Anonymous Email – Step Two: Jack B. Nymble
At this point I’m assuming that you have PGP 6.5.8 installed and have taken some time to become familiar with how to create keys and sign and/or encrypt text messages.
One way to send anonymous mail is to use the Cypherpunk remailer system. The way it works is actually simple, it’s just cumbersome to do by hand. Say for example you need to send a message to “firstname.lastname@example.org” by way of a chain of 3 Cpunk remailers. You would write out the message, then at the top of it put instructions telling remailer #3 to send it to “email@example.com”. Then you encrypt the whole thing to remailer #3’s key and put another instruction at the top telling remailer #2 to send it to #3, repeating this until you have built a chain of nested encrypted messages.
Each remailer decrypts the part that is for it, reads the instructions and sends it to the next step. This process guarantees that no message headers from your original email to remailer #1 will remain. As long as your message content doesn’t give you away, you are anonymous.
Obviously “hand rolling” like this, while possible (I’ve done it myself with more complicated chains than this), It’s cumbersome and easy to make a single mistake that will cause your efforts to be wasted and your message not to arrive.
This is where software like Jack B. Nymble comes in. JBN automates a lot of this work so that all you have to do is give it the address, type your message, choose the remailers in the chain and JBN handles all of the formatting and multiple layers of encryption and sends the result to the first remailer in the chain. Once it’s set up right, JBN makes using remailers easy.
You can (and should) use PGP to verify the signature, this assures that setup_jbn214.exe hasn’t been altered. (of course, to verify the signature you’ll need to have PGP search keyservers for the author’s PGP key (User-id: RProcess
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve got a good file you’re ready to install it. When you install JBN and start it up, DO NOT have it update stats just yet. This is because the stats urls that the program ships with are old and out of date. Before you can allow it to update stats, you need to give it current urls to work with.
On it’s Window menu, choose ‘stats config’ and on the cypherpunk tab, replace the urls there with the one’s on this page. Once this is done, JBN can be allowed to get remailer keys and stats.
Once it has current stats it’s a simple matter of opening ‘Window | Send Profiles’ and putting in the information for the mail server it’s to use for sending mail. (note, this original version of JBN cannot perform SMTP Auth, for that, you will need a MOD that was created to add features to JBN.
It does take some time, both in reading the documentation that comes with the program and in plain old fashioned trial and error to learn how to use it, but it’s worth the time.
More information and help can be found on the Pantawiki. You can also ask questions (and sometimes find answers) in the Usenet group alt.privacy.anon-server (Beware of the trolls)
I’ve only just touched on the subject here. But I think it’s enough to get you started learning how to use JBN. In an upcoming post I’ll cover adding Mixmaster capability for stronger anonymity and a larger choice of remailers.
This post was sponsored by www.buy.com, among other things they’re a source of all sorts of equipment from a Linksys router to computers, CD’s, downloads and more.
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