A Shadow Web Request?

shadowweb_3

Oh, Shadow Web – it’s been an interesting few years, hasn’t it? When I first started writing this blog, I wrote a post entitled Is the Shadow Web a Reality? (Updated); at present, it’s still one of my most popular posts!

I received a comment from a reader today asking how to “join” the Shadow Web, and she sounded very genuine about it. I’ll repeat what I said earlier – it’s a scam, definitely. I’m sure of it.

Let’s trace the history of this “shadow web” thing. To my knowledge, it all started with this creepypasta on Reddit: A warning to those thinking about accessing the shadow web. That was published three years ago, and it spawned all kinds of rumors and urban legends!

Eventually, people also started narrating the story on YouTube, which probably added to its intrigue. While it was a very creepy story, and well written, it was not true. If you listen to the technical details, there’s no way something like that would work (on Tor, at least).

Afterward, someone else wrote a “sequel” to the original, entitled 1) The shadow web is real. 2) Stay the hell away from it. I think it was supposed to be from the point-of-view of a cop, which lent some “credence” to it.

Somewhere along the line, a person on Tor picked up on the popularity of the stories, and decided to create some scam sites that claimed to offer “access” to the Shadow Web, and this is where I first got the idea that it might be real – but boy, was I wrong. This was what the original site looked like, I believe:

shadowweb_ss

I was a n00b to Tor back then, and couldn’t tell the difference between scams and non-scams. We’ve all been there.

So I contacted the “admin” of the Shadow Web, and we had a back-and-forth conversation about it – at the time, his email address was shadow-web@sigaint.org. (SIGAINT no longer exists, unfortunately.) It later came to my attention that this had all the features of other scams: pay now, watch later; no information; the details are vague.

The person I talked to claimed that you had to download a “special browser” just for “Shadow Web sites.” I don’t think any such browser exists, to be honest. There are numerous forks of Firefox (the Tor Browser being one of them), and all of them can be used with the clearnet – but sometimes with a proxy of sorts (like Freenet’s FProxy), you can connect to other networks. It would be amusing if the Shadow Web used one called “SProxy.” Someone should make that as a joke.

Anyhow, the admin told me that I had to pay an extravagant amount of bitcoin to gain access to the so-called Shadow Web, which I didn’t have. Ironically, I probably have enough now, but I know better than to pay it. Since then, there have been numerous other “shadow web” sites popping up:

shadow_web I think it’s the same guy creating all of them, and if I were you, I wouldn’t pay him a cent; it’s all bullshit.

Nonetheless, if you want to find sick things on the dark web, I don’t think you have to look very far. It’s just a matter of opinion what you consider “sick.”

Well, that’s the last I’d heard about the Shadow Web, but I’m willing to bet that any new sites going by that name are scams too. If you want my advice, don’t pay them any money – you’ll be out several bitcoins, at the very least.

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OpenNIC Project: DNS Neutrality!

Lately, the subject of internet censorship has been on my mind a lot, and that shouldn’t be surprising, given this whole net neutrality debate.

So, I was intrigued when a friend introduced me to OpenNIC, which aims to be an alternative, decentralized DNS root.

openNIC

OpenNIC is a user-owned and controlled top-level network information center (NIC). Its intention is to offer an alternative to established top-level domain (TLD) registries, like ICANN. The list of servers can be found here: OpenNIC Public Servers

The idea behind it, in a nutshell, is like a decentralized internet, somewhat like ZeroNet or Freenet, although OpenNIC hasn’t quite been developed to that point yet. I’m sure if you get into the technical details, they’re quite different – it’s the “decentralized” concept that they have in common.

Actually, this may interest some of you – I know how people like to access unusual TLD names that aren’t part of the usual registry. Well, you can do that with OpenNIC! Among the top-level domains available through OpenNIC are: .bbs, .chan, .cyb, .dyn, .geek, and .pirate. Just those domain names alone make me want to explore this further!

Here’s a list of the current TLDs available on OpenNIC (see OpenNIC – Wikipedia for more info):

Top Level Domain Names on OpenNIC

Name Intended Use
.bbs Bulletin Board System Servers.
.chan Imageboards and related communities (like 4chan).
.cyb Cyberpunk-related content.
.free Organizations that support non-commercial use of free internet.
.geek Geeky and nerdy stuff.
.gopher Content delivery using the gopher protocol.
.indy Indy media and arts-related sites.
.libre Similar to .free.
.neo General purpose (might include Keanu Reeves – whoa).
.pirate Internet freedom and sharing.

…and a few others, which are listed on the Wikipedia article. If you’re interested in discovering some of these sites, check out their search engine grep.geek; at the moment, you could say it’s the “OpenNIC Google.”

grepgeek

Now, like Tor, it may be hard to navigate at first, but that’s part of the fun I’m having with it, personally – just exploring. I have noticed that, as on Tor, a lot of the sites go down frequently, but that doesn’t really bother me anymore. So, let me guess – you’re wondering if there are any “disturbing” links on it?

I’ve come across very few so far, but if I find others, I’ll let you know. There was an interesting site called url.oz, which featured the art of Alex Milea:

urloz.png

Would you consider that disturbing? There was also a site for an organization called Nationalist Front, which is a white supremacy (or is it “alt-right”?) group.

nationalist_front

That didn’t surprise me all that much, because there are similar sites on Tor, Freenet, etc., that I’ve come across. Complain all you want, but I’m not linking to that one – it’s easy to find if you join the network.

One other site that I found interesting was called Anarplex, which is at shadowlife.bit. It’s a site involving “crypto-tribes, phyles, crypto-anarchy, [and] agorism.” I had been on their onion site (y5fmhyqdr6r7ddws.onion) before as well, and it had always intrigued me.

anarplex_edited

Anyway, as I’m fond of saying, disturbing sites aren’t really the point, and they never were. As with Tor and the other networks, the idea behind OpenNIC is to have an independent “internet” that isn’t controlled by ISPs and large corporations.

Oddly, all the people who are obsessed with things like “Marianas Web” might want to check this out – it’s kind of the same idea, being that it’s not part of “the internet” and is run independently.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask.

P.S. Here are a few more OpenNIC links for you to explore:

bortzmeyer.bit

shadowlife.bit

weblionx.geek

vedge.bit/hw/marconi

ogness.bit/og/stats/verbraucherpreisindex/

LION 777: A Strange Puzzle?

You all know I love this sort of thing, don’t you? I received a comment on one of my earlier posts, Exposing A Scam: V3RDAD with a link to the site .:L:.I:.O:.N:. 7 7 7 | Order of Anarchy, which initially looked like a Cicada 3301-ish secret society.

cropped-ICARUSSSS-1-2

So it was clear they wanted me to “come hither.” Fine, then – I’ll give it a look. The site supposedly belongs to a group called Order of Anarchy (OA), and the landing page has the picture above as a background, with several menu options on top. If you scroll down, you’ll see this:

Screenshot from 2018-01-04 19-21-54

The “poem” there reads:

First you must find a Tree
Once you find the tree decode the secret message.
You will be given more hints along the way.
Nothing is hidden anymore
The golden Scarab holds a key.
Enlightenment is ahead.

J777.

Below this, it reads:

Where the Tree is
The Answer
7777777.ga

Naturally, I followed this to the link at 7777777.ga, which had (of course) more puzzles, one of which appeared to be a rebus. I can reproduce that for you here, my readers, if you’d like to take a crack at it (though I have some thoughts of my own):

bk-paus156559_1033

bk-paus156559_independence

bk-paus156559_64e27e4f37c04f038446670b385afdf5

777_crowley

gucci

order_out_of_chaos

secret_science_club

 skull_and_bones

????

717

-END-

Below this was some cryptographic text, which read:

0XF6AA12E6=

1337

 And finally, at the end is a PGP-encrypted message:

—–BEGIN PGP MESSAGE—–
Version: GnuPG v2
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=SvTp
—–END PGP MESSAGE—–

So, what do I make of all this? Well, I can tell you a few things about the symbols above. The first one, obviously, is the Cicada 3301 logo. Do I think this is one of their puzzles? No. The second is the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

The third (the clock), reads 2:37. 237, according to my research, is an “angel number,” e as is 1337 (at the end of the message). According to the blog ANGEL NUMBERS – Joanne Sacred Scribes: ANGEL NUMBER 237, “Angel Number 237 is a message to pay special attention to your dreams, daydreams, visions, recurring thoughts and feelings.” As for 1337, “Angel Number 1337 is a message from your angels that you are being commended and applauded for your efforts as your successes are inspiring and uplifting and and you are helping and teaching others by being a positive example for others to follow.”

I don’t know for certain if these two things are related, but it seems odd that the LION site would attach some significance to both of these numbers, and that they would also be listed as “angel numbers.”

The door with the three question marks is an image taken from 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley, so does that mean that this site borrows heavily from Crowley’s ideas? Meanwhile, the symbol with the eagles is a Masonic symbol, and the Latin phrase Deus Meumque Jus means “God and my right,” which is a motto of theirs. Below that, the squid symbol is taken from The Secret Science Club, an art center in Brooklyn (except that they’ve replaced it with “7th Prime”). And finally, underneath that is the logo for Skull and Bones, a secret society from Yale.

Anyhow, how are all these things connected? Is it just mumbo-jumbo? At first glance, it appears that someone has taken the symbols and mottos of various secret societies and jumbled them together.

Perhaps, as a whole, it’s supposed to form some greater message, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Any further thoughts on this?

 

Exploring Tor Links Again, Just For You!

Based on the comments I get, I’ve become aware of how much people love to see so-called “dark web links” on here. For that reason, I’ve done a little exploration and found some new ones.

Note to my readers: if you have requests for certain types of links, let me know. I can try to find some, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll come across the ones that you want. Honestly, some of the things that people are looking for (in my experience) just don’t exist.

http://mdn47pmcst65jblo.onion/ – Dark City IRC

dr47oldcaubn7ukf.onion – Level 7 Galaxy

http://gtp5d6nojrgqivle.onion/ – Game Console (requires JavaScript – may not be a good idea to use with Tor)

http://n44ppdgvmnrckhvh.onion/ – apollyon (requires password; might be members-only)

http://s6sykeumpavhsveg.onion/ – IniziCraft (some kind of coding community)

http://tpbom7barowq2c2u.onion/shop/tpb – Каталог – The Pirate Bay

Well OK, there’s my teaser – what other kinds of links do you want?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accessing the Dark Web on Linux is Easy, Right?

yum-install-polipo

It may seem silly to even write this, as most of the Linux users I know are very familiar with Tor (and other darknets as well).

Still, I thought it would be interesting to write about.

So, how do you install Tor on a Linux system? Well, that largely depends on what kind of Linux distribution you have, but there are similarities across the different ones.

The easiest part, of course, is downloading Tor. Use this link: Tor Browser for Linux (64-bit).

Ah, but wait! This isn’t the best way to download Tor on a Unix-like system; it’s better to use the shell.

linux_shell

 

Well, it just so happens that the Tor Project has specific instructions for Debian/Ubuntu users (of which I happen to be one).

tor_debian_ubuntu

On their main site, they list two options: Tor on Debian Stretch, and Tor on Ubuntu or Debian. If you’re using Debian, just run this command:

apt install tor

as root. They note that this will not always give you the most stable version of Tor, but the upside is that you will receive important security fixes (and that’s essential!). Next, go to this link: Running the Tor client on Linux/BSD/Unix

Alternately, if you’re building from source (the fun way, right?), first install libevent,
and then make sure you have openssl and zlib (including the -devel packages, if possible). After that, run:

tar xzf tor-0.3.1.9.tar.gz; cd tor-0.3.1.9
./configure && make

Once that’s done, you can run Tor as src/or/tor, or you can run make install (as root, if need be), which will install it to /usr/local.

EDIT: As one of my readers pointed out, I forgot to mention that once the daemon is running, you must set the proxy configurations on your browser this way: localhost (127.0.0.1) as host, and the same port number that’s set in your tor config file (/etc/tor/tor.conf).

It could then take several minutes after the daemon execution to connect to Tor. To verify this, check your log file: (/var/log/tor/tor.log). If the daemon did connect properly, it will be recorded as such on the last line of the log file.

Assuming that all these conditions are met, you can then run Tor!

Please note: I’m paraphrasing some of this from the Tor Project’s website, so I want to give them due credit! If you read the documentation, they’ll elaborate further on “Torifying” your applications, as well as configuring a relay or setting up your own Tor hidden service.

Sound like fun? I hope it is! Now enjoy accessing the Shadow Web – on me.

Officially a Linux Convert!

Yeah, yeah, tease me all you want, but it took me this long to “convert” to Linux. And I know they say you shouldn’t use the dark web without it.

Well, prior to this, I was using Linux distros like Whonix and Qubes; they just weren’t preloaded. I am now using Ubuntu, which is a good start for someone who’s new to Linux.

The GNOME desktop looks something like this (but that isn’t mine):

ubuntu-17.10-gnome-default-1

The tricky part, of course, has been learning the terminal, which is pretty much essential to any Unix-like system – but of course, you have to know what the commands are.

I started with some of the Linux cheat sheets, like this one: 77 Linux commands and utilities you’ll actually use. This one is good too: LinuxCommand.org: Learning the Shell Anyhow, that’s getting quite a bit easier with practice.

ubuntu_shell

So I bet your next question is – am I using Tor with it? Of course. Tor seems about the same as it did before, although the interface is a little different. In terms of speed, it’s roughly the same, however. (What did you expect?)

Honestly, I don’t think any OS is invulnerable, so I still have to be careful, but Linux seems to be far less of a target than Windows, or even Mac – am I wrong?

There are also some other programs/apps I’m interested in trying out with it, such as the Netsukuku network, which I mentioned on There Is No Marianas Web, But . . ., or perhaps anoNet. They may not be any big deal, but it would be fun to see if I could get them working.

That’s about it for now. More on this as it develops. Oh, were you guys wanting some links again? OK, sure.

http://3tcowhxvrowwfvgr.onion – Society of the Way

http://bootrguulvqvpj3r.onion – Welcome to Tango Down

http://npd7py37ca3uywdp.onion – All the Darkest Content

There’s a sample for you.