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[Dark Web] Ever Wonder if Anonymizers are Really Safe? (TOR, JAP, ETC)

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posted on May, 31 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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Over the years anonymizers have become increasingly popular. Cryptographers, Analysts, Hackers, Crackers, IT Professionals, Cyber Terrorists, Cyber Criminals, Conspiracy Theorists and finally Regular Folk. Once a set of little known secrets, it's now a product of public consumption thanks to expanding public awareness. Anonymity and the Dark Web are nearer to your fingertips than ever before, or is it?

TOR, JAP and like-networks are designed to increase the difficulty of identifying the user. This is primarily achieved via relaying communications through a series of proxy servers. Instead of having your computer speak "directly" to AboveTopSecret.com, your communications will enter the anonymizer's network, where it will be encrypted and relayed through a variety of nodes, and the final of which will act as your mediator, submitting the data as your surrogate. AboveTopSecret.com will then respond to your surrogate, and that response will then be relayed back through the network, arriving on your computer screen without ATS ever having known who it had actually been talking to.

The process is actually more complex, but this is the general idea. There's problems with this: communications entering and exiting the network are vulnerable to snooping. An entity is capable of determining what you transmitted and received from ATS by observing traffic entering and exiting the network. Your ISP most notably happens to be in a position to know what data it's relaying to the network from you, and to you from the network. You have to hope that your ISP, NSA and other organizations aren't inclined to log and analyze that data, and also that the network isn't logging and allowing analysis of that data directly.

Perhaps the most popular anonymizer today is TOR. TOR has been kind enough to promise that it doesn't log your communications, nor does it allow any analysis of data within its network. Of those who volunteer routers to the network, TOR requires that they also promise not to log user data or allow analysis. These promises, however, are all you get. No doubt if the NSA or other organization were inclined, they could volunteer their own routers to TOR, "promising" to never, ever log or analyze any traffic their routers happen to encounter.

So where does TOR come from?

The core principle of Tor, "onion routing", was developed in the mid-1990s by United States Naval Research Laboratory ... with the purpose of protecting U.S. intelligence communications online. Onion routing was further developed by DARPA in 1997.
Wikipedia

Who's funding TOR?

Tor, the internet anonymiser, received more than $1.8m in funding from the US government in 2013, even while the NSA was reportedly trying to destroy the network.
The Guardian

Who recommends TOR?

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says ... cover your tracks with Tor, an online network that promises anonymity.
The Wall Street Journal

So this man "formerly" associated with the NSA advocates that you use TOR, because it "promises" not to compromise your anonymity? A "former" NSA spy thinks it's a good idea to use this network developed by the US Government, to include the US Navy and DARPA, specifically for intelligence purposes? A network which is currently funded by the US government?

Well I'm sold. Time for me to onion over to the most notorious Dark Web marketplace of them all, "The Silk Road." Oh, infiltrated and busted by the government? You don't say? No matter, I'll just have a look at what they're saying on Freedom Hosting. Got those guys too huh? Well, what're my buddies telling me on TorMail? Ah, that's been compromised too? That's cool, at least I can feel secure in TOR's promise that I'm safe and anonymous as I swim the deep for new sources of hidden information, things and entertainment. Right after I investigate that loud knocking at my door.

Looks like I've won an all expenses paid trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or a vacation at any BOP facility containing a Communications Management Unit of my choice. Boy, this must be my lucky day!
edit on 31-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:10 PM
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Quick answer no.

NSA is looking your way if you do.

So.... do you feel safe?



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:20 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
Quick answer no.

NSA is looking your way if you do.

So.... do you feel safe?

You mean to tell me that by trying to conceal my identity through using government infiltrated and controlled anonymizers, VPNs and so forth, I might lure the attention of government spooks? I'm pulling up the Signal app on my iPhone right now to let all my friends know. So what if Signal requires access to my entire contact list? The guy running it promises none of that information will ever be logged or analyzed, and former NSA agent Edward Snowden says Signal's great! All those spooks on Twitter say Signal and TOR are a "major threat" and they don't want you using them because it's practically impossible for them to figure out who you are if you do. If the guy's making Signal and TOR promise they're not doing anything nefarious, if the spooks are so worried about TOR and Signal that they're telling the world about it, and if a former NSA Agent recommends it, it's gotta be good, right?
edit on 31-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:30 PM
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Tor works really good to avoid state sponsored censorship, if you open your bank account today for that dubious service in the same browser I bet there is not much tor can do for you, if you try to go agaisnt Russia, China or America they will know, if you use it to avoid Somalia latest controls you probably will be ok, do someone really think they can escape from the eye of the developed countries?

I mean terrorist do, but no one else is allowed....
edit on 31-5-2016 by Indigent because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:41 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

As you said here..TOR was originally created by a government agency...who still to this day...dont kid yourself...knows and sees everything and has taken it even farther as THEY were the originators.

There is such a thing as letting all the crazy stuff on the deep web happen to secure and imply they have no knowledge of who, what, where.

They know whats up...and even allows illegal activity because its normal to want to watch and follow what going on. Illegal or not. They LET things happen so as to gather intelligence.

The biggest mistake is to think they are clueless. They are far from it...



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:41 PM
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If you want to do it right you get cheap lappies from Craigslist and use public wifi for a few weeks. Wipe the drive, and sell it back, grab another.

Honestly there's not much reason to seek anonymity right now. None of us are much of interest. General sweeping of data to assess trends, and focusing on targeted individuals. Yea they got stacks of paper on us all, and what? There's far too many of us to care about paranoid nobodies, that's how we get these shooter freaks anyways. Nobody cares about them or takes much notice, and then something happens.

If you feel the need to use tor use it behind a VPN or proxy, and make your last hop in chains out to some place like China where even if they did have logs they won't cough t h em up for the US.

Question is, why would anyone bother that isn't doing some seriously illegal stuff? I know how to setup proxy chains, but don't see the point. If you want to hide you blend in, not get flagged.



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 10:54 PM
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originally posted by: Indigent
Tor works really good to avoid state sponsored censorship, if you open your bank account today for that dubious service in the same browser I bet there is not much tor can do for you, if you try to go agaisnt Russia, China or America they will know, if you use it to avoid Somalia latest controls you probably will be ok, do someone really think they can scape from the eye of the developed countries?

I mean terrorist do, but no one else is allowed....

I'm reminded of some time ago when there was a discussion about TOR usage in North Korea. This screenshot shows a fairly considerable number of users managing to connect to the internet through the state-controlled intranet. It shouldn't be possible for such individuals to gain access to TOR in the first, nor should it ever be possible to access the internet from an intranet - the network shouldn't have any connection to the internet. If you only wanted people to be using your handful of internal websites, then why have any connection to the external internet at all? Well, you wouldn't. Where necessary for government purposes, internet would be accessed through entirely separate connections, which is indeed how the DPRK appears to operate.

So if it's impossible to access the internet from the DPRK's intranet, then who is it that's accessing the internet from the DPRKs intranet? Strange thing, that. Interesting, too, that even under plain censored internet people are managing to gain access to TOR in the first place, when such access would undoubtedly be censored. If all addresses linking to TOR and it's mirrors are blocked, how exactly does one go about acquiring TOR? HUMINT. Hence why those cyber warriors seem to always take actions which favor US interests. Arab Spring anyone?
edit on 31-5-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 11:12 PM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
If you want to do it right you get cheap lappies from Craigslist and use public wifi for a few weeks. Wipe the drive, and sell it back, grab another.

Honestly there's not much reason to seek anonymity right now. None of us are much of interest. General sweeping of data to assess trends, and focusing on targeted individuals. Yea they got stacks of paper on us all, and what? There's far too many of us to care about paranoid nobodies, that's how we get these shooter freaks anyways. Nobody cares about them or takes much notice, and then something happens.

If you feel the need to use tor use it behind a VPN or proxy, and make your last hop in chains out to some place like China where even if they did have logs they won't cough t h em up for the US.

Question is, why would anyone bother that isn't doing some seriously illegal stuff? I know how to setup proxy chains, but don't see the point. If you want to hide you blend in, not get flagged.

Personally, I would prefer to limit the information being gathered about me from entities which don't exactly have my best interests in mind. If information is power, then to be unknown is to be unconquerable. Granted, that would imply a complete disappearance and avoidance of all that society has to offer, especially the internet in any form. Never the less, if I have a choice between the spooks learning two things about me or just one thing, I'd certainly prefer they only learn one, regardless of the significance of either of those two things. I don't think TOR is the way to make that happen, but I understand that an effort toward anonymity doesn't make a person paranoid or probably bad. "If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about" is absurd. I have everything to hide, simply "because" for the most part. Yet also because of the potential for accurate and actionable intelligence about me to result in problems for me to contend with.

Anyway, reformatting a hard drive and selling it off isn't going to obstruct the efforts of a serious adversary. It's blank to you, but not to the NSA. They can recover that data just as if you had written a note on a piece of paper than erased what you'd written. Better to destroy that hard drive, shell out thirty bucks and buy a new one.



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

Why is the NSA after you, and are you sure you're not paranoid and thinking irrational? I find your thoughts on what's "absurd" to be ill-placed, but if your outlook serves you well then by all means keep to it.

I just think you're wasting time.



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 11:24 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

The state department used to pay people willing to smuggle freedom to noko

www.theguardian.com...



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 11:38 PM
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Me thinks with the Tor and "public" items to get to Dark web all that is is Honey Pot Traps to weed out the script kiddies.

Best bet is to just leave it alone.

Now if your trying to get to Obscure Knowledge that is not illegal I might suggest tools like NNTP Readers find a newsgroup or two and Read the back log of them.

Or if your really Enterprising figure out how to get a Voip phone line to act like a Modem and dial into BBS numbers that still exist and Surf those using a Telnet Client.

Oh wait NNTP / TeleNet clients that use to be included in Mircosoft windows No longer Exist Native as of lets see 2k for nntp (I read some alt.news servers for fun and since 2k I been having to go and get a 3rd party reader) and windows xp for Telenet (I know this one because I had to migrate the old telnet from xp for my windows 7 box so I could talk to a serial device for work)... I wonder why...

There you go something to Chew on....



posted on May, 31 2016 @ 11:41 PM
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a reply to: CoBaZ

Make a windows 95 virtual machine to connect to that virtual dial up



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:03 AM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
a reply to: Navarro

Why is the NSA after you, and are you sure you're not paranoid and thinking irrational? I find your thoughts on what's "absurd" to be ill-placed, but if your outlook serves you well then by all means keep to it.

I just think you're wasting time.

With such a mindset, I can't imagine what a person such as yourself would deem worth your time on a website as this.

We're talking about choosing to not volunteer potentially sensitive information to the unscrupulous and the dangerous. If you tell your neighbor that you've ziptied your spare key to your cars frame, it's unlikely that he'll steal your car. Yet, what possible advantage is there to reveal that fact? Why tell him? Why risk trouble? It's prudent to keep such information to yourself, not paranoid.

Paranoia is an unreasonable conclusion. Paranoia is suspecting that your neighbor knows where you've hidden your spare key despite that you never told him. Paranoia is spying on your neighbor because you're worried he may use this knowledge he's inexplicably gained to steal your car. Paranoia is then documenting your neighbors activities, maintaining records and developing psychological profiles on him. If I was that guys neighbor, I'd prefer to reveal as little accurate information about myself as possible. For the same reason, I would prefer not to reveal accurate information about myself to the spooks if possible. Especially considering it's been demonstrated that they're both capable of and regularly commit monstrous atrocities of an oppressive and even sociopathic nature. Yes, I'd prefer that dangerous psychopaths and sociopaths not be knowledgeable of me.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:08 AM
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The way I see it, with the volume of traffic that's out there...the NSA and other agencies are pretty much paralyzed to prevent anything from happening by watching you.

Oh sure, if they're tipped off some other way and start WATCHING you, there's that...but if you are under the radar to begin with, you'll probably stay under the radar unless you start making huge waves.

The logging and data collection right now is great for retroactively proving criminal behavior, but not so great at predictive modeling.

Besides, when you get all paranoid acting you actually draw more attention to yourself...regardless if you have anything to hide or not.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:12 AM
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originally posted by: Indigent
a reply to: CoBaZ

Make a windows 95 virtual machine to connect to that virtual dial up

I suppose you've never heard of NSAKEY, which was present within Windows 95. Nothing Windows is secure, nor is VPDN traffic.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:19 AM
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I'm pretty sure that on a hardware level inside the actual CPU's could be hidden backdoors. You could build your own computer, create your very own operating system from 100% scratch...

But the actual hardware probably has some kind of backdoor on the micron level printed on the PCB's and mobos, hell it could even be inside the ram modules themselves.

So...unless you trace your own circuit boards, make your own resistors, transistors, capacitors, and CPU's from 100% scratch...you're going to be compromised someway. I'm talking about melting your own plastic, wrapping wire and not using ANYTHING store-bought that already functions as a part.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:20 AM
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originally posted by: CoBaZ
Me thinks with the Tor and "public" items to get to Dark web all that is is Honey Pot Traps to weed out the script kiddies.

Best bet is to just leave it alone.


I am leery of Tor. And I won't use it.

I managed to stay 'anonymous' for a good two weeks once just by using a chain of proxies, back when people didn't secure their servers against relay as well as they do today. But Tor...nuh-uh.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:21 AM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I'm pretty sure that on a hardware level inside the actual CPU's could be hidden backdoors. You could build your own computer, create your very own operating system from 100% scratch...


The CPU has programmable microcode that's loaded by the BIOS. The BIOS guys have no idea what is in that module.

eta: although you ought not trust any operating system. Especially the ones you have source code for.


edit on 1-6-2016 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:25 AM
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originally posted by: CoBaZ
Me thinks with the Tor and "public" items to get to Dark web all that is is Honey Pot Traps to weed out the script kiddies.

Best bet is to just leave it alone.

Now if your trying to get to Obscure Knowledge that is not illegal I might suggest tools like NNTP Readers find a newsgroup or two and Read the back log of them.

Or if your really Enterprising figure out how to get a Voip phone line to act like a Modem and dial into BBS numbers that still exist and Surf those using a Telnet Client.

Oh wait NNTP / TeleNet clients that use to be included in Mircosoft windows No longer Exist Native as of lets see 2k for nntp (I read some alt.news servers for fun and since 2k I been having to go and get a 3rd party reader) and windows xp for Telenet (I know this one because I had to migrate the old telnet from xp for my windows 7 box so I could talk to a serial device for work)... I wonder why...

There you go something to Chew on....

Script Kiddies huh. Personally I view the situation somewhat differently. Seems to me that common anonymizers are controlled opposition. One can't reasonably expect to identify all suspicious traffic, nor to be capable of defeating all possible forms of encryption, every possible firewall, every possible proxy, and so forth. The NSA would prefer that you not put any thought into that, and instead feel safe and secure in the methods already made available. I don't expect that their primary objective is to identify Anonymous or anything of the sort. I expect they're most motivated by future threats. They mean to prevent you from developing and executing a thing for which they have no answer. I could imagine Quantum Computing never becoming a thing because of this. QC is what NSA's afraid of, not TOR.



posted on Jun, 1 2016 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

So...

The DOD is using CPU's made in China, even if they load their own operating systems?

I never understood why the government uses DELL ...

Every time I think of DELL...



Dude, no...I'm not voluntarily getting a Dell...
edit on 1-6-2016 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



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