November 28th, 2001, 03:23 PM
Anonymity excellently explained in another great Blacksun tutorial.
Author : Khelbin
If you have any comments or questions regarding this tutorial (no flames(10) or spam, please) Email me at email@example.com.
Visit blacksun.box.sk for more tutorials, free hacking/programming/unix books to download and much more.
We do not encourage any kinds of illegal activities. If you believe that breaking the law is a good way to impress someone, please stop reading now and grow up. There is nothing impressive or cool in being a criminal.
* You mean I have absolutely zero anonymity on the web?
* So what? Why would I wanna be anonymous anyway?
* Okay, I see your point. Anonymize me.
* What are proxies?
* What are public proxies?
* Where can I find lists of public proxies?
* Are they good for anything besides anonymity?
* Okay, so how do I use them?
* What are Wingates?
* How can I use them to anonymize myself?
* Wingates sound useful. I wanna run one on my own computer. How do I do it without turning it into an "anonymity hive"?
* How can I tell IRC clients, instant messangers such as ICQ, etc', to use them? Anonymous Remailers?
* What is an anonymous remailer?
* How can I use them to be more anonymous?
* Why would a person start an anonymous remailing service? Where's the catch?
* Why should I encrypt my Email?
* How can I encrypt my Email?
* What are cookies?
* Can they risk my privacy?
* What are they?
* How can they risk my privacy?
* What is the anonymizer?
* How can I sign up?
Where can I learn more about anonymity?
* Useful URLs.
* Other useful tutorials by Black Sun.
Appendix A: Using Altavista as a "proxy"
* How can I use Altavista's web translation service to anonymize myself?
Appendix B: Spoofing browser history
* How can I spoof my browser's history?
Appendix C: the +x mode
* Various tutorials
Other Tutorials By Black Sun
* FTP Hacking.
* Ad and Spam Blocking.
* Advanced Phreaking.
* Phreaking II.
* IRC Warfare.
* Windows Registry.
* Info Gathering.
* Offline Windows Security.
* ICQ Security.
Whether you realize it or not, the Internet is not as anonymous as you might think. Here are a few examples:
1) You enter a website. Once you hit any one of the files on the webserver, the website owners can find out these pieces of information about you, and much more:
1. Your IP Address.
2. Your hostname.
3. Your continent.
4. Your country.
5. Your city.
6. Your web browser.
7. Your Operating System.
8. Your screen resolution.
9. Your screen colors.
10. The previous URL you've been to.
11. Your ISP.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to our homepage at blacksun.box.sk and find the web statistics button (later addition: we have terminated our account on our webstats provider because they were quite buggy, and we've decided to use a php3-based text counter). There you will be able to see how much we can tell about our visitors
2) Another example: you're connected to an IRC network and you are chatting with your friends. Right now all a person needs to find information on you is nothing but your nickname. He doesn't even have to know you, or be in the same channel/channels you are. Here are a few examples of what you can find by simply knowing a person's nickname (in the most optimal conditions):
1. Your real name.
2. Your Email address.
3. Your IP address.
4. Your hostname.
5. Your ISP.
6. Your continent.
7. Your country.
8. Your city.
And much much more.
The same goes for online games that allow players to view the other players' IP addresses.
3) Suppose my name is Paul Matthews, and my Email address is pmatthews@boring.ISP.net. It is extremely easy to figure out that the first letter of my first name is P and that my last name is Matthews, but that's not all.
Some ISPs give their entire listings to web directories. Meaning, people can go to, say... whowhere.com, punch in the words Paul Matthews or search for people with Matthews as their last name on boring.ISP.net and find out that pmatthews@boring.ISP.net does actually belong to Paul Matthews, hence discovering your real name.
But it is also possible to use these web directories for 1,001 uses. Therefore you should go to whowhere.com as soon as possible, try to track down yourself and then tell whowhere.com to delete your listing.
4) Some ISPs also run finger daemons.
A daemon is a program that waits for incoming connections on a specific or several ports.
The finger daemon is a daemon that waits for open connections on port 79. Once you get in, you need to punch in a username on the system the daemon runs on and you will get tons of information about him.
For example: a while ago my ISP was running a finger daemon on their servers (until I forced them to take it off because it was a privacy invasion). Now, suppose you know nothing about me besides my Email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. The first thing you should do is to go to netvision.net.il on port 79 and hope there's somebody there. If there is, you can find the following information by typing in my username, barakirs:
1. My real name.
2. When was the last time I was online.
3. If I'm online right now, since when have I been online.
4. Whether I have new mail or not.
And much much more (some finger daemons might give out any pieces of information, such as my home address and phone number).
Besides the obvious uses (finding a person's real name and other private information), you can use this information for various purposes, such as:
1. Most instant messangers, such as ICQ, AIM, YAHOO Instant Messanger and MSN Instant Messanger, allow you to add people in or outside your contact list to an "invisible list", so they won't be able to know whether you're online or not and you'll appear to be offline to them. If they have your Email address, and your ISP is running a finger daemon, they are able to know whether you're really offline or just trying to fool them.
2. Your friend promised you to do something for you on the net, but when you finally go online to ask him if he's done it he says that he just got back from work and that he just got online. Using finger, you can test this and see when he really got online.
These were just a little out of many examples.
During this tutorial I will explain to you how to prevent people from finding out information about you (there will always be new tricks, but blocking the most basic / common ones will hold off most attackers and make it harder for the more experienced ones). If you really wanna learn how to do these things, as well as some really cool and advanced tricks, then read the 'Info-Gathering' tutorial.
Proxies were first invented in order to speed up Internet connections. Here's how they work:
You are trying to connect to a server on the other side of the planet. Your HTTP requests are sent to your proxy server, which is located at your ISP's headquarters, which are a lot closer to you than that far-away server. The proxy first checks if one of it's users has accessed this website lately. If so, it should have a copy of it somewhere on it's servers. Then the proxy server starts the connection only to check if his version is not outdated, which only requires him to look at the file size. If it has the latest version, it will send the file to you, instead of having the far server send it to you, thus speeding up the connection. If not, it will download the requested files by itself and then send them to you.
But proxies can also be used to anonymize yourself while surfing the web, because they handle all the HTTP requests for you.
Most chances are that your ISP has a proxy. Call tech support and ask them about it. But the problems with proxy access given to you by your ISP is:
1. Some ISPs don't even have proxies.
2. The website owner would still be able to know what ISP you are using and where do you live, since this kind of proxies are not public and they can only be accessed by users of that ISP. For such cases, there is a solution - public proxies.
You can find a list of public proxies everywhere. Here are two good URLs to start from:
To configure your web browser to use a proxy server, find the appropriate dialog box in your settings dialog box (it varies from different browsers).
Note: some proxy servers will also handle FTP sessions (some might handle FTP only).
Wingate is a program that is used to turn a PC running Windows 9x or NT into a proxy server. Here are several reasons for why a person would want to run such an application and turn his computer into a proxy:
1. If he owns an ISP and he wants to set up a proxy for it.
2. If he wants to turn his computer into a public proxy.
3. If he wants to give Internet access to a whole bunch of computers that are connected by a Local Area Network, but he can provide Internet access for only one computer. In that case, he would turn his computer into a proxy server and set all the other computers on the network to use him as a proxy. That way all the rest of the computers on the network will relay their HTTP and FTP requests through a single computer, a single modem and a single Internet account.
The problem with Wingates is that they're highly... well... they're very... how should I say this? Stupid. Just plain stupid. Why is that?
EVERYONE can connect to your little proxy by simply connecting to port 1080 on your computer and typing 'target-ip-address-or-hostname port' (no quotes) and replace target-ip-address-or-hostname with the IP address or the hostname they want to connect to, and replace port with the destination port. The "wingated" mahcine will then relay your input through it, but it will seem like the wingated machine is connecting to the target computer, not you.
Sure, the sysadmin of the wingated machine can change that port to a different one, but this is the default, and if you're stupid enough to use Wingate you probably won't want to play with the defaults.
First of all, if you need to use Wingate for some reason, use SyGate instead. It does exactly what Wingate does, only it won't serve EVERYONE like Wingate does.
Now, these Wingates can be used to anonymize practically anything. Also, every program that can be set to run behind a SOCKS firewall (most IRC clients, most instant messangers and most web browsers) will automatically do the dirty work of routing your stuff through it if you'll give them the IP/hostname and the appropriate port for the wingated machine.
Wingates can also be used to get into IRC channels you got banned from (by faking your IP).
WARNING: some IRC networks run bots that will kick out people using Wingates. These bots try to connect to random people on port 1080. If they succeed, they kick you out. This works because the IRC network, as well as everyone on it, thinks that your IP is the wingated machine's IP. If the bot tries to connect to your IP on port 1080, it will actually go to the wingated machine. The bot will then detect that your IP is actually a wingate and kick you off (since it's being run by the IRC network and given enough priviledges to kick out anyone).
You can find lists of Wingates at http://www.cyberarmy.com/lists. There are also tons of Wingate scanners out there that can scan whole subnets and look for Wingates, but this might take some time (and make your ISP get suspicious), so you'd just better go for CyberArmy's lists.
Previously I have demonstrated to you what a person with very little knowledge can find out about you just by knowing your Email address. Now it is obvious that to keep your privacy, you need to sign up for a free Email account (such as Hotmail [hotmail.com], Yahoo mail [mail.yahoo.com], ZDNet Mail [zdnetmail.com], Net @ddress [netaddress.com], Bigfoot [bigfoot.com] etc'). But what if you had a special Email address on a free server that automatically forwards all incoming Email to your real mailbox and keeps all the information discreet?
These are called Anonymous Remailers. Most of them are free and live out of contributions and/or sponsor banners they place on their website.
You can find many many Anonymous Remailers at http://www.theargon.com.
Here's a good example for an Anonymous Remailer:
First, head to http://anon.isp.ee (by the way, the extension .ee stands for Estonia) and sign up your free account. Once you're a registered user, send an Email to email@example.com with no subject and the following content:
user: your username
pass: your password
realaddr: your recipient's Email address. realsubj: the subject of your mail.
Example: if I want to send an anonymous mail containing the following:
Subject: ANONYMITY RULEZ!!
This is an anonymous Email message.
Let's see you trace me now!
to firstname.lastname@example.org, and your username is user and your pass is pass, send the following Email to email@example.com (remember not to enter a subject):
realsubj: ANONYMITY RULEZ!!
This is an anonymous Email message.
Let's see you trace me now!
You'll receive an Email notification from anon.isp.ee once your message has been delivered.
Once your recipient will reply to this Email, the message will return to you.
You can also use web-based anonymous remailers such as Replay Associates
(replay.com/remailer/anon.html), but it won't let you receive replies.
Everyone can read your Email. Whether it's some script kiddie who hacked your Hotmail account, a skilled cracker (or a script kiddie with a lot of free time) that hacked your POP3 mailbox or a person who got your Email by mistake. If you don't want other people to read your Email, use PGP. Everyone who uses PGP can have their own PGP key. A key consists of tons of characters, whether they are lowercase or uppercase letters, number or symbols. After you make your key, you need to transfer it to everyone you want to send encrypted mail to. Once they have it, you can start sending encrypted mail to them and they'll be able to use your key to decrypt it. More info on www.pgpi.com
Note: PGP is very strong and can only be broken with giant supercomputers. The longer your key is, the harder it is to break the encryption.
Have you noticed how all those websites on the net are getting "smarter" all of a sudden? You know, like the way message boards remember your nickname, some sites remember your password so you won't have to retype it every time, electronic malls remember what you last put in your virtual shopping cart etc'.
If you don't want your co-workers or other people to sniff around and see where you've been visiting, what items you've been buying etc', you should delete them when you don't need them. On Unix, your cookies would usually be stored somewhere in your home directory (usually /home/your-login, /usr/your-login or /usr/local/your-login if you're a regular user and /root if you're root, but anyone with write access to /etc/passwd can change that).
On Windows and Mac, cookies are stored on a sub-directory at your browser's directory called cookies.
Note 1: you can tell your browser to ask you before accepting a cookie. Just play around with it's preferences menu, you'll find it (there are so many browsers out there so I can't give a detailed explanation for every single one).
Note 2: if you're browsing from a public computer, do not save any cookies, or other people will be able to snoop around and look at your cookies or even enter various websites with your passwords, your credit card number etc'.
A reader called Stone Cold Lyin Skunk has pointed out to me that the cookies.txt file may be found in the netscape\users\default directory. This happens when you register your user (Netscape let's you have multiple users for the same program, each user with his own settings etc') without giving it a username.
He also pointed out to me that some websites will require you to accept cookies in order to enter them.
Also, he recommended to beware of your browser's history file (information on removing it can be found on the "Where Can I Learn More About Anonymity?" chapter), as well as your cache and your preferences.js files, because they may reveal your browsing habits (where have you been, etc').
Stone Cold Lyin Skunk has pointed out that if you're running Windows and you do a quick reboot (hold down shift while telling Windows to reset) Windows generates a file called FILE0001.chk, FILE0002.chk etc' (usually found on c:\). You will be amazed to see how much information you could find in these files! Delete them ASAP!
The Anonymizer is an Internet service that helps you anonymize yourself better. The Anonymizer's homepage is www.anonymizer.com. Here's a snapshot from anonymizer.com:
Anonymizer.com is a pioneer in Internet privacy technologies, and the most popular and trusted name in delivering online privacy services. Anonymizer.com, today, has many thousand subscribers to its paid services and makes anonymous over 7.5 million pages a month. Lance Cottrell, founder and President of Anonymizer.com, authored the world's most secure anonymous remailer, Mixmaster and has been active for many years in promoting free speech. Lance received his undergraduate degree in physics from The University of California, Santa Cruz and a masters in Physics from The University of California, San Diego.
Justin Boyan, while a Computer Science Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University, designed and implemented Anonymizer surfing. Anonymizer Surfing is now in its 4th generation under development by the Anonymizer engineering team.
Our mission is to ensure that an individual's right to privacy is not compromised once they are online. We began this company as a means to protect this right as embodied in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
While written 50 years ago, article 19 of this document is now more than ever applicable with the advent of the recent growth of the Internet:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
You can read the full Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the following URL: http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm.
You can use The Anonymizer to surf the web with anonymity for free by going to anonymizer.com and typing in the target URL where asked, or buy an Anonymizer package, which will give you more benefits. If you want some of the money you pay to go to Black Sun, subscribe through the following URL: http://www.anonymizer.com/3.0/affili...gi?CMid=12437. If you want, you too can join their affiltrates program. Simply go to http://www.anonymizer.com/3.0/affili...cgi?CMid=12437 for more information. If you will subscribe through this URL, you will still receive all the cash you deserve, but we at Black Sun will also receive some benefits.
Where Can I Learn More About Anonymity?
Useful URLs: http://www.theargon.com.
http://www.pgpi.com (for learning about PGP encryption and how to use it to encrypt your Emails) IP Spoofing Demystified - a long article from Phrack magazine on IP spoofing (faking your IP). You can download it from our books section.
http://www.cyberarmy.com/lists - for lists of Wingates, Proxies and free shell accounts you can surf from to anonymize yourself.
http://2waymedia.hypermart.net/hh/browsers/index.htm - how to completely clear your browser's history
Other useful Tutorials by Black Sun: IRC Warfare by The Cyber God (for learning more on Anonymizing yourself on IRC), Proxy/WinGate/SOCKS tutorial by Jatt and Sendmail by me, R a v e N.
Appendix A: Using Altavista as a proxy
If you go to altavista.com, and under their tools section choose translation (or go directly to the following URL: http://babelfish.altavista.com/cgi-bin/translate?), you can ask Altavista to translate web pages for you.
But you can also use this as a proxy, since when you tell Altavista to translate a web page, Altavista's CGI translation script retrieves the page for you.
Thanks to Yoink for this information.
Appendix B: Spoofing browser history
Here is something I got by Email from a reader called Stone Cold Lyin Skunk:
set up a V3 redirect (http://www.v3.com or something like that) then build a quick webpage with a link to the site you want to view discretely
then go to your webpage via the V3 redirect
all I know is that the URL indicater at the top of the browser will not show the URL you visit even your own .index page it will only show the URL name
so if there is URL logging at your job or school or whatever, they can always surf to your homepage via the V3, which they will have. But, by then, you will have erased or. Or maybe it has "hidden" links (links the same color as the background)...
in any case, they will not have your URLs and they certainly won't have proof you surfed there...
for instance, you may not want, say, your local library sysop to know about Black Sun...so you set up say, a Homestead homepage (these are great because they feature password protected pages) ...you then set up a V3 redirect to that page. Bingo- you can now surf to the page via V3, log in with your password, hit all those cool hidden links to Black Sun, CYberArmy, peacefire.org what wahtever, and the URL snoop software will only record the original http://surf.to/fakeoutname ... and don't forget, make the V3 URl as innocuous-sounding as possible...eg. http://surf.to.backetweaving ...
Appendix C: the +x mode
In IRC, it is possible to put yourself into mode x by typing '/mode yournick +x' (do not include the quotes and replace yournick with your own nick. For example: /mode raven +x).
This tells the IRC server to hide your IP, so when others try to /whois you or /dns you, they won't be able to get your IP (they will get a partial IP instead).
This will only work on some servers, but when you're on IRC, it is recommended to use this option.
Also, there is a way to bypass this. By simply creating a DCC connection with someone else (either a DCC chat or a DCC file transfer), you could then type 'netstat' (without the quotes) on either Unix or Windows/DOS and see what connections your computer is currently handling. One of them will be the DCC connection to that other guy.
Why is that? Because DCC stands for Direct Client Communication, which means that DCC actions are not done through the server, but directly (think - why would the owners of the IRC server want people to transfer files through their servers and initiate private chats through their servers? It'll just chew up some bandwidth). The netstat command shows all current connections (local or remote), and one of them will be your DCC connection with that other guy. You will then be able to see his/her IP or hostname.
1) The Argon - http://www.theargon.com
2) The Anonymizer - http://www.anonymizer.com
3) Hacker.co.il - http://www.hacker.co.il
4) Various tutorials.