Security Archives

FCON FAQ #1 Why Use FCON Instead of Freenet 0.7.5?

Over the last few years I have seen a number of answers to that question that go in to considerable technical detail but I think that the main reason to use Freenet Classic Opennet (FCON) [which I will refer to as “freenet” or “freenet 0.5”] is a simple trust issue.

You see the current 0.7.5 version is built around the concept of a “darknet”.  In such a darknet your node connects to other nodes that you trust. The problem with this “trust based” connection system is that when it comes right down to brass tacks you have absolutely no reason to trust most if not all operators of other nodes.

It is unlikely in the extreme that you have met any of them or that you ever will.  Even if you do manage to meet even one, it is extremely unlikely that you will spend enough time with them and get to know them well enough to decide they are trustworthy enough to connect to them in 0.7.5’s darknet.

Basing security on trust is all fine and dandy if you have some basis on which to determine an acceptable reason to trust any particular operator but with an anonymous system like freenet there is zero basis on which to determine trust to a degree that is acceptable for such a system.

Freenet 0.5 however doesn’t work that way.  The system does NOT ask you to assume that you can trust any node operator.

It is better to assume that there are “bad guys” using the network that would, given the opportunity, compromise anyone’s anonymity and determine what files a given person is inserting into or requesting from the network.

By not basing any of it’s security on the concept of trusting other node operators Freenet 0.5 has a clear advantage over 0.7.5.

To install Freenet 0.5 simply follow these five easy steps

Once you have it installed it is a very good idea to install Frost which is a text messaging system similar to Usenet that operates within freenet.  Freenet help can be had on the “newbie-help”, “public” and “freenet” boards on Frost.

You can also publish an anonymous website using the Freesite Insertion Wizard that, as long as you are careful not to include identifying information, will be 100% anonymous.  Also, another advantage of publishing on freesites (websites that exist entirely within freenet 0.5) is that you don’t have to pay for hosting or a domain name and you can for the most part make this site as large as you want.  (there’s *some* limitations but you could easily have a freesite that is made up of dozens, even hundreds of pages of text and images.)

Technorati Tags: fiw, fcon, freenet classic opennet, freesite insertion wizard, anonymous publishing, anonymous blogging, freenet, install freenet, trust, frost, freenet faq, freenet 0.5, cannot trust darknet, darknet, no reason to trust, download freent, anonymous forum

What Wikileaks Should Have Done

As most of you are probably aware the ultimate whistleblower site, wikileaks, has once again been in the news quite a bit because it has published thousands of documents, messages and so on that have proven to be a major source of embarrassment to not only the US government but to several other governments around the world.

As a result, not only is it’s top guy up to his eyeballs in legal trouble of all kinds, the site itself has been under attack in a big way.  There’s several governments and mega-corporations pushing hard, doing their best to get the site taken down, even going so far as to remove DNS entries that make it work.

In response there’s a whole bunch of people working to mirror the site in several different places to keep it online.  This is all fine and dandy and will no doubt work to varying degrees depending on jurisdiction but there’s one option that they have apparently decided not to consider.

One of the first places to mirror the data that they have been releasing ought to have been Freenet Classic Opennet (FCon).

Why?

Because the primary reason for the existence of FCon in the first place is to provide a means to publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship.

You see, FCon isn’t just another run of the mill P2P file sharing system like Kazaa, Limewire, or Bittorrent.  Data inserted into FCon becomes part of an encrypted, distributed data store.  Additionally, because the data store is encrypted, node operators cannot be expected to know the contents of their node’s data store.  Nor do they have any ability to edit or censor that content.

Once something is inserted into the network it continues to be available even after the node that inserted it goes off-line.  For example, there are websites that were inserted into the network as long ago as 2001 that can still be retrieved today even though the original authors have long since left the network.

The reason that I think Wikileaks should make use of FCon is because once the information they wish to publish is inserted, they can ask other FCon users to republish that information on the conventional internet.  Thus the information still comes out while at the same time it’s in a position where it literally cannot be taken down or deleted.

In fact, once something is inserted into the FCon network, even the act of requesting it to see if it’s there will actually cause the network to propagate that data to more nodes, thus increasing the chances that it will still be available years later.

I’m not saying that wikileaks should use FCon exclusively but it IS something that they should add to their toolbox.  I should also say that the title of this post isn’t necessarily the end of he situation.  Wikileaks still has the option to download freenet (FCon), set up a node (or six, or a few dozen) and start inserting stuff that they don’t want taken down.

Technorati Tags: freenet, safe anonymous publishing, anonymous publishing, distributed data store, cannot takedown, cannot censor, encryption, censorship, encrypted data store, wikileaks, censor proof, censor proof publishing, takedown, freenet 0.5, anonymous publishing, prevent takedown, whistleblower

New “Boom Box” Solves TSA Security Woes

The TSA’s problems with the body scanners that take nude pictures of you and the obscene “pat downs” that are little more than grope sessions where TSA employees handle your junk wearing the same gloves they used to handle the last person’s junk.

The controversy and outrage over this and the delays it causes in airports has gotten so bad that the TSA has finally come up with a solution.

No more naked body scanners!

No more TSA agents handling your junk!

Check this report for details!

Technorati Tags: touching, body scanners, explosive, nude scan, groping, tsa, naked scan, solution, boom box, detection, patdown, junk

We The People

A message to President Obama from the freedom loving people of the United States of America.  I saw this on YouTube and I believe that it carries an important message.  One that every freedom loving American will want to echo.

Mr. Obama, you are failure.  Failure to understand that this is a Christian nation.  It always has been and it always will be.  We do not accept YOUR vision of a weakened America that bows to the wishes of every group of America hating terrorists that come along.  If they hate this country so much then they should pack their bags and leave.

Let them go someplace that welcomes their tyranny, WE The People aren’t interested!

Technorati Tags: national security, freedom, go home obama, obama, obama fail, democratic republic, freedom of speech, impeach obama, we the people, president, sovereignty, constitution, economy, christian nation

Hardcopy Not As Secure As You Thought

I was going through some of my long neglected email this morning and among a collection of prototype 37c reviews, allegedly “breaking” news items about the antics of this or that sports figure and at least three people writing to say that they have discovered “the” secret to making money online and were willing to share it with me for anywhere from $47 to $597 there was a news item from CBS news that I very nearly overlooked.

It’s about the almost totally overlooked or ignored security risk of using copiers.  Not the risk that somebody in your office will use the copier to make copies of important proprietary company information.  Rather the risk that the contents of the copiers hard drive will fall into the wrong hands.

That’s right.  Copiers these days have hard drives just like computers do and every single copy that is made on that machine is stored as an image on that hard drive.  This may sound unrealistic but when you remember that the cost of disk space is dropping at an incredible rate these days it’s not unrealistic at all.

The problem, according to the article, is the fact that almost nobody even knows about the problem and of those that are aware of it, very few ever bother to take action to do something about it.  Read the article, you’ll find it and the accompanying video segment a real wake up call!

I strongly suggest that if you’re replacing a copier that it’s a VERY good idea to take some time and open up the old one, remove it’s hard drive and then connect it to a computer and use something like Eraser to thoroughly wipe the contents of it before allowing that copier to be sold, given away or even just thrown out.

Technorati Tags: digital copies, privacy leak, security, hard drive, copier, privacy

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