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    the anonymity tutorial

    i recently found this ecellent tutorial on another forum on how to be anonymous on the net.i am putting it here.





    The Anonymity Tutorial
    Author: Raven, founder of SWG.
    http://www.security-writers.org


    Note: this tutorial deals with privacy issues on the net, and how to improve your anonymity, not how one can find details about another person. This topic is discussed in the Information Gathering tutorial, which is the sequel to this tutorial. Issues such as under what conditions some of the details that can be found about you according to this tutorial can be obtained and how to conduct such privacy intrusions will be discussed in the sequel tutorial. In the mean time, you can read a little about the dangers themselves and more about how to avoid them and improve your anonymity on the net. Happy reading!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Preface: ph33r the net

    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. The country you live in.
    5. The city.
    6. Your web browser.
    7. Your Operating System.
    8. Your screen resolution.
    9. Your screen color depth.
    10. The previous URL you've been to.
    11. Your ISP.
    12. Your Email address.
    13. Your MAC address. (don't know what a MAC address is? Everything will be explained later)
    14. What kinds of browser plug-ins you have installed.
    15. Wether you have Java and Javascript support turned on or off.
    16. Any information that is stored in your cookies file. (don't know what cookies are? Everything will be explained later)
    17. Other private details.


    And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Can you guess who gives away all of this information?

    Well, I'll give you three guesses...

    Guess number 1... your web browser?

    Yes, that's correct, your web browser gives a lot of information about you because some websites use this information to customize the page depending on your resolution, screen color depth and more, and some sites read the last URL you've been to in order to know whether you reached that page from the author's site or whether you reached that page from a different site (meaning that some other webmaster is "leeching off" their files). Other websites use this information for other purposes...

    Just to show you how much information your browser gives away, let me show you how a typical MSIE HTTP request (a request from an HTTP server to download a page or a file) looks like:

    Code:

    GET /texts/internet%20security/anonymity.html HTTP/1.1
    Accept: image/gif, image/x-xbitmap, image/jpeg, image/pjpeg,
    application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/vnd.ms-excel,
    application/msword, */*
    Referer: http://www.www.securitywriters.org/n..._security.html
    Accept-Language: en-us
    Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate
    User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.0; Windows 98)
    Host: 62.0.96.180:8011
    Connection: Keep-Alive



    See what I'm talking about?

    Guess number two... TCP/IP itself? Yup, true, TCP/IP itself provides the website with your IP address and your MAC address (this part will be explained later on), which can then be used to find your hostname, which can be used to find your place of living or at least where your ISP is located.

    Guess number three... the user itself? You guessed correctly again, my friend. Wow, you're really getting the hang of this! Anyway, the point is that lots of stupid users tend to trust every site with their private details and fill every form they see without making sure that the site has a valid privacy policy.

    So what can we do about it? Well, a lot. But let's leave that to later, shall we? We will discuss anonymous surfing in the anonymous surfing chapter.

    2) Another example: you're connected to an IRC network and you are chatting with your friends. Right now all a person who is connected to the same IRC network needs in order to find information about 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 anybody can find out about you (in the most optimal conditions) by simply knowing your nickname:

    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 again, there could be more. The reasons? You name it. TCP/IP, the IRC protocol, Silly users...

    There's a lot you could do in order to improve your anonimity on IRC networks, but we'll discuss this issue in it's appropriate chapter.

    The same goes for online games, instant messengers, Usenet networks, Emails and everything else you do on the net. Have I convinced you yet?

    Some of you are anxious to continue reading and improve their anonymity. Others have been convinced that the Internet is not anonymous, but don't see why they should make any efforts to anonymize themselves - don't worry, you will be given reasons, just keep on reading.

    Last but not least, some of you may still be skeptical about whether doing all those things and finding all of this information just by having someone visit your web site or finding someone on ICQ really is possible - for people like you and other curious boys and girls, I have written the information gathering tutorial, which can be found at www.securitywriters.org's texts library as well. It will teach you how to do all of those things and much more!

    Chapter I: testing yourself

    How anonymous are YOU?
    Yes, you, right there, on the other side of the monitor. What, you think I can't see you?
    This is the Internet, not Television! Yes, there's a monitor and there are pictures and
    sounds and issues of public interest, but it's completely different! The net controls you!
    The net owns you! Everything you say, everything you do, it's all recorded and stored
    permenantly on a hundred thousand different servers on the Internet! They control
    everything - your computer, your TV set, your phone, your car, your air conditioner, your
    nearest Supermarket's price scanner... even your underwear! They know anything and
    everything, they know me and you, and they know EXACTLY what you've been hiding in your
    socks drawer (naughty naughty you!).

    The above part was completely unnecessary. I just felt like rambling. Anyway, this chapter
    lets you, the reader, venture into the depths of the net (how melodramatic) and try a few
    simple tricks on himself. Let's begin with something easy: a web search.

    Point your browser tohttp://<a rel="nofollow" href="http:...where.com/</a>. Now, see if you can find yourself, and see
    what kind of information you can find about yourself. Try the different searches, and
    click on anything you see. I managed to find my name, Email address, home address, home
    phone number and much more, and I suspect that some of the information was given by my
    ISP, and the rest was given by GeoCities.com, which I signed up for (sometime in 1996, I
    think) when I built my first web site.
    Now let's try something else. We've already concluded that web browsers send out a lot of
    data about you, and that web servers can run software that logs this information and saves
    it for later retrieval. But even people who own small websites and don't have access to
    the actual server and can't install such software on it or access it's logs can still get
    all of this information about their visitors by subscribing to online web statistics
    services. One such service is SuperStats, so point your browser to
    http://www.superstats.com/.
    At SuperStats and other such services, Webmasters can sign up, and then put a small
    portion of HTML code into any of their site's pages and the web stats provider will kick
    in and do the rest whenever someone enters that page. The process is fairly simple: the
    code contains an instruction to the web browser to retrieve a certain image from the
    webstats provider's server. When your browser retrieves that information, it leaves it's
    footprint in the webstats provider's server's log files (web browsers give away a lot of
    information, remember?) and they do the rest of the work.
    Anyway, that site has a "live demo" button which can show you just what kinds of
    information this service (and other similar services) can capture.

    I have just found a web page with a list of "environment variables checkers". These are
    scripts that get those variables that your browser gives away, and can show them to you.
    Check that page out at http://<a rel="nofollow" href="http:...kers.shtml</a>, follow one of the
    links and see how this web script (and any other web site) can find those details with
    extreme ease.

    Now let's try some Emails. Send an Email to yourself, and when you get it, access it's
    full headers. With MS Outlook, you can do that by right-clicking on the message in your
    Inbox and clicking on properties. With Netscape Communicator, this can be done by clicking
    view, the headers, then all. So, now you can see how Emails really look like, and guess
    what? They contain loads of information about you! They can tell anyone who receives or
    intercepts an Email from you lots of details about you, including the Email client you're
    using and your operating system (these details can be used to send OS-specific of
    mailclient-specific viruses to your mailbox, which could infect your computer), and of
    course many other details such as your ISP, the area of your living and more.


    Chapter II: the first step in anonymizing yourself - Anonymous Surfing

    Why would you want to surf anonymously? Let me give you a short reminder, and explain the
    situation a bit further.
    First of all, we concluded that TCP/IP hands in your IP address, and this address can be
    used to find out who your ISP is, and possibly track your geographical location.
    Now you must be asking yourself "why does TCP/IP give this information if people can use
    it to find all of this information about me?". Well, the answer is quite simple. TCP/IP
    has to put your IP address in the IP header of the packets that you send, because
    otherwise, how would the server that you are requesting the web page from know where to
    send it back? If your packets won't contain your IP address or will contain a fake address
    instead, you won't receive the returning packets.
    However, there's a workaround for this. What if you could tell some sort of a public
    computer to retrieve the files for you, and then have the public computer send the files
    to you? That way, the IP address that will appear in the packets will be the address of
    the public computer, and your IP will remain anonymous, right? This is called bouncing,
    because you send the packet to the public computer, and then the public computer sends the
    packet to the web server, so your packet metaphorically "bounces" from one computer to
    another in order to hide your true address. I will explain how to bounce a connection to a
    web site in a few minutes.

    The other problem with TCP/IP is that it gives away your MAC address too. Oh, wait, I
    haven't explained what a MAC address is!

    Info Break: What is a MAC address?

    A MAC (Media Access Control) address (also called an Ethernet address or an IEEE MAC
    address) is a 48-bit number (typically written as twelve hexadecimal digits, 0 through 9
    and A through F, or as six hexadecimal numbers separated by periods or colons, i.e.
    0080002012ef, 0:80:0:2:20:ef) which uniquely identifes a computer that has an Ethernet
    interface. Unlike the IP number, it includes no indication of where your computer is
    located.
    To learn more about MAC addresses, head to whatis.com s definition of a MAC address at
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/WhatIs_...212506,00.html

    Now, why a dial-up Internet user would have a MAC address is really beyond the scope of
    this tutorial, but the point is that you have such a thing, and since it's a 48-bit
    number, there are billions of different combinations and your MAC address can be used to
    identify you (not in a very reliable way, but it has a good enough success percentage).
    This form of identification can be used to track your online shopping habits, for example
    (it is known that some online retailers pass this kind of information from one another).
    So in other words, exposing your MAC address isn't too good either.
    So, the second privacy risk we talked about was your browser giving all this information
    about your computer, right? And of course, your cookies file is being exposed to the
    entire world. Wait, I haven't even explained what cookies are yet!

    Info Break: What are Cookies?

    Webster dictionary defines a "cookie" as:
    1 : a small flat or slightly raised cake
    2 a : an attractive woman <a buxom French cookie who haunts the... colony's one night spot
    -- Newsweek> b : PERSON, GUY <a tough cookie>
    3 cookie : a small file or part of a file stored on a World Wide Web user's computer,
    created and subsequently read by a Web site server, and containing personal information
    (as a user identification code, customized preferences, or a record of pages visited)

    Uhh... ignore the first two. So that's what a cookie is. Web sites can instruct your web
    browser to save information into your cookies file. Ever been to a site that has a login
    prompt that offers you to "remember" your password? That's how it works - your password is
    saved in your cookies file.
    Looking for more information about cookies? Then I suggest that you follow this link:
    http://whatis.techtarget.com/WhatIs_...l?query=cookie
    Now, the problem with the cookies file is that every site can read it, not just the site
    that stored the cookie entry in the first place. Today, most sites save passwords and
    other kinds of sensitive information in an encrypted form, but encryptions can be
    broken... so if you're entering a suspicious site, you might want to access your browser's
    preferences and disable cookies, so the suspicious site won't be able to read them.
    Now, for the workarounds for these problems:

    How to surf anonymously

    There are several ways to surf anonymously. Each way has it's pros and cons (advantages
    and disadvantages, respectively), and blocks different kinds of information from leaking
    out.
    The Anonymizer

    This is probably the easiest way, but also the least convenient way.
    What is the Anonymizer: Anonymizer.com is a service that is given to the web community for
    free, and can be upgraded for a certain amount of cash. Anonymizer.com is also a
    completely anonymous ISP (costs money. More information about this is available at their
    web site).

    Pros: * blocks EVERYTHING - IP, browser information, cookies, anything.
    * Easy to use.

    Cons: * blocks EVERYTHING (what if you wanted to have cookies support or any of the other
    things that Anonymizer blocks off? Oops...)
    * Annoying ads and page delays, but you can remove them by signing up to their premium
    service (costs money).


    Anonymous Proxies

    A more convenient way, but only blocks your IP and your MAC address.
    What are Proxy servers: Proxy servers are bouncers that are meant for people like you and
    me who want to surf anonymously. They will create the connection to the web server for
    you, therefore eliminating all the privacy issues that derive from TCP/IP, but they won't
    protect your cookies file (unless you disable cookies in your browser's preferences dialog
    box), and they won't block off all of the information that your browser sends out.
    However, Proxies have another purpose. Some ISPs have a Proxy server that caches (stores
    on it's hard drive) web sites. The Proxy allows the ISP's users to use it, and when
    someone attempts to retrieve a web page that has already been cached on the Proxy server's
    hard drive, he can receive the files he requested directly from the Proxy server (MUCH
    faster). The Proxy updates it's cache memory several times a day, to make sure that it has
    the most recent version of the websites it cached. Such Proxies can only be used by the
    users of the ISP which owns the Proxies, and they usually aren't anonymous.
    How to use: first of all, you need to find a web Proxy. You can find several working ones
    at Cyberarmy's Proxies list (http://www.cyberarmy.com/lists/proxy/ ) or at Proxys4All
    (http://<a rel="nofollow" href="http:...l.cgi.net/</a> . This site also has links to some other web-based Proxies like
    the Anonymizer). Then, once you have a Proxy's address and the port that it uses to accept
    connections (usually 8080 and 1080), you need to configure your web browser to use it
    (just access the options/preferences page and the rest should be a piece of cake).

    Note: if web pages suddenly become unavailable, it means that your Proxy server has gone
    down (it was shut off, moved to a different address or no longer accepts connections), and
    you must find another Proxy server.
    Pros: * very easy to use - Once you have found a Proxy and configured your web browser to
    use it, you won't have to worry about it anymore.

    Cons: * doesn't block the information that your web browser hands out.
    * Proxies can sometimes go down or stop accepting connections from you for different
    reasons, and you'll be left alone in the dark (until you switch to a different Proxy or
    stop using Proxies at all).
    * Using Proxies can sometime result in slower loading times, if the proxy server is
    overloaded.


    Chaining Proxies

    More security, but longer load times.
    What is chaining Proxies: remember I explained about bouncing? So if you can bounce your
    connection over a Proxy server, why can't you bounce your connection over several Proxy
    servers? Your packets can bounce from one Proxy to another on a line. This is called
    chaining Proxies.
    How to use: it seems that different proxies can be chained in different methods, but most
    Proxies can be chained by separating their addresses with -_-. E.g.:
    http://proxy.spaceproxy.com/-_-http:....securitywrite
    rs.org Try it!
    Don't like this method? Fine, you can also tell your browser to set up chaining for you so
    you won't have to type those long addresses. For more information regarding how to do that
    and pictures explaining exactly what to do, head over to
    http://articles.etecc.com/chaining.php
    You can also try using a program called Webonycer. This program
    can make some peoples' lives a lot easier.

    Pros: * Better security. If someone would really want to trace you, he will have to go
    through a lot more effort to track you down.

    Cons: * Makes pages load much slower (your packets go through a longer route with each
    Proxy in the chain).
    * You become dependant on more Proxies, so if one of the Proxies in the chain goes down,
    then not only that you will need to find another Proxy, you will also face a new problem -
    you won't have a way to tell which Proxy went down (unless you test each Proxy manually).

    Surfing from a Shell Account

    Slower, does not allow graphics but hides EVERYTHING.
    What is surfing from a shell account: you can connect to a free shell account provider and
    use Lynx, a text-based web browser to surf the net. This is another form of bouncing,
    because again, you request another host on the Internet to retrieve the website for you,
    and it sends it back.
    How to use: the easiest way is to connect to a telnet server such as the one at the
    University of Kansas. Click here (telnet://ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu ) to telnet in, and then
    log in as www or lynx and you'll be able to use Lynx to browse.

    Pros: * Hides EVERYTHING.

    Cons: * Hides EVERYTHING (in case you didn't want to hide some of the details or use your
    cookies).
    * Slower than direct surfing (like every kind of bouncing).
    * No graphics support (this is Lynx, after all. It does not support graphics, and neither
    does it support Java, Flash and other things that require a graphical display).

    Those are some of the things you can do in order to surf anonymously. Of course, there are
    other methods - there always are. I tried to give you a general taste of the mostly-used
    methods. If you wish to learn more about this topic, the web is wide-open, and web
    searches (especially at google.com, which is by the way my favorite search engine) could
    find you everything.

    P.S. don't forget the third reason for privacy intrusions: stupid users! Make sure that a
    site has a privacy policy before you enter any private details into a form!


    Chapter III: Internet Relay Chat - can it be anonymous?

    IRC, Internet Relay Chat, is a great way to expose yourself to the world. Really, IRC and
    privacy don't go well together. However, online privacy on IRC has been steadily
    improving.

    The Risks of IRC

    Any common IRC'er can easily fetch several details about you. First of all, there's your
    IP address. Anyone could type /whois your-nick and see your IP address. Furthermore, that
    person can also initiate a DCC (Direct Client Connection) connection with you for a file
    transfer or for a DCC chat session and obtain your IP by using a program that comes with
    every Internet-enabled Unix/Linux/Windows installation - netstat. Netstat allows you to
    view every connection made by or with your system over the Internet, and its status. Once
    you accept a DCC request from an attacker, he can find your IP because there is a direct
    connection between you and him, so netstat would show your IP.
    But the fun doesn't stop there. There's also a big deal with the details you provide the
    IRC server with, such as your Email address and your real name, if you have entered those
    details. There's also the risk of compromising your passwords: several IRC services, such
    as chanserv and nickserv, require you to enter a password which you can choose by yourself.
    When choosing your password, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT choose the same password that you
    used for something else. In fact, it is advised not to use any password twice anytime,
    anywhere, but IRC is one of the worst places to use a password twice.
    If someone manages to get your password by either breaking into the IRC server or by
    pretending he's an IRCop and asking for your password, he could use this password to gain
    access to anywhere else you may have used this password (other services, your Email
    account, your web site, your shell account etc'). Also, it's quite easy to turn in your
    password by mistake. Many times I have seen people typing in their passwords into a
    channel instead of into a message window, thus revealing their passwords to practically
    the entire world!


    Anonymizing yourself on IRC

    There are several steps you can take in order to assure your online anonymity on IRC:

    1. Don't type in your real name and your real Email address when your IRC client asks you
    to, unless you want them revealed.
    2. Don't use any passwords you use on IRC for anything else.
    3. Choose IRC networks that hide your IP address! Also, when connecting to a new network,
    read the motd (Message Of The Day) by typing /motd and see if there's anything about
    hiding your IP address. IRC servers that claim to hide your address usually spoof the last
    part of your address (the last 8-bit digit), like that - 62.0.75.spoofed, which is enough
    in most cases.
    4. Do not accept DCC requests from people you don't know. Even if the IRC server hides
    your IP, it will be revealed through a DCC connection since DCC is direct, and does not go
    through the IRC server (that's why it is called Direct Client Connection).
    5. Many servers hide your real IP address, but some require you to tell them to do so. In
    order to do that, you must type either /mode your-nick +x (replace your-nick with your
    nickname) or /mode your-nick +z , depending on the server.
    If you want further anonymity, you may also want to use www.suid.net , the world's only (as far
    as I know) encrypted IRC network. It is also considered secure because of the considerably
    low number of netsplits, but that's beyond the scope of this tutorial.



    Chapter IV: ICQ - the worst thing that ever happened to privacy


    ICQ is considered by most to be a security threat to its users. During the course of its
    evolution, it has suffered from many serious bugs and vulnerabilities, such as
    vulnerabilities that allowed malicious users to probe another user for a lot of
    information, or to launch attacks with serious effects, ranging from flooding the user's
    ICQ client with messages, causing it to crash, stealing his password or even breaking into
    his computer.

    Vulnerabilities have come and gone, but many have stayed. During this tutorial, we will
    focus on the simple vulnerability, which is caused by the way that ICQ works, and
    therefore hasn't been patched. It's the vulnerability that allows anyone to view your IP
    address, and it exists because ICQ is a client-to-client program.

    Even if you tell ICQ not to reveal your IP in the preferences dialog box, under privacy,
    there are other ways a malicious user might try to find it other than looking at your info
    and expecting to find it there. Since ICQ is a client-to-client program, messages and
    other ICQ events are transferred directly from one host to another, without the
    interference of a server, meaning that if you send someone a message or someone sends you
    a message, a socket is created between your computer and the other person's computer. What
    does this mean? This means that anyone who sends or receives an ICQ event from you can use
    programs such as netstat to view all existing connections, spot the one that belongs to
    you and get your IP address!
    Go ahead, try it. Press start, run, and then type command. A DOS window will appear. Type
    netstat -A and you will receive a list of existing connections, their status and other
    basic information about them, as well as the IP of the other host which is connected to
    you through that socket (unless this is a listening socket, which is waiting for a host to
    connect to it. A listening socket will not give you a "Foreign Address".

    So why doesn't Mirabilis change that? Why doesn't it change ICQ so all events are
    transferred through the server, so attackers will send and receive events to and from the
    server and thus will be unable to find other people's IPs? Simple. Because what kind of a
    mad man would want all those millions of ICQ users moving their traffic through his
    server? And though AOL (the current owners of Mirabilis) has a lot of money and can
    probably pay for all this bandwidth, why would they do that? They don't care about your
    security, and they won't spend an extra cent to improve it. As a result to that, new
    versions of the ICQ client are released without being properly tested, and new holes are
    being frequently discovered.
    Of course, the fault is not Mirabilis's alonel. There are also several user-inherent
    problems, caused by users that reveal private information by writing it into their user
    account info. Everyone can view your info, so don't reveal anything that you wouldn't like
    to when you fill out the form in the ICQ account preferences dialog box.


    Chapter V: Electronic Mail - encryption and headers

    Email, too, is not as innocent as it may seem. In order to teach you why, and how to make
    your Emails a bit more anonymous, you should learn about Email headers.

    E-mail headers appear at the top of every Email message that you receive, although you may
    not see them unless you tell your Email client to show them (Outlook users: right-click on
    the message in the inbox window and choose properties, then details. Netscape Messenger
    users: press view, then headers, then all). Email headers contain all sorts of details,
    some of which are collected by the SMTP server which the sender used to send his Email,
    some have to do with the process of the delivery of the message and some are other
    details, like the MID (Message ID). Let's take a typical header for example:

    Code:


    Envelope-to: raven-at-mail.box.sk
    Received: from [194.90.1.9] (helo=mailgw2.netvision.net.il)
    by dwarf.box.sk with esmtp (Exim 3.20 #1 (Debian))
    id 155wUP-00015d-00
    for <raven-at-mail.box.sk>; Fri, 01 Jun 2001 23:29:50 +0200
    Received: from ***sender's name removed*** (ras1-p88.hfa.netvision.net.il [62.0.96.88])
    by mailgw2.netvision.net.il (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id AAA14549
    for <raven-at-mail.box.sk>; Sat, 2 Jun 2001 00:32:06 +0300 (IDT)
    From: "***sender's name removed***" <***sender's address removed***>
    To: "Raven" <raven-at-mail.box.sk>
    Subject: securitywriters.org
    Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 00:24:30 +0200
    Message-ID: <MABBIBPFAKENJLPBHEDLAEAHCAAA.***sender's address removed***>
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset="windows-1255"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2910.0)
    Importance: Normal
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2615.200
    Status:


    Well, that's nice. Look at all this information which is hidden in every Email message you
    send! Everyone with a bit of knowledge about Email headers can find out lots of details
    about you. Of course, I had to remove the sender's name and Email address in order to
    preserve his privacy, but I left the rest of the details untouched.
    So, what do we have here? Except for the regular details (sender's Email address and his
    name, which he defined for his Email client when he first configured it), we also have the
    sender's IP address (or the IP address he had while he sent the mail, in case he has a
    dynamic IP address).

    Another thing you should do if you wish to achieve maximum privacy is to encrypt your
    Emails. That way, you can assure that noone who intercepts your message in one way or
    another, or breaks into the recipient's Email account will be able to read it. PGP is the
    most common mean of encrypting Email. Get it from PGP International.
    Info Break: What is a dynamic IP address

    Dynamic IP addresses, as opposed to static IP addresses, change every time you go online.
    While users with a permanent connection have a static IP which does not change, dial-up
    users and other kinds of users which don't have a permanent connection receive a different
    IP address each time they go online.

    But that's not all. In addition to the sender's IP address, we can also tell what Email
    client software he used (unless he forged these details, but that's beyond the scope of
    this tutorial. If you wish to learn how to do that, consult Raven's Introduction to
    Complete Newbies and Hacker Wannabes, Episode I). There are several steps you can take in
    order to hide those and other details about yourself.

    1. Use an Email client that doesn't identify itself (there are several ones on the net. Do
    a web search), or send Emails by connecting to an SMTP server with Telnet and sending the
    Emails manually. If you wish to learn how to do that, consult the Hack FAQ.
    2. Use anonymous remailers.
    3. Use any other method of bouncing your connection, such as bouncing it over a shell
    account or a Wingate computer or any other kind of proxy that will allow you to bounce a
    connection to port 25 (that's the port which SMTP servers listen to, and that's the port
    an Email client connects to when sending Emails).




    Chapter VI: Usenet - not just news anymore

    Once a huge Internet community, Usenet is now known by a very small percentage of the
    users in the world. Usenet is like a BBS, which is a Bulletin Board System. Basically it's
    very much alike today's forums, which every self-respecting site or portal now has.
    Messages, also known as articles or posts are stored in a central database where users can
    browse through the articles to find the piece they want. Indexing and cross-referencing
    options are also available. This is very helpful because it is easy to find the
    information you need, and it's much more convenient to have a central server than having
    all of this content stored on your computer.
    By posting to Usenet, you reveal your Email address. This means two things:

    1. You cannot post anonymously.
    2. You are very likely to receive junk mail.


    How do we get rid of that problem and post to Usenet while keeping our Email addresses
    private, then?
    Well, there are several methods.

    1. Use a commercial service for posting messages anonymously. Some are free, some cost
    money, but anyway, it's worth it. I recommend trying services such as
    http://<a rel="nofollow" href="http:...erver.com/</a>
    http://www.mailanon.com/ (has a 7 day trial period) and
    http://www.deja.com/
    2. Don't post with your real Email address. Instead, open up another address for posting
    on Usenet at Hotmail, for example.
    3. Use a mail-to-news gateway service to post. Such services allow you to post to Usenet
    by Email. But instead of sending your Emailed posts from your real address, send it from a
    fake address or using an anonymous remailer.
    4. Last but not least, some of the services listed above will still reveal your IP
    address. In order not to reveal it, use a proxy server to bounce your connection over it,
    so only the proxy's IP address will be revealed.



    Chapter VII: Spyware

    Since the collapse of the NASDAQ, software companies have been trying to find new ways to
    make money. They realized that shareware doesn't work - most people prefer not to buy the
    full program or download a crack for the program and get all of its features rather than
    to pay for it, and only a few people actually buy software. Several solutions were
    invented. One of those is Adware.
    Adware is software that contains advertisements, which earn revenue for the software
    company that distributed the program. However, the Internet advertising business is
    sinking, and advertisers pay less for advertisement space on the Internet. This is why
    Spyware was invented.
    Spyware is a program that literally spies on its user. There are different kinds of
    Spyware programs, which differ from one another by the kind of information they collect.
    Some collect information about what kinds of programs are installed on your computer,
    others collect information about your surfing habits and others may get your Email address
    and the addresses of all those in your address book and sell them to spammers for tons of
    cash (as far as I know, the standard fee for a thousand valid Email addresses is
    approximately 100$). As far as I know, some may go as far as recording conversations you
    have over the Internet.
    This information is later sold for a lot of money to different companies that may be
    interested in this kind of information (trust me, there are a lot). This is bad because:

    1. This hurts your privacy.
    2. Transmitting the data which the program collected wastes your bandwidth.



    To fight Spyware, you can use programs that detect and remove Spyware from your computer,
    such as OptOut and Ad Aware. You can find these programs at every self-respecting download
    site.

    Here's how to remove Spyware:
    There are many online forums, chatrooms and websites that deal with Spyware. Google.com,
    the best search engine in the world (in my opinion) lists over 32,000 different webpages
    that mention the word Spyware at the moment, and that's a lot, considering the fact that
    this is a relatively new topic.
    Many sites offer lists of Spyware programs and information about them (including
    information on which files to remove in order to disable the program's spying abilities).
    Do a web search, you'll find plenty.

    Chapter VIII: Browser History, Cache, Cookies and Autocomplete

    Your own Internet browser can turn you in! Imagine what would happen if your girlfriend
    would find out about all those sex sites you surf to, or if your boss would find out where
    you've been surfing while you were supposed to do some work, or some idiot posting some
    embarrassing items out of your browser's history. Unless you know how to properly clean
    your browser's history, you'd never know when you'd get caught with your pants down
    (literally).
    Your browser's cache database is also a problem. But first of all, we have to understand
    what cache means.
    Info Break: What is cache?

    Cache is defined as a storage area that contains data that your computer will need to use
    in a short time. There are different hardware and software that use cache. For example,
    every modern CPU (Central Processing Unit) has a cache memory chip installed next to it,
    which stores data that the CPU will need shortly. Accessing the cache is much faster than
    accessing any other kind of storage device, and takes a lot of load off your RAM.
    Internet browsers also use a certain form of cache memory. They save web pages, including
    pictures, on your hard drive. Then, the next time you access those sites, your computer
    will access the site from the local cache instead of from the Internet. In order to assure
    that the version of the site which is stored on your local cache on your hard drive is up
    to date, your browser compares the size of the files in your cache to the size of the
    files on the web server and download whatever has been changed. If you wish to download a
    site from the Internet completely and overlook the local cache, you can either set your
    browser's preferences to do so or press Refresh (IE) or Reload (Netscape).
    The size of your browser's cache can be limited to a certain amount, if you wish to save
    disk space, but know this about any kind of cache space - the bigger, the better.

    Now that you know what your browser's cache is used for, you have probably realized that
    cache is a privacy risk. People can search your cache memory to find out which sites are
    cached, therefore learn where you've been surfing recently. However, unlike clearing your
    browser's history, clearing your cache has a drawback to it - you'll have to download the
    pages that were deleted from your cache again the next time you go there instead of being
    able to load them from your cache.
    Another risk is cookies. We've already established what these are in the first chapter, so
    let's suppose that you know what they're for. So obviously, if you have a cookie that,
    say, saves your username and password for some sex site so you won't have to type them in
    every time you enter the site, won't anyone who is able to lay hands on your cookies file
    know that you've been there? Unfortunately, clearing your cookies has its drawback as well
    - you'll have to delete all those stored preferences and passwords, so do this only if you
    wish to obtain maximum privacy at this high cost.

    And finally, there's another risk that only exists for IE users. This is called
    Autocomplete. Autocomplete is a new IE feature that allows IE to remember what you typed
    into web forms and allow you to enter the same data into them the next time you visit that
    site in a mouseclick. I'm sure you can already imagine what huge privacy risks this
    involves...
    I will explain how to clear your browser's history, your cache and your cookies to IE and
    Netscape users, and how to turn off Autocomplete to IE users, since these are the most
    common Internet browsers. Those using other browsers will have to look up information on
    their own.

    How to clear your browser's history:

    There are several ways to do this. First of all, you can do this manually. Instead of
    explaining here, I've decided to refer you to this site, because it has images along with
    the explanations of how to clear your history. Make sure that the cleanup removed the
    records of the sites you've been to both from your history page and the address pulldown
    box, which also shows the last places you've been to.

    If you'd rather automate the process, you can use a number of very useful tools, such as
    Evidence Eliminator (a very famous program. It also cleans up other kinds of evidence that
    don't have anything to do with Internet surfing), Cover Your Tracks, Don't Panic, Siege
    Washer, Webwasher (a personal favorite) and ComClear (for those who use Netscape under
    Linux and other Unix variants. Has both a graphical, GTK+-based interface and a textual
    interface). Many of the programs listed above can also delete your cookies and clear your
    cache.

    How to clear your browser's cookies:

    Cookies are very easy to get rid of. The safest way to get rid of your cookies is to
    delete the cookies file, a plain text file often found somewhere under the directory where
    your browser has been installed. If you wish, you can also use programs such as Deleting
    Cookies, which does the job.

    How to clear your browser's cache:
    To delete your cache, just do as follows:
    Internet Explorer users, go to the Control Panel, then choose Internet Options and choose
    to delete your temporary Internet files (that's how IE calls your cache).
    Netscape users, go to the preferences dialog box, then open the advanced category, click
    on cache and choose to clear both the disk cache and the memory cache.
    How to turn off Autocomplete:
    Open up Control Panel, click on Internet Options, then go to the advanced tab and remove
    the tick mark from Autocomplete (turned off by default).


    A Final Word

    The object of this tutorial was to teach you how unsafe the Internet is and how many
    privacy risks there are on the net, in hope to educate the average net user to become more
    aware of risks and take steps to improve his privacy.
    I believe that online privacy is very important, because if your computer is exposed,
    everyone in the world can peek in. Just like you won't give away your house key to
    strangers, you should preserve your anonymity and privacy on the net. After all, it's your
    right.
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  2. #2
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    767

    Cool lol

    I red that a while back its outdated if you want up-to-date go here:

    www.windowssecurity.com
    www.cert.org
    www.sans.org
    www.foundstone.com
    www.neworder.box.sk
    www.wilders.org

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    220
    thats nice one... very informative
    Now is the moment, or NEVER!!!
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  4. #4
    Fastest Thing Alive s0nIc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,584
    so far the best tip i can give for now (at 11pm on a saturday night), is that it is handy to have multiple accounts and identities. use false names and false info. and dont use same passwords for most of your account. have priority passwords, its basically where you use a certain password based on the importance of the account. and if u do make multiple identities, do a reseach and memorize the details of each identity, ie. john doe who lives in NY and postcode is 20001, somewhere in Elm Street. www.whitepages.com is very handy for that. or if i want a diff nationality, try www.whitepages.it or www.whitepages.com.au.
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