Linux Drama is Over! (For Now.)

I’m happy to report that my “Linux drama” has ended (for the moment). See?

gnome_desktop.png

Unfortunately, this required me doing a factory reset of my machine, so I lost all my data – yeah, tease me all you want. That’s why you do backups, right? Fortunately, nothing I had was irreplaceable, with the exception of a few drafts I had written.

I did get rather frustrated with the process, but I know that that’s part of coding and using computers/smartphones in general. Can I get back to the dark web now? Sure. Let’s hope it doesn’t compromise my system.

At the moment, I’m going back to the terminal and attempting to reinstall some of the missing programs I had before. Easy, right? You would think so.

More specifically, I’m attempting to install HexChat, which is one of the IRC clients I liked, and the terminal is saying that the repository I’m trying to use doesn’t exist. I’m assuming that it’s just on a different repository, but I’m not sure which one that is. This is strange, because right before my system went down, I  was using HexChat without any problems.

Is there another client I should be using? WeeChat, perhaps? (Oh no.)

YFy0a

My friends mess with me about being technically incompetent, but usually my problem is that I overthink things and get stuck on one or two steps – I think that’s the curse of coding in general.

Anyhow, it’s good to be back! Have any requests for posts? Please share.

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Have I Been Pwned? (Maybe.)

Has all my talk about the dark web and malware come back to bite me in the ass? Maybe…

One of my readers sent me a message and informed me that according to the site Quttera, I had malware on this very blog. For all my talk about being safe and blah blah blah, it is a little ironic that I could have malware on my own site, isn’t it? Here were the scan results, according to them:

quttera_malware_censored

So, I have one malicious file and one “potentially suspicious” file? Well, that’s cause for concern, but it could have been worse. Of course, according to them, if I want to remove said malware, I have to sign up for the paid version (isn’t that always the case?).

Oddly enough, I tried a few other scans, such as Blacklist Website Checker and Is It Hacked?, and according to those, I was clean! So which one is it, then?

I suppose it’s not unlike scanning your computer or device with different antivirus programs: they won’t pick up everything. And look: as I’ve said before, I’m not a full-fledged “hacker” (at least not yet), although I’m in the process of learning. You have to make a few mistakes before you get there. (To tell the truth, I’m shying away from the term “hacking,” since it has so many connotations. How about “coder”?)

Given that my site is still functioning, for the most part, that’s good news! I did some searching, and found a few tools that are designed to remove such malware:

Wordfence Site Cleanings

wordfence

Wordfence is a site cleaning service specifically geared toward WordPress and Joomla sites. Their services include:

  • Cleaning Infections
  • Analyzing how an attacker gained entry
  • Removing malicious code and malware
  • Showing you a detailed report of the removal and investigation
  • Using 20+ site blacklists to help keep your site clean
  • Offering a detailed checklist to help prevent future attacks

Price: $179

Sucuri

sucuri_edited

 

SiteGuarding

siteguarding

6Scan

6scan

StopTheHacker

stopthehacker_edited

Web Malware Removal

webmalwareremoval_edited

SiteLock

SiteLock_edited

Virusdie

virusdie_edited

Comodo cWatch

comodo_cwatch_edited

Unfortunately, all of these, while they may scan you for free, charge money to remove any malware you come across. (Gotta make a living, right?)

If you don’t want to use the paid software, there’s always the manual option – but then, of course, you have to know what you’re doing, and it can take longer as well.

Anyhow, my site seems to be working fine at the moment, but if anything else suspicious happens…maybe I’ll take one of these scanners up on their offer.

Creating a Hidden Network?

Journey_to_the_Dark_Web

One of my readers, with whom I’ve been corresponding on and off, wrote to me with an idea about creating a hidden network from scratch. It may have been inspired by one of my earlier posts, The “Shadow Web” Cited Me? Awesome!

In this post, I speculated about how you could create your own “shadow web,” i.e. a network that offered anonymity, and that you and only a select few people could access. In response, this reader had a few suggestions for such a network (I’m paraphrasing his (or her?) words here):

  1. One in which you could communicate via Telnet or Netcat over the Tor network.
  2. No DNS, no sites, just chats.
  3. Each user has his own list of peers.
  4. No nicknames, just onion domains.
  5. Everything is done manually, to avoid potential security flaws.
  6. Users select someone to chat with from the peer list and connect via TCP socket over Tor.

 

telnet_screenshot_2

This is, more or less, what I had in mind when I described the idea of creating a hidden network, although I had hoped that you could build websites on top of it too. What I’m unsure of, in his description, is what he means by “no nicknames,” as I would think you would need some kind of identifier to use a chat feature.

Even if the names weren’t user-generated, you could have this encrypted chat generate them for you. To use the example of the “nonsense word generators” again, perhaps the program could generate two names like this:

Hokr

Ngwood

It could also generate cryptographic keys for each identity, like:

6U-^QoM&m{z?H]g~c”AX3VgQqzVVo+

VtjHjR00ZCYVvU7Gs2iuWXQd2lX6oPDi

It’s similar to Freenet’s WebOfTrust plugin, which also generates identities for users of the network. In the case of Freenet, you have to solve some puzzles (which are more or less CAPTCHAs) in order to introduce your identity to other users. This is done to prevent bots from “joining” the network.

setup004

Personally, I love this idea, although I’m still in the process of studying some of this, and I might need a little help getting started. Anyone else have ideas to contribute? Feel free!

Hey, sooner or later I may actually have my own darknet! (And of course, I’d have to make it dark and scary.)

curtain

Fresh Onions: Best Tor Link List?

onionscan-transitive

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you dark web explorers are constantly looking for new links.

I used to often use Harry71’s Onion Spider as a go-to link list when I was looking for new and unusual onion sites. Unfortunately, he no longer updates the site (even though the URL is still active).

That being said, have you heard of the site Fresh Onions? It can be found at http://zlal32teyptf4tvi.onion/.

freshonions

Fresh Onions has its fair share of onion links, and like Harry71’s former site, it’s updated frequently. I was going to take a screenshot of the whole site, but on the device I’m currently using, that function was disabled.

Basically, the list of onions can be sorted by URL, Title, how recently it was added, when it was last visited, or when it was last up (i.e. active). At the time of this writing, it lists 4470 onions, and growing.

So you may be wondering – what kinds of sites are on it?? Well, at first glance, I see a lot of tech sites, some markets, a few forums, and some scam sites. Just what I expected!

While I have yet to create my own onion crawler, here’s a short sampling of some of the sites that are listed on Fresh Onions (note – I make no claim as to the authenticity of any of these; if it sounds like a scam, it probably is.):

http://geekrakaz7kioics.onion – Dark Forum (an anonymous hacking forum)

http://answerstedhctbek.onion – Hidden Answers

http://atmskima36v2nqdc.onion – ATM Skimmer for Sale (likely a scam)

http://hbwc3pyawkeixqtk.onion – DeepHouse – Bienvenue sur DeepHouse!

http://sourcel3zg2kzu4k.onion – Sourcery

http://by5cptxw44znwsbn.onion – Index of /

http://onicoyceokzquk4i.onion – .onion searcher

http://kwf4zz4colvmzb42.onion – Ooga Booga

http://4pf5lakpitrmnpnp.onion – Dungeon Masters: Welcome to Pier!

http://tordox5bgdpmnong.onion – couldn’t connect to this one, but it sounds like a doxing site.

http://nsz6gzlqldxhrvex.onion – NEMESIS Ransomware

http://dark666b5l2e3lcu.onion – Dark Host – real TORland hosting with onion address

Anyhow, if you want to check out the full list, visit the Fresh Onions link above. Have fun, dark web explorers, and don’t get scammed (or kidnapped, for that matter)! I kid.

6446164fc586e94687ab4f5e3c2ec12e--scary-pictures-old-pictures

 

Secure Passwords and Usernames for the Dark Web (or Anywhere)

by Ciphas

secure-password-590x350

DISCLAIMER: I have not used any of the “passwords” in this post as real passwords. So go ahead and try them all you want!

An acquaintance contacted me recently, and was asking about how to use darknet markets. One of the things I had advised this person to do was to make sure that they used a secure passphrase and/or username.

This is just good internet advice in general, but I would say that it goes double for the dark web.

One of my earliest posts on this blog was entitled Dark Web: Fake Words and Secret Codes. In it, I had suggested the diceware method for generating strong passwords – and I still do, actually!

poker-casino-dice-colour-black-size-9370-10141_medium

Just to review: the way this is accomplished is that you roll a die (or pair of dice), and each 5-number set represents a word, number, or group of letters taken from a long word list.

They might look like this:

52121 ron

43453 noel

11243 acidic

53223 sequel

36514 llll

You then combine those words or numbers together, and that’s your password. Some people add periods or dashes in between the words, too. So, the final result would be “ron.noel.acidic.sequel.llll.”

For full details on how the diceware method works, see Diceware Passphrase Home.

This method, however, can be time-consuming. And the longer your password (or “passphrase”) is, the greater the chances are that you’ll make a mistake when typing it.

Throw Away the Dice??

My friend Arne Babenhauserheide, who is a programmer, came up with an alternate method of generating secure passwords, which he shared on his blog, Zwillingssterns Weltenwald.

The post in question is entitled Create secure passwords, usable on US and German keyboards.

Arne goes into detail about what denotes a strong password –

“Use blocks of four letters, chosen at random from a set of safely recognizable characters which are in the same position on German and US keyboards. Delimit blocks by a delimiter chosen at random from another set of characters.”

There’s a Javascript version of the password generator on the post itself, as well as code for it in Javascript, Python, and Wisp. You can read the full post if you want to find out more, but I also thought I’d show you some of the passwords that the generator came up with.

password_generator

For a 12-character password: m3M4+v0Tg+ENHS

15 characters: QXL3+GWbh!vUqP.6d3

20 characters: VMCt!u6sF+Mxc5/fSwe/g7Vm

50 characters: MMWW.ruR3+vejH-7s6a.BiQi,89R5-51oq-FsFT,RK1M,HWmG*wvuj,D1om.9g

Well OK, 50 is probably overkill. One thing to point out – though you can use the password generator online, it’s much safer to download the web page and do it offline. I tried it – it works just fine!

There are a number of other sites that have a similar feature, but with any of these, I would recommend the same thing – download the page and generate the password offline.

Even if you don’t want to use these for your passwords, they can be fun to try out:

Strong Random Password Generator

password_generator

XKPasswd – Secure Memorable Passwords

xkpassword

 

GRC – Ultra High Security Password Generator

grc_passwords

Create Safe & Secure Passwords

norton_password

I confess that I don’t know which of these “generators” are the most or least secure, but if you come up with a passphrase that works for you, then more power to you.

That’s Utter Nonsense!!!!

Oh, I almost forgot – the username part! It’s up to you, but if you want a more pseudo-random username, I like to use nonsense word generators (which I also mentioned in the earlier blog post).

I used to use the one on http://www.soybomb.com/tricks/words/, but it seems to be having errors a lot lately.

There are quite a few more of these as well, some of which I’ll share:

Fake Word Generator For Great Made-Up Words!

fakewordgen

Unique Word Generator

uniquewordgen

 

Nonsense Word Generator

parsley_nonsense

Generate a list of random words

listofrandomwords

Obviously, you don’t have to do this, but it can be fun, and can also take the effort out of the whole, “What do I pick for a username?”

Here’s a random (or pseudo-random) result:

Username –

  • zo¥ᄀtomic

Password:

  • ET5h*XHd1*CUus.E6W

And there you go. Have fun, kids!

Oh, and you might want to use a VPN too.

 

 

 

Looking for Linux!!

 

Linux_command-line._Bash._GNOME_Terminal._screenshot

Well, it finally happened.  The previous computer I had been using to write this blog crashed…permanently.

Now, whether that had anything to do with the fact that I was using the dark web or not, I don’t know. (I’d like to think not.)  It was also a seven year-old computer, and some of the error messages indicated that the hardware was having issues, so that was more than likely the problem.

You may ask – so how are you writing right now?  Well, I have a few older systems I can use for the time being, but I would like to ultimately switch to a Linux OS, even though that’ll take some getting used to.

I have some limited experience with them through live CD operating systems, but I know that that’s not quite the same thing.  One reason I’d like to switch is that because I’m also learning to code, Linux systems seem more geared toward that (am I wrong?).

I also feel that, in general, they’re more secure, although of course no system is completely unhackable.  Even more than that, though, I like that they’re less automated.

One thing that used to frequently annoy me about Windows systems was that they would try to do everything for you and guess your every move.  I remember using an early version of Word back in the day when I would write fantasy stories, and it would autocorrect the names of my made-up characters.

Me (typing): Zostarath and Megilligand fought valiantly with their swords.

Autocorrect: Zoroastrian and Megillah fought valiantly with their swords.

Me: Damn you, autocorrect!

Of course, there were ways around this, but it was still frustrating, and I had the same problem with later versions of Windows too.

Command Lines, How Do I Love Thee?

Command_line

So, I’m aware that using the command line interface after many years will take some getting used to, and may involve a little frustration, but I think I can get the hang of it again.

This also seems ideal for coding, in a sense.  The question is, which system should I use?  I haven’t decided that yet.  (Oh, woe is me!  Woe is me!)

I’ve been browsing Linux Preloaded to see some of what’s available, and I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

And before I officially start using one of these systems, I’ve been brushing up on my Linux commands with sites like Red Hat Developers.

Now – I’m sure this isn’t quite as exciting as talking about the dark web, but hear me out. If I’m going to delve deeper into the world of internet security, etc., I think I need the appropriate system.

It seems as if there are a million options, so the sky’s the limit.  Seriously, if any of you are experienced Linux users, and you have some good suggestions, feel free to share them.

I will say that I’m not going into this blindly – Whonix did have something similar, called the Konsole, which was essentially the command line interface.  I’ve used it enough to get the hang of it, but still, it was a far cry from a full Linux OS.

Am I about to get frustrated all over again?  Probably.  But that’s OK in my book.

Hey, I’m always up for a good learning experience…this will just be one more, right?

linux-penguin-savers-1920x1200-wallpaper540853

 

ChaosVPN Part 2: Hack to School!

 

Fonerawebuicssfix (1)

When I first started working on this ChaosVPN project, I never imagined what fun it could be.  It has required a bit of extra effort and learning, but I like that sort of thing!

However, I want to stress that ChaosVPN isn’t a replacement for Tor or other anonymity tools; in fact, the creators mention this on the wiki.  And it won’t help you access .lll or .rdos sites either…heh heh heh.

So – where I initially got stuck was at the point of getting tinc to run properly on my system.  As it turns out, I hadn’t completed all the steps to installing it (go figure)!  That’s why they say: “If all else fails, try reading the instructions.”

Depending on which operating system you’re using, of course, those instructions may vary.  If you’re using a Mac OS/X, then these are the appropriate instructions: installing tinc on Mac OS/X.

If you’re using Windows, then try here: installing tinc on Windows 2000/XP/7/8.  Hmm…it doesn’t include Windows 10, but does that mean it won’t work?  Not necessarily, but I know how logical Windows can be sometimes.

windows-logic-meme

What about Ubuntu?

In my earlier post ChaosVPN: Making Friends with Hackers!, I had mentioned using Ubuntu to set it up.  This still seemed like the ideal option for me.  It reminded me very much of the MS-DOS days from my childhood.

Abort_Retry_Fail

 

So I started going through the steps again, trying to be a little more patient this time!  I finally got it working, but haven’t used it much yet.  My overall impression is that ChaosVPN definitely has the potential for – to use the technical term – awesomeness.

Given that I’ve been making friends with a lot of hackers and coders lately, this seemed like one of the logical steps to take.  I still don’t consider myself a hacker just yet, but I’m working on that.

If you haven’t read the previous post, here’s the ChaosVPN:UbuntuHowto.  Oh, wait – you don’t have Ubuntu?  Do that here: Get Ubuntu | Download.

(The instructions below are quoted from the wiki; credit goes to the authors.  If anyone objects to this, I can take it down.)

And now, courtesy of the CCCHHWiki – UbuntuHowto :

ubuntu-how-to-chaosvpn.png

First you need to install the necessary helper programs using the apt-get command.  

Install Necessary Helper Programs

needed to use the chaosvpn client:

#apt-get install tinc iproute

needed to compile the chaosvpn-client if not using a precreated debian package
for it

#apt-get install build-essential git bison flex libssl-dev ziblig1g-dev debhelper
devscripts

Install tinc

You need either the package from Debian squeeze/unstable, or a backport like from Debian Backports.

This should be at least tinc version 1.0.13, but should work with 1.0.10 or later.

Or visit http://tinc-vpn.org, download and build yourself – at a minimum ./configure, specify the parameter –sysconfdir=/etc, and check the binary in the script.
If the tinc installation gives the following error:

./MAKEDEV: don’t know how to make device “tun”

Then create the device by hand:

# mkdir -p /dev/net
# mknod /dev/net/tun c 10 200
# chown root:root /dev/net/tun
# chmod 600 /dev/net/tun

Install Our ChaosVPN program

The easiest way: using LaunchPad PPA

There are amd64 and i386 binary packages available for LTS release 12.04 (precise).  There is also a source package.

Add the following lines to your etc/apt/sources list:

For Ubuntu Precise:

chaosvpn_indexof

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/matt-nycresistor/chaosvpn/ubuntu precise main

deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/matt-nycresistor/chaosvpn/ubuntu precise main

Make the Repository-Key known:

apt-get update
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:matt-nycresistor/chaosvpn

Answer “y” to the warnings about whatever content.

Run apt-get update a second time:

apt-get update

Finally install the ChaosVPN software:

apt-get install chaosvpn

Install done, proceed to next step some pages below.

Alternative: compile yourself from our git repository

Always needed to compile:

# git clone
# cd chaosvpn

way 1: create a snapshot debian package

# dch -i
increment the version and set ubuntu specific info.
# make deb
perhaps it throws an error about missing build dependencies, install these and retry.
#sudo dpkg -i ../chaosvpn_2.0*.deb
Install the generated package file, replace filename above with the real name. It is also possible to copy the generated .deb package to a different machine of the same architecture and install it there – no need to have a full compile environment on your router/firewall.

way 2: create debian package and install this

# dch -i
increment the version and set ubuntu specific info.
# debuild -us -uc
should give you packages in parent dir
#sudo dpkg -i ../chaosvpn_2.0*.deb
install the generated package file, replace filename above with real name.

way 3: just compile and install the raw binary

# make
# sudo make install

Create config directory

# mkdir -p /etc/tinc/chaos

Get your new node added to the central configuration

Devise a network-nick and a unique IP range you will be using

This network-nick…sometimes called nodename is the name of the network endpoint/gateway where the vpn software will be running – not necessarily the name of the user, there may even be more than one gateway per user.

Used below where <nodename> is.

Please use only characters a-z, 0-9 and _ in it.

Second please select an unused IPv4 range out of IP range, and write yourself down in that wiki page to mark your future range as in-use.
Please select from the correct ranges, 172.31.*.* for Europe, and 10.100.*.* for North America and elsewhere.

Repeat: Please do not forget to add yourself to this list at IP Range to mark your range as used.

Used below where <ipv4 subnet in the vpn> is.

The usage of IPv6 networks is also possible, but we do not have a central range for this (yet); you may specify an IPv6 range you received from your (tunnel) provider to be reachable over the VPN, or a private IPv6 ULA (Unique Local Address) network described in RFC4193.  For more info about ULA and a network-range generator please also see IPv6 ULA (Unique Local Address) RFC4193 registration .

Used below where <ipv4 subnet in the vpn> is.

Hostname

The gateway may have a DynDNS (or similar) hostname pointing to a dynamic IP, or a static hostname/fixed IP.

Better supply a hostname than a raw IP address even if it is static, so you can change it yourself and do not need to contact us when needed. (Perhaps something like chaosvpn.yourdomain.example).

Used below where <clienthost> is.

Generate keys

# tinc net-chaos init <nodename>

Replace <nodename> with the name your new node should get.

**FIXME** need some way that “tinc init” puts the public key into the separate files and not only into the generated hosts file, which our chaosvpn daemon overwrites.

generate public/private RSA and ECSDSA keypairs with

# tinc –net=chaos generate-keys 2048

press Enter 4 times and backup the files /etc/tinc/chaos/ecdsa_key.priv, ecdsa_key.pub, rsa_key.priv and rsa_key.pub on an external device.

Generate keys with tinc 1.0.xx

create chaos config folder with

# mkdir /etc/tinc/chaos

generate public/private keypairs with

# tincd –net=chaos –generate-keys=2048

press Enter 2 times and backup the files /etc/tinc/chaos/rsa_key.priv and rsa_key.pub on an external device.

Mail us your Infos [sic]

  • send via email to chaosvpn_join@hamburg.ccc.de

We need the following info – but please be so kind and also add a short description of you/your space and your motivation to join chaosvpn – or at least make us laugh. 🙂

(Please remove all lines starting with # from the email; they are just descriptions)

[<nodename>]

gatewayhost=<clienthost>

# This should be the external hostname or ip address of the client host, not a VPN address.
# If the client is not reachable over the internet leave it out and set hidden=1 below.
# If possible supply a hostname (even dyndns) and not an ip address for easier changing
# from your side without touching the central config.

network=<ipv4 subnet in the vpn>
network6=<ipv6 subnet in the vpn>

# (mandatory, must include)
# this may be more than one, IPv4 or IPv6, network6 with IPv6 is optional
#
# These subnets must be unique in our vpn,
# simply renumber your home network (or use something like NETMAP) with a network block that is still free.
#
# Please use the list of assigned networks on ChaosVPN:IPRanges, and add yourself there.

Owner=

#(mandatory, must include)

# Admin of the VPN gateway, with email address – a way to contact the responsible
# person in case of problems with your network link.

port=4712
# (optional)
# if not specified tinc works on tcp+udp port 655
# it is better if everyone chooses a random port for this.
# either this specified port or port 655 should accept TCP and UDP traffic from internet.

hidden=0
# (optional)
# “I cannot accept inbound tunnel connections, I can only connect out.”
# (e.g. behind an NAT)
silent=0
# (optional)
# “I cannot connect out, but you can connect to me.”
# Only ONE of hidden=1 or silent=1 is possible.

Ed25519PublicKey=<something>
# (optional)
# tinc 1.1.pre11+ only, contents of your /etc/tinc/chaos/ed25519_key.pub

—–BEGIN RSA PUBLIC KEY—–
…..
—–END RSA PUBLIC KEY—–
# (mandatory)
# rsa-public-key – contents of your /etc/tinc/chaos/rsa_key.pub

Awaiting response, give us some days, your request is processed manually

Retry until $success

Customize configfile

FIXME to be expanded

/etc/tinc/chaosvpn.conf

In the top part are the variables.

change

$my_peerid to the network nick from step 4
$my_vpn_ip to an ip address in your network range, like 172.31.x.1

Enable Starting of ChaosVPN

If you installed ChaosVPN through our Debian package it is not started by default.

To enable this edit the file /etc/default/chaosvpn and change the RUN= line to RUN=”yes”

After all changes (re-)start the chaosvpn client:

# /etc/init.d/chaosvpn start

If you made everything correct there should now be a tinc daemon running, and the output of ‘route-n’ should show lots of routes pointing to the new ‘chaos_vpn’ network interface.

script in /etc/ppp/ip-up to autostart, or to restart from time to time via cron

If you built a debian package and installed it the cron and ip-up parts are already setup, if you installed it manually with make install you have to do it yourself.

and with luck, it will function beautifully! 😉

Retrieved from https://wiki.hamburg.ccc.de/ChaosVPN:UbuntuHowto


 

As I get more familiar with ChaosVPN, hopefully it’s something I can write about more.  Just to stress: it isn’t really the “deep web” or the “dark web.”  I just felt like writing about it because it sounded cool.

As a matter of fact, the more I learn, the more I realize that these terms like deep web and dark web are just abstract concepts.

But they sure do sound spooky, don’t they?

 

essential-skills-becoming-master-hacker.1280x600

I haz hood. I iz a hacker.