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Linux & Privacy - TAILS, TOR, Whonix, I2P, etc.


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#1 Jeremy_C

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 03:06 PM

As I'm digging in and learning more, I occasionally come across references to programs based on anonymity. Software like I2P and TOR and full-out operating systems like TAILS and Whonix. These names tend to pop up in popular media and literature that I read, sometimes with a nod to the necessary and sometimes with allusions to less than savory topics.

 

My problem in research has been that most of what I find beyond Wikipedia is someone using these names as catch-phrases in a scandalous exposé about some nefarious scheme or another, and usually doled out with more than a healthy dose of creative-license in reference to the use of these tools. When everyone treats these tool names as simple buzzwords it makes pretty hard to find out any practical information about them.

 

I can guess at some uses, such as journalists and whistle-blowers, dissidents living under repressive regimes, etc. But what about for more practical purposes - research, experimentation, and education?

 

It seems sort of antithetic to ask people wishing to be anonymous to publicly post their opinions, but I don't know how else to actually get some authentic input without the hyperbole and sensationalism of media trash. Has anyone used any of these? Is really just a stroll down a bunch of dark alleys? Is there any merit to experimenting with these if I'm not looking for illegal sales or pedobear material?

 

I am genuinely curious, as I have recently begun trying to delve in to all sorts of (safe & legal) areas of computing that I somehow ignored during the last 10 years or so of online gaming. Anonymity projects and deep web searching are definitely two things I've run into over the years, but had nothing to do with gaming, so they only received a cursory glance. Now that I'm genuinely interested, it seems the Silk Road (dead and gone for three whole years now) was the heart of the Deep Web and the the only thing worth talking about. Nobody else seems to have anything to say except how spooky or evil the dark web is, blah, blah, blah.

 

Since two of the popular operating systems are based on Debian Linux, and two of the most popular programs are suggested for use on Linux, I thought this section was an appropriate place to ask.

 

Also, other suggestions that I often see are to use the programs in conjunction with a hardened version of Gentoo Linux or with Kali Linux. What makes those two distro's so popular for applications such as anonymity and/or Deep Web searching?

 

.

 

(I think I can ask about those in the same thread and still be on topic as they seemed to be strongly correlated in a lot of material I've come across. If not, please let me know.)


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


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#2 Viper_Security

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 04:53 PM

First, there is a Difference between the deep web and the dark net. 

 

the deep web would be where silk road is/was, and the dark net is the one filled with so called "red rooms" and etc. 

 

i've used I2P myself and it's works amazingly. speed is a tiny bit slower but for the anonymity it's worth it, i have used TOR as well it's much much slower than I2P because your "location" is being tossed around like a ragdoll.

 

and have you checked out ParrotSecurityOS? as like kali linux Parrot is a Security Distro, for people like myself to audit computer systems. 

 

Parrot has I2P In the install ISO. 

 

Hopefully that was somewhat informative. 


Edited by Viper_Security, 09 September 2016 - 04:54 PM.

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#3 Jeremy_C

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 06:25 PM

Interesting. So, Dark net areas would be the areas to avoid? But Deep web doesn't sound any safer or attractive if there's nothing more than marketplaces there (I'm sure Silk Road was replaced with a dozen clones by now.)

 

No, sir, no Parrot so far. I'll be looking after that just as soon as I finish typing this. Now that you mention it, I came across another Linux distro that sounds like Parrot but had another name. I have to look it up again. I believe they said it was pretty common for people doing pen-testing.

 

Thanks much for the info. I'm off to read about the Parrot...


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#4 wizardfromoz

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 07:17 PM

On Parrot - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/406036/cheesemakers-linux-corner/?p=4024744

 

and on Tails - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/406036/cheesemakers-linux-corner/?p=4054776

 

Hope this helps

 

:wizardball: Wiz



#5 Jeremy_C

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:46 PM

Holy smokes! This site really is like hitting the Linux jackpot! :bananas:

 

Thank you for the links!


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#6 wizardfromoz

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:09 PM

You are very welcome.

 

Just learned (and Posted here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/406036/cheesemakers-linux-corner/?p=4081528  ), Release candidate for Tails 2.6 now out

 

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wiz

 

Edited typo


Edited by wizardfromoz, 10 September 2016 - 05:08 PM.


#7 Viper_Security

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 05:46 AM

Interesting. So, Dark net areas would be the areas to avoid? But Deep web doesn't sound any safer or attractive if there's nothing more than marketplaces there (I'm sure Silk Road was replaced with a dozen clones by now.)

 

No, sir, no Parrot so far. I'll be looking after that just as soon as I finish typing this. Now that you mention it, I came across another Linux distro that sounds like Parrot but had another name. I have to look it up again. I believe they said it was pretty common for people doing pen-testing.

 

Thanks much for the info. I'm off to read about the Parrot...

Similair Distro's would be like, Backtrack (now Kali), Pentoo, Matriux Krypton, BlackArch(my fave) NodeZero, and WEAKERTH4N to name a few, i've tested all of the previously mentioned and the best (IMO) are:

1. BlackArch

2. Parrot

3. Kali

4. WEAKERTH4N

 

this is just my opinion based on stability and anonymity.

 

And to explain very simply about the "difference" between the dark and deep web,

 

"The Deep Web" is anything a search engine Cannot Find while "The Dark Net" is small portions of the web hidden purposefully and requires a special browsers to access.

 

again, this is just a simple explanation.  


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#8 Jeremy_C

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 05:54 AM

... Now that you mention it, I came across another Linux distro that sounds like Parrot but had another name. I have to look it up again. I believe they said it was pretty common for people doing pen-testing.


Well, this is just funny to me... Did some searching last night and found the other one I was thinking of. Turns out to be Kali. (Or, more accurately, it turned INTO Kali.)

According to Wikipedia, "BackTrack was a Linux distribution that focused on security based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution aimed at digital forensics and penetration testing use. In March 2013, the Offensive Security team rebuilt BackTrack around the Debian distribution and released it under the name Kali Linux."
 

Just learned (and Posted here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/406036/cheesemakers-linux-corner/?p=4081528 ), Release cancdidate for Tails 2.6 now out


Mate, I'll tell ya this... I can only hope there comes day when I know Linux just half as well as you do!  :bowdown:


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#9 Jeremy_C

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:44 AM

Similair Distro's would be like, Backtrack (now Kali), Pentoo, Matriux Krypton, BlackArch(my fave) NodeZero, and WEAKERTH4N to name a few, i've tested all of the previously mentioned and the best (IMO) are:
1. BlackArch
2. Parrot
3. Kali
4. WEAKERTH4N
 
this is just my opinion based on stability and anonymity.
 
And to explain very simply about the "difference" between the dark and deep web,
 
"The Deep Web" is anything a search engine Cannot Find while "The Dark Net" is small portions of the web hidden purposefully and requires a special browsers to access.
 
again, this is just a simple explanation.


That's odd... Your post didn't show up for me when I made my post 8 minutes after yours. Only now did I get an email notification and only now does it show up before the last post I just made. Strange!

 

In any case, I appreciate you pointing out the other distro's and offering the simple explanation. That actually does make things a little clearer.


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#10 Guest_GNULINUX_*

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 06:57 PM

I sometimes use Whonix and really like it!

Personally I think it's the real deal as far as anonymity/privacy goes!  :thumbup2:

 

Whonix_concept_refined.jpg

 



#11 Jeremy_C

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 09:52 PM

Very nice graphic to illustrate the privacy point. That graphic alone could have saved me at least an hour of reading! :)

 

I think Whonix might be on the experimentation list now. I've got an old netbook running Ubuntu 14 and it's just itching for a project of some sort. I think once I get my desktop paved over with Mint in a few days I might see about putting Whonix on the netbook just to play around. I don't specifically need any extra privacy, my web habits are pretty boring. But it might be fun just to see how all the privacy stuff works.


A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#12 sconn0rs

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 09:57 AM

if you really want privacy and/or to play with  those nifty tools on Black Arch (my favorite) or parrot (close second) without getting into trouble make an encrypted container in a file with a hidden container inside of that. Once thats done install whonix gateway  inside of that.  you can use the gateway as a tor router for Virtual machines. .launch  and perform updates then shutdown. launch whonix gateway VMand leave it running. This is what will be used to connect to tor! edit the Virtualbox network settings for Black Arch/Parrot/Kali. Set Adapter 1 to Internal Network, and name it Whonix.

Boot yer VM and edit the relevant network settings.

Add the following to the bottom of /etc/network/interfaces

iface eth0 inet static
       address 10.152.152.11
       netmask 255.255.192.0
       gateway 10.152.152.10

Replace the entire contents of /etc/resolv.conf with the following:

nameserver 10.152.152.10

Bounce the interface inside Parrot:

sudo ifdown eth0

sudo ifup eth0 

then hookup to yer vpn after that and then you can pretty much do whatever without worrying  about DNS leaks or really anything. my buddy does all this but hooks up to his onion pi before even starting up Virtualbox..



#13 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:35 AM

@Jeremy_C:-

 

Viper_Security has the right of it. As I understand it (and I could be wrong), the 'Deep Web' is publicly accessible, but you have to know your specific URLs, because none of the popular search engines index any of the sites. This can be accessed by a 'standard' browser, and is where a lot of large organisations maintain their databases, customer records, etc. There's also a fair bit of government stuff squirrelled away here.....from nations all around the world. As I understand it, also, none of these websites are tagged with the usual 'domains' for each country...such as .com, .co.uk. .fr, .irl, .de.....to name but a few. Perhaps Viper_Security could confirm this for me.

 

The 'Dark Net' is where all the really nasty, objectionable and downright repulsive stuff lurks. It requires not just knowledge of specific URLs, but without the 'special' browsers, you would not be able to access them AT ALL. (Thankfully!)

 

One thing has always puzzled me about TOR; I've dabbled with it in the past, but not to any great degree.....more out of curiosity than owt else. When it opens, it's not a full-size window.....and you're warned that if you do maximise the window, then you're no longer 'concealed'?

 

I would really appreciate some enlightenment on this last point, if anybody knows the answer. My curiosity knows no bounds..!  :lol:

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

 

@ sconn0rs:-

 

Interesting explanation, but I'm rather afraid it 'begs the question'; it does make me wonder just what the hell some of you guys actually get up to online?!!   :scratchhead:  :o  :lol:

 

Nobody can be that paranoid, surely? 'Oooh, everybody's out to get me.....'  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 15 November 2016 - 07:55 AM.

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#14 Jeremy_C

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 01:38 AM

if you really want privacy and/or to play...


Wow! It will probably be another year or so before I'm operating at that level. No matter how many times I think I'm finally "getting it" it is only a matter of time before someone comes along and humbles me right back in to place with something like this. :) Thanks for sharing, definitely gives me some more things to look into.

 

Thanks, Mike! I've been messing around just a little and getting some more research in, and Deep Web sounds interesting enough, but like you said, ya really need to know what you're looking for and where to find it. And, honestly, at this point possession of either corporate and/or government data both scare the daylights out of me. I know enough to know when I don't know enough to have certain things in my possession, even if just exploring. I enjoy my quiet and un-interesting life! :)

As for Dark Web stuff, yeah, that was just a passing curiosity. I still haven't visited any Dark sites, etc., and have no plans to. After more research there I can see absolutely nothing of interest or value to me. At some point I'd still like to get more knowledgeable about privacy stuff, but the whole Dark Web thing is definitely not for me.

Oh yeah...
 

One thing has always puzzled me about TOR; I've dabbled with it in the past, but not to any great degree.....more out of curiosity than owt else. When it opens, it's not a full-size window.....and you're warned that if you do maximise the window, then you're no longer 'concealed'?


I wonder if that might have anything to do with "fingerprinting" ??? Not an expert on the topic, just started reading up on it lately. But it seems like it might be one characteristic that would make full privacy impossible. (Topic on that very thing at bottom of this post.) Or it could be something totally different. Sure hope someone comes along and provides an answer about this just because it really does sounds like a very curious issue.

 

On a side-note concerning privacy...

I found a nice little list of resources some of you might enjoy. It's a little dated, but many of the tools still seem to be functioning. The page is located at http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/28/the-ultimate-online-privacy-test-resource-list/ and has a pretty long list of stuff.

What I found most interesting of all on that page was the conversation going on in the comments section -- some very interesting thoughts on security and privacy motivation, methods, pitfalls, etc. Some of you high-speed guys may not find it very useful, but for any noob's (like me) it might provoke some reflection and research opportunities.

Cheers!

A programmer's wife sends him to the store for a gallon of milk,

and she adds the instructions, "If there are eggs, buy a dozen."

The programmer goes to the store and returns home with 13 gallons of milk.


#15 wizardfromoz

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 02:15 AM

Hi Jeremy

 

 

...and humbles me right back in to place

 

Join the club, it is getting larger as more embrace Linux :thumbup2:

 

 

I found a nice little list of resources some of you might enjoy. It's a little dated, but many of the tools still seem to be functioning. The page is located at http://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/28/the-ultimate-online-privacy-test-resource-list/ and has a pretty long list of stuff.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

This is one that Cat (cat1092) might be interested in?

 

His pinned Topic on free ebooks also allows for articles, and other sources/resources that he/we can make available to readers.

 

Maybe submit it to him and see what he thinks?

 

Cheers

 

:wizardball: Wiz






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