TOR browser, you can tell most programs yo use 127.0.0.1:9150 as a proxy and it will proxy over TOR
[m00trix] but on Windows, the TOR Browser needs to be running
[Arkhangel] exactly, so it is simple one tor connection, is not tor over tor, right?
[Arkhangel] in case of windows I mean
[m00trix] tor over tor?
[Arkhangel] y, since it s not a good idea running tor over tor, I would like to know if, on windows, open torbrowser and proxying the other programs to 127.0.0.1:9150 is not a tor over tor
[l0t3D_] alright thanks all for the lesson i need to go
[l0t3D_] bye
[n1ck1] no
[n1ck1] not is
[Arkhangel] ok ty
[Arkhangel] Im so sorry I forced everyone to run away
[n1ck1] you only configure that program to use this network
[n1ck1] ahsuhahsauhsauhusa
[Arkhangel] ahaha
[n1ck1] but use linux
[n1ck1] windows sucks
[Arkhangel] I use Linux, but I need to have all possible information
[n1ck1] try ubunto first, it is easy
[n1ck1] yes
[n1ck1] this is right
[Arkhangel] culture is power
[n1ck1] y
[n1ck1] tks all

Criteria To Consider When Purchasing A VPN

I read somewhere recently that there are over 500 VPN companies world-wide in 2019, but what really separates one from the other? How can you be sure which company is best? Well, yesterday I came across this list from Comparitech Privacy Advocate and Raul Bischoff, which is think constitutes the best explanation I have seen to date – which is why I am republishing it here today.

Please note that VPN’s are not a tool for criminals, they are tool through which you can protect your own fundamental rights to freedom and privacy – rights which Governments all around the world are slowly but surely trying to take away from us. So, when you read about Anonymous forms of payment below, this doesn’t mean researchers are trying to show you something dark or illegal, but are rather pointing out which companies are willing to go the furthest to protect your data, identity and privacy – ideals which should be at the heart of any/every VPN specific company. After-all, this is literally the only purpose a VPN serves.

1.) Traffic logging policy: Traffic logs refer to records of user activity and the content they viewed while using the VPN. A VPN provider should have no traffic logs of any sort whatsoever.

2.) Metadata logging policy: This refers to logs that contain the source IP of users. Not considering bandwidth or timestamp logs, which contain no identifying information.

3.) VPN protocol: Must use a secure VPN protocol such as OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, or IKEv2.

4.) Channel encryption: Must use the AES 128-bit algorithm or higher.

5.) Authentication protocol: Must be SHA256 or better. SHA1 has vulnerabilities, but HMAC SHA1 is arguably still safe and doesn’t suffer from collisions, so points are not deducted for HMAC SHA1.

6.) Key exchange: RSA and DH keys must be 2,048-bit or higher.

7.) Perfect forward secrecy: Session keys cannot be compromised even if the private key of the server is compromised.

8.) DNS leak protection: DNS leak protection must be built into the provider’s apps.

9.) WebRTC leak prevention: WebRTC leak prevention must be built into the provider’s apps.

10.) IPv6 leak prevention: IPv6 leak prevention must be built into the provider’s apps.

11.) Kill switch: VPNs should have a kill switch that halts traffic when the VPN connection drops is a must.

12.) Private DNS servers: The provider must operate its own DNS servers and not route DNS requests through the default ISP or a public provider such as OpenDNS or Google DNS.

13.) Servers: Physical server are preferred.

14.) Anonymous payment methods: Accepting Bitcoin as payment earns the point, but also take note of those who accept gift vouchers and other cryptocurrencies.

15.) Torrenting policy: Downloading via BitTorrent must be allowed.

16.) Country of incorporation: Special consideration if a VPN is incorporated outside of the 14 Eyes: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Spain.

Learn More – Data Servers v Country of Origin: https://roguemedia.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Data_v_Country.pdf

Read Full Doc:

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** If you cant navigate the document, hover your mouse over the pdf (above) and notice the up and down arrows at the bottom left. These will help you flip through the pages **

 

How and Why To Re-Rout DNS Through Your Computer or Phone

In a few of my previous tutorials I briefly touch on DNS re-routing, but never really get into it in full details, so I figured why not here today? Before moving forward, learning to re-route your DNS is important because it is a means of protecting your personal data, devices, network connectivity and internet traffic away from the spying or prying eyes of your Internet Service Provider (ISP), Government and any other interested 3rd parties, such as advertisers or even hackers. As for how DNS works or how switching it effects your internet connectivity, I think the short video below is the best demonstration. It explains how DNS re-routing configures your computer or phone to connect through a DNS server first, in order to connect to a website second – instead of connecting to a server owned by your ISP to connect to that same website, get it?

While there are number of ways to re-route your DNS and different services providers to choose from, for the purposes of this article, I consider the following to be the worlds best “Top 3” – Cloudflare DNS, IBM Quad 9 and Google’s Public DNS. As you can read below, each of which have their own unique benefits.

Cloudflare DNS:

Ipv4: 1.1.1.1
Ipv6: 1.0.0.1
Ipv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111
Ipv6: 2606:4700:4700::1001

Cloudflare DNS is my personal DNS provider of choice, installed on both my computer and phone. As for why I choose them, this is because Cloudflare DNS anonymizes IP Addresses, deletes logs daily and doesn’t mine any user data. Additionally, Cloudlfare DNS also offers security features not available in many other public DNS service providers, such as “Query Name Minimization” – which diminishes privacy leakage by sending minimal query names to authoritative DNS servers when connecting to websites.

Learn More – Cloudflare DNS: https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/dns/what-is-1.1.1.1/

IBM Quad 9:

Ipv4: 9.9.9.9
Ipv4: 149.112.112.112
Ipv6: 2620:fe::fe
Ipv6: 2620:fe::9

IBM Quad 9. Whereas Cloudflare may be more beneficial for activists and researchers, IBM Quad 9 on the other hand is probably of more benefit to your average home owner, parent or business owner. This is because Quad 9 routes your internet connections through DNS servers that actively blacklist known malicious websites, as well as websites which have previously been compromised by data breaches. In addition to this, Quad 9 servers also protect your internet’s incoming/outgoing connections as a means of preventing any of your devices from being caught up in a botnet. Quite simply, this means that while on Quad 9 servers, you never have to worry about any of your devices being hijacked or caught up in any sort of DDoS or crypto-mining campaigns, even smart devices connected to the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

Learn More – IBM Quad9: https://www.quad9.net/

Google Public DNS:

Ipv4: 8.8.8.8
Ipv4: 8.8.4.4
Ipv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888
Ipv6: 2001:4860:4860::8844

Google Public DNS servers on the other hand are ideal for people in countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Turkey, Syria, North Korea and the like which are all known to have restricted, censored, shut down and/or sealed off access to certain portions of their national internet in the past. In fact, as you can see via the picture provided below, activists affiliated with Anonymous Cyber Guerrilla have literally spray painted Google’s 8.8.8.8 DNS in public places in times of National crises as a means of raising awareness and alerting citizens how to bypass local internet restrictions imposed by their Government – opening people back up to the global world-wide-web. In addition to bypassing regional internet restrictions, compared to ISP’s in some 3rd world regions, switching to Google DNS servers might actually help improve or speed up your load time/internet connection.

Learn More – Google Public DNS: https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/

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How To Switch DNS On Windows?

1.) Go to the start menu and type in “Settings,” press enter and then select “Network & Internet” options

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2.) Click on “Change Adapter Options

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3.) Select the “Internet Connection” your are using then click on the “Properties” button when it pops up

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4.) Scroll through and individually select/click on “Internet Protocol Version IPv4” and “Internet Protocol Version IPv6” then press the “Properties” button again

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5.) Select “Use The Following DNS Server Address” and manually enter in your DNS service provider of choice – see IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses above – then press “OK

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That’s it, really. Generally speaking, the setup should be the same on your Apple PC just as well. It’s also important to note that you can actually do a mix-match of the addresses listed above. For example, you can use Cloudflare for IPv4, but then choose IBM for IPv6 – vice versa – and your internet connection will not be broken. Just so you are aware, while IPv2 usually signifies the country of origin or device where you are coming from, but most all devices on the world-wide-web these days connect to websites via IPv4 connections, making IPv4 the most important settings to modify.

How To Switch DNS On Phone?

Changing or re-routing the DNS settings on your phone can either be incredibly complicated or incredibly simple, depending on your level of skill/expertise. However, far and away the easiest means to go about accomplishing this is by installing a 3rd party App – either by going to your App, Apple or Google Play store(s). Simply just type in “Change DNS” to your search settings, press enter, and this should open up a whole host of options to choose from. Simply choose the one that you feel is best for you and enter in the Addresses listed above.

If You are A Little More Advanced…

OpenNIC Project. For those of you whom may be unfamiliar, “OpenNIC (also referred to as the OpenNIC Project) is a user owned and controlled top-level Network Information Center offering a non-national alternative to traditional Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries; such as ICANN. Instead, OpenNIC only operates namespaces and namespaces the OpenNIC has peering agreements with.

In other words, they are open DNS addresses, servers and proxies not indexed by global internet agencies or their Governments. Stay classy mi amigos 😉

Learn More -OpenNIC Project: https://www.opennic.org/

See Also – CyberGuerrilla Internet Censorship Care Package: https://www.cyberguerrilla.org/blog/anti-censorship-carepackage/

Online Tutorial: Building & Selecting Safer Web Browsers

As I was going about re-configuring my website and domains earlier this week I noticed something very interesting, while my SSL Certificate was in the process of being authenticated I was able to access my unsecured website on every web browser except for one; Mozilla Firefox – which would not allow me to connect to the web page in order to keep me protected.

Just so you understand what I am talking about here, browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari will all freely allow you to access a web page which has the potential to compromise your security – including websites which do not have an authenticated or verified SSL Certificates. This is because these web browsers are configured to be “convenient” and easy to use, security is either nonexistent or an afterthought on these particular browsers. With that said, there are a number of web browsers out there specifically designed around security, which also happen to be equally as easy to use/operate. Here are some of those browsers, along with some other helpful information to help you make more informed security choices online in the future.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is considered by some to be the world’s most secure web browser. I say “some” specifically because many people would argue that Tor is actually the most secure browser out there. However, without Mozilla Firefox the Tor browser wouldn’t even exist. This is because Tor uses the source code of Firefox as the foundation to build their browser. As for why I personally consider Firefox more secure than Tor, this is because the DarkNet is inherently a much more dangerous place than the ClearNet, and you can’t access the DarkNet or Deep Web on Mozilla Firefox alone. Browsing through and interacting with the Deep Web, even while using Tor, naturally puts you and your security at a much higher risk.

What makes Firefox particularly unique is that much like WordPress.com, the browser allows you to install various Add-Ons, extensions or plugins that can help you maximize your security. For the purposes of this article, if you are going to use Mozilla Firefox, I highly recommend that you install NoScript, HTTPS Everywhere, Ad Blocker Ultimate and Disable WebRTC connections. There are more plugins than I could possibly mention here, those are just some of the most important ones you can install specifically in terms of online security.

WebRTC is a little talked about “glitch” that allows third parties to circumvent your security and compromise your systems, even when you are using a VPN or Proxy service. As of today, Mozilla is the only web platform I am aware of that allows you to disable all WebRTC connections entirely. By comparison, other browsers like Google Chrome literally ban people from disabling WebRTC connections through their browser, as to allow US “authorities” like the NSA and FBI to more easily hack and track users online if need be. However, non-Government hackers exploit WebRTC all the same as Federal hackers, and for all the same reasons.

Download Firefox Here: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/download/

Tor

I understand that the Tor Browser has gone on to develop a slightly negative reputation in today’s society but, believe it or not, the Tor Project was first developed by and still receives a majority of its funding from the United States Department of Defense. It is important to understand that even though some people use Tor to do some pretty bad or illegal things, just like anything else in life, the browser is only what you make of it.

Tor was not developed for criminals, it was first developed by the US Government in order to keep agents, operatives and members of the Armed Forces safe and secure online. It just so happens that over time the browser and its systems were hijacked by criminals and terrorists alike, whom also need to remain hidden and secure online for many of the same reasons as Government employees.

The Tor browser works by bouncing your internet connection through thousands of individual “proxy servers” around the world on a perpetual randomized time loop. At any given moment in time your internet connection could be bouncing from Thailand to Venezuela to Canada and theoretically anywhere in between, concealing your computers identity and making your internet activity essentially impossible to trace. In addition to redirecting your internet traffic away from the eyes of your Internet Service Provider, it also conceals the IP Address of the computer you are using behind a proxy. This is particularly important/valuable for political activists and human rights defenders living in oppressive countries all around there world, where peoples online activity can get them arrested or killed. Since the browser directs all of you online activity to different countries around the world, this allows activists to remain hidden from their Governments while also granting them access to any sites banned or restricted by their respective Governments.

It is important to note that Tor is perhaps the best web browser at preventing or deflecting an active hacking attempt against your computer. However, I would never use Tor for things like credit card transactions or editing/customizing your personal website. This is because anytime you are using a proxy you are using someone else’s connection. While this may hide your internet activity from 3rd parties, it makes you internet activity available specifically to the owner of whatever proxy server you happen to be using at that time, and not every proxy server exists with honorable intentions – though “most” Tor exit node operators tend to be trusted activists.

Download Tor Here: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en

Opera

Opera is a little known web browser that has traditionally had a minuscule following throughout the past. However, in 2016, Opera started to gain a more main stream following, particularly with the cyber security community, after the browser started to become standard with a built in VPN. This means that the Opera browser stands in front of your computers IP Address while you browse the internet and your activity will remain hidden from your Internet Service Provider and/or 3rd parties. While the VPN is far from the strongest of safest on the market, it is still a very unique feature that has helped the browser grow in popularity over the years.

Download Opera Here: http://www.opera.com/

Epic Privacy Browser

One of the newer browsers on the market, Epic is specifically designed around online security. Each time you close the browser all of your cookies and tracking information is automatically deleted, preventing any websites from remembering or recording your previous activity. Similar to Opera, the Epic Privacy Browser also connects your computer through the companies own servers, acting as a proxy service for your device. This prevents any hackers/websites from recording the IP Address of the device you are using to browse the internet. Additionally, much like Mozilla, the browser will not allow you to connect with or access any site that does not have a recognized SSL Certificate.

Download Epic Here: https://www.epicbrowser.com/

Browser History, Cache & Cookie Management

If someone gains access to your computer for malicious reasons one of the first things they are going to want to do is check your browser history to gain access to websites and accounts that you frequent the most. Just think for a moment about all the pages you visit online, that you do not need to log into every time you visit. While this may be convenient for your personal browsing habits, it is also very convenient for hackers.

For this reason, you should always delete your browser history and clear all browser cookies on a fairly regular basis. You would be surprised to know how much information your browser stores/remembers about you, until you delete it all. Please note that some browsers offer to delete cache and cookies through the settings menu and some anti-virus programs also offer to do the same. However, if you cannot find or do not own these programs, one of the best programs to clear history, cookies, cache and everything else is known as CCleaner and it is completely free and open source for anyone to own. The “C” in CCleaner literally stands for “Crap,” because the program deletes all of the useless crap your computer happens to store about you. The program itself is entirely free to own, but it is one of the most effective programs on the market. For example, even multi-billion dollar tech companies are known to use the program on a regular basis.

Download CCleaner Here: www.ccleaner.com/download

Online Tutorial: Phone Security

1.) Encryption

Encrypt your entire Operating System (OS). Phone encryption is the first line of defense for whichever phone you happen to use, ensuring that no one can even so much as turn on your device without the proper credentials. It is important to understand that encrypting your phone and setting a screen lock for it are not the same thing. It is also important to understand that, depending on the type of phone you have and who manufactured it, screen locks can be bypassed by 3rd parties – such as hackers – as well as through different back-doors found within various software applications/programs you’ve installed on it. Encrypting your phone on the other hand encrypts your entire operating system all at once, requiring password authentication for the phone to even boot up and power on in the first place – ensuring that no App, program or file can be exploited or corrupted to gain full access to your phone.

Depending on what type of phone you have, your settings might come with a built in feature allowing to encrypt individual Apps. If not, you can install a firewall application for that – more on this later on in the article. If you are unfamiliar where to find your phones encryption options, they are available in the “security” section under the main settings menu. Please note that it can take an hour or more to fully encrypt your phone, so it’s important to always begin with a fully charged battery.

Select an appropriate screen lock. Screen locks are a different form of encryption in a sense, ensuring that no one can use/operate your phone when you lose it, are away from it or leave it out in public. As far as how you set it up, there are 4 different options to choose from – each one having its pro’s and cons.

  • Password Lock. Users will be required to enter a unique password consisting of letters, numbers and symbols to unlock your device. Personally, I believe password protection to be by far the most secure of all options. However, for the same reason, it could be considered the most “inconvenient, because it requires the most amount of time/attention to enter every time you wish to unlock your device.
  • Pin Lock. Pin locks work exactly like password protections, only they exclude letters and symbols. Meaning that users will be required to enter a pass-code of random numbers in order to unlock your phone. For the very reason that pins exclude letters and symbols, they are a little less secure than passwords, exponentially decreasing the theoretical number of guesses it would take to crack/unlock your device.
  • Pattern Lock. I am finding that this is becoming the most “trendy” screen lock these days, simply requiring users to use their fingers to “connect the dots” and draw a unique pattern on the front of their screen before it unlocks. However, I find pattern locks to be less secure than some of the other options, because there is a much higher probability of successfully drawing a random pattern to unlock a device than their is guessing an advanced password or pin.
  • Biometrics. The newest “craze” is security is using your own fingerprints, eyes, face or facial expressions to unlock different devices. However, while these options may be the most convenient and fastest, they are also by far the least secure. I say this because multiple studies have proven how easy it is to trick biometric security measures, and often times the pictures off your own social media accounts are enough to bypass them.

Password/Pin protect your SIMor SSID card. It is important to understand that encrypting your operating system and setting a screen lock will do nothing to protect your data cards or memory chips, securing those is an entirely separate matter. So lastly, you are going to want to encrypt/password protect your SIM and/or SSID card. To do this simply enter into the security options within your phones main settings menu, find/select your memory chips and create a unique pin lock for them. This ensures that no matter where your memory chip goes or whatever phone/device it’s plugged into, no one will be allowed to access your contacts, photos, videos, messages, files or data without entering the correct pin code first.

If you would like help learning how to build strong and easy to remember passwords to encrypt your accounts/devices, please read more in the tutorial provided below.

How To Write Un-Hackable Passwords: https://roguesec.co/how-to-write-un-hackable-passwords/

2.) Firewalls

Some phones come pre-installed with various firewall options, but if yours does not then there is a sizeable number of firewall Apps to choose from. Firewalls are critically important to security because they allow users to seal off or block different Apps, limiting the possible points of entry for hackers or other 3rd parties. Depending on the type of firewall you select, you may also have the option to encrypt individual Apps on your phone, adding a 4th layer of encryption to your device while ensuring that even if someone is able to unlock it, they will not be allowed to use selected Apps without further permissions. This is particularly important/helpful if you utilize different types of chatrooms, group chats for work or VoIP services.

Perhaps most importantly, firewalls severely limit potential abuses of your phone. You can select different options to completely seal off individual Apps altogether, or seal off different settings/areas of your phone from outside sources.Not only does this prevent hackers from using selected Apps to compromise your phone, but at the same time it prevents App owners themselves and other 3rd parties from gaining access to your phone all the same. Firewalls also protect against unwarranted data collection of your phone, including call/text history and general phone usage. More importantly, building a strong firewall and sealing off selected Apps can free up memory space/data usage, both speeding up your phone and saving battery life. If there are Apps on your phone that you’ve never used a single day in your life, or you feel may be spying on you/invading your privacy, simply use your firewall to disable them altogether with the click of a button.

On a similar but side note, never blindly give every App different permissions just because they ask for them. For example, when first navigating a new phone you might find that you are regularly asked to allow different Apps to do random things, such as collect data or record audio/video. It might seem harmless, but think about it for a second. What the hell does the Google Chrome web browser possibly need to record audio for? The simple answer is it doesn’t, you are only being set up to have your phone hacked by authorities and/or law enforcement officials at a later date in time – should they ever feel the need. By checking these options and blindly granting permission to different Apps, your are secretly granting 3rd parties the permission to ‘flip the switch‘ so to speak and turn your phone into a spy/recording device whenever they want. So, don’t fall for it. There is literally no need to give different developers that much permission over your phone.

3.) Manage Security Certificates

Similarly, you should seriously check out the security certificates or “Trusted Credentials” list which came pre-installed on your phone. On my Android ZTE for example, my phone was handed to me with over 100 different security certificates installed on it, some of which grant different Government agencies/offices direct root access to my phone without requiring legal documents or warrants of any kind – no exaggeration. You might not have been told about this when you bought your phone, buy they are there. Just a short list of some of the organizations which have direct root access to my phone; China Financial Certification Authority, CyberTrust, Deutsche Telekom, Hellenic Academic Research Institute, HongKong Post, Japanese Government, VISA, TurkTrust,Wells Fargo, as well as countless other organizations operating under different Government umbrellas.

Thankfully though, you do have the ability to revoke these certificates/permissions if you like. Simply find where these certificates are under your settings menu and disable whichever ones you desire. Just note that disabling some of the most fundamental ones, such as those issues by your telecommunications provider, may break access to different areas of your phone – but this is always reversible.

4.) Internet Security & Antivirus

Most people are always surprised to learn that the same measures used to secure your computer can often times be transferred directly to your phone, this includes things like VPN’s and antivirus. For the purposes of this section of the article, I would like to discuss different measures you can install to help protect your phone and keep your data that much more private/secured.

  • VPN’s: I am not going to get into a breakdown of what VPN’s are and how they work, it is just important to understand that you can install and utilize a VPN connection on your phone all the same as a computer. If you already own a paid VPN account, simply install the service providers App on your phone and establish a new connection through it. Your IP Address and internet connection will be secured all the same, just note that the internet speed of your phone will be effected a little more significantly than a computer, simply because a phone can not process as much information as fast as a computer can.
  • Proxy’s: It is another common misconception that you can’t utilize proxy connections or the Tor network on your phone, this is simply untrue. You can either hide your IP address and internet activity by installing the Tor App directly, or you can install something known as Orbot – developed by The Tor Project. Orbot transfers all data/network activity from your phone across various tor relays, essentially turning the Tor network itself into a giant VPN connection/encryption setting for all of your data and every last thing you do on your phone. Unlike Tor, Orbot doesn’t just simply protect internet activity – even the Apps developers profess itself to be a “full phone VPN.
  • Re-Route DNS: Another way to protect against data spying, 3rd party abuses or intrusive hackers is to re-route your DNS through different service providers. For example, I personally route all of my network activity through Cloudflare DNS servers for added privacy and security. IBM’s Quad 9 DNS service is another good option, blocking you from gaining access to known malicious websites while preventing your device from ever becoming part of or wrapped up in a botnet. You can do your own research to find other options which may be more suitable, but another popular option is Google’s public DNS service.
  • Install Different Browsers: Just as with computers, you can choose a whole host of different browser options, many of which are far more secure and private than Google Chrome or the built in web browser found on your phone. If you would like to learn more about browsers, as well as the different/added benefits of each, please utilize the following link: https://roguesec.co/building-selecting-safer-web-browsers/
  • Antivirus: Phone antivirus programs essentially work the same as computer antivirus’, only they are far simpler and much cheaper. A good antivirus program for your phone should cost anywhere from $2-5$ per month, and will protect your phone against malicious hyperlinks, scan all downloads for viruses, as well as prevent all of the most common/basic forms of cyber attack. Some phone based antivirus service providers, such as Kaspersky Lab, also come with built in VPN connections to secure your internet activity at the same time.

5.) VoIP Services

While VoIP services are not necessarily essential for everyday phone use, they do offer critical protections for political activists, journalists, researchers and citizens living under oppressive regimes all around the world. VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” which is just a fancy way of saying they transport all calls and messages over established internet connections, rather than routing them through your telecommunications or phone service provider – such as AT&T or Verizon. For this reason, VoIp services prevent your data from being intercepted, recorded or stolen by telecommunications companies and other 3rd parties, such as Governments, thus protecting any information you send across them. VoIP services also offer the ability to encrypt messages or calls between like users, further protecting your privacy. By comparison, both of these options are not available on standard text messages or phone calls. In politically oppressive countries, VoIp services offer a critical means to bypass Government imposed restrictions or blockades on national telecommunications. VoIP services also let you make international calls for free.

While this might sound a bit complex or advanced, once installed, operating a VoIP connection/application is no more different or complicated than making a regular phone call or sending traditional text messages. Lastly, VoIP connections also offer a secondary means to reach contacts, should your phone lose service, go out of range or come under blackout. Rather than relying on the signal strength of your network service provider, all you need to use VoIP services is an active internet connection.

The Best/Top VoIP Service Providers:

The Art of Human Hacking: How A Firm Grasp of Mentalism & Social Engineering are Two Intangible Tools for Every Modern Hacker

Most people would be surprised to learn that often times the most valuable tool in computer hacking isn’t a program, tool or exploit at all – but rather the human mind. For the purposes of this article I would like to discuss two invaluable strategies employed by some of the worlds most dangerous hackers as a means of compromising and/or tracking their targets online. These would be the psychological practices of “Mentalism” and “Social Engineering.” Before moving forward, you should understand the differences between the two.

Mentalism is the skill of getting people to tell you information about themselves without them realizing they are providing you with information. It’s a skill or talent most commonly associated with “Cold Readers” and/or “Psychics,” but has absolutely nothing to do with any sort of magical abilities – imaginary or otherwise. Rather, they are purely logical and psychological talents/techniques. Social Engineering on the other hand is the art of making people to execute your will or do things for you – usually under false or manipulative pretenses.

Below you will find a brief strategy guide and overview of these two tactics/techniques, utilized by some of the worlds best hackers to infiltrate different circles online – be it the KKK, Islamic State, CIA or anyone else for that matter. These are also techniques I’ve personally taught to hundreds of individuals on underground forums and online chats over the years – allegedly. Good luck proving it, anyways 😉

How Does It Work?

It may or may not be common knowledge at this point, but starting in 2015 I started my own international intelligence/espionage group known as the “Anonymous Intelligence Agency” – an organization which accepted a broad range of tips, leaks and other sensitive information from hackers all around the world. Over the years, through the moderation of online forums and chatroom’s, part of my dealings have involved the instruction of various techniques, strategies and styles to go about extracting information from others, and/or acquiring information about specific targets online. Strategies at the very heart of social engineering and mentalist theory.

Learn More – The Anonymous Intelligence Agency: https://roguesecuritylabs.ltd/anon-intell/

Say for example you are starting from scratch and want to narrow down someones location online. You might open a conversation with something like “man, it’s so cold here, I can’t stand the cold weather!” To which someone might respond something like “yeah, its cold here too” or “well, sucks for you, its warm here.” Might sound like an innocent exchange – right? But the person you’re talking to just identified they are currently residing somewhere in the southern hemisphere. Continuing the conversation on a little further or at a different point in time, you might then bring up the weather that day by saying something like “man, its such a nice day out today, not a cloud in site!” To which someone might respond “well, its raining here” – vice versa. Cross referencing a weather map from that day, there’s only a few places on Earth where it’s raining at the present moment in time – further narrowing down their geo-location. See where I am going with this?

This is what is refereed to as mentalism, getting people to provide you with information/intelligence without them having a clue they are actually doing it. You can do this with almost any conversation as well, be it through politics, personality, sexual interests, hobbies, food preferences – et cetera.

For example, take a bold stand on a political issue in one director or another and see how people react/respond to it, I guarantee it’ll tell you a lot about their personality, ideals, personal beliefs and behaviors. Just by “triggering” someone with a controversial statement, which doesn’t necessarily even have to be something you personally believe or think is true,  allows you to uncover so much about a person or group of people. This is also something you can do quite easily with sexuality as well. Just pretend to make a candid statement about your own fantasies, fetishes, interests or desires and people will almost certainly react or respond to it with their own. With the proper level of skill and over a long enough period of time, you can begin putting together full psychological profile on individuals or even fully compromise our target, without said target even realizing you’ve done so.

Dealing with Scammers or Fraudsters

When you are not trying to track someone or uncover their identities online, there are other techniques you can utilize for separate purposes – say for use in law enforcement. For example, I always instructed people to play as dumb as humanly possible when dealing with fraudsters, scammers or the like – techniques which have resulted in dozens of tips worldwide, presumably dozens of arrests at the same time.

For example, say you become aware of a phone, email or internet scam asking for money, donations or any other financial information. When dealing with these people you should pretend to be as open as humanly possible about getting them money. For example, say you are dealing with a charity fraudster. Tell them something like,”you know, I’ve been meaning to get involved with a charity for quite some time now. Yours sounds like the perfect opportunity! If I wanted to write a check is there a physical address I can mail it to?” Or, “do you have a bank account I could wire a bigger sum of money to?” Or “do you have an email address or web address where I can ask questions or learn more about what your trying to do?” See where I am going with this? If they give you any of this information, then this is all tangible evidence authorities can use to compromise the individual(s) behind the scam. By playing dumb and being as open as possible to cooperating with them, without actually giving them anything, this is how you can trick them into handing you more information than they otherwise should or would have given upfront.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is quite literally referred to as “the Art of human hacking” and it’s  essentially the art of manipulating others to execute your goals or do something for you – essentially making others work on your behalf. Unlike mentalism which is purely psychological, social engineering usually refers to any physical action carried out by someone else under the guise of your manipulation, guidance or direction.

Believe it or not, in most circles around the world social engineering itself is considered to be the single largest threat to cyber security worldwide – not any sort of malware, computer program, exploit, Operating System or otherwise. If you’d like a demonstration of why this is, look no further than an interview with the hacker behind the breach of CIA Director John Brennan’s personal emails in 2016 – a hack almost exclusively pulled off through their the use of social engineering to trick a low-level corporate employee. As the old saying goes, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Or at least in this instance, you are only as secure as your dumbest or most clueless employee……

Social engineers are also infamous for penetrating different hacking circles or groups online, simply just to compromise their members. For example, look no further than ZHacker and what he did to Nama Tikure of Anonymous and different members of Pryzraky within days of ‘joining’ or assisting them. For those of you not aware, ZHacker is a state sponsored hacker given protection by international law enforcement authorities to go undercover as a “Black Hat,” simply just to try and infiltrate some of the worlds most active or top hacking groups.

To set himself up, ZHacker pretends to write malware samples or manipulates screen shots to make it appear as though he has carried out certain hacks, or is in possession of information he’s actually not. This is done for no other reason than to boost his so called ‘street cred,‘ to falsely gain the admiration or attention of others. This is how he and others like him attempt to infiltrate groups or lull them into a false sense of security. Then, once their guard is down, he compromises them before exposing their identities to the world. Simply by just pretending to be a black hat, he socially engineers actual black hats into trusting him before ultimately compromising them. This is how people/hackers like them work.

Honestly, this article could go on like this for quite some time, but I think I’ve given you a base understanding the basic principles involved here? It should go without saying, but the human mind is the most dangerous weapon anyone can wield – plan accordingly.