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Staying Anonymous in a High Risk Activity (xpost from /r/ShadowWar)

👀
To preface this topic, I must state that I am not advocating any immoral activity. Also please note, that just because something is illegal, does not necessary mean that it must be immoral. Remember that the Civil Rights Act was not passed until 1964 - just over 50 years ago. Just because something is enshrined into law, does not mean that it is moral and just.
That said, there may come a time in your life where you decide that you must do something that is going to piss off someone with the means to hurt you. For the purposes of this Topic, let us pretend you have compromising files that detail illegal activity, and you want to release it onto the internet. The pressing question is, how do you release your content without revealing who you are and putting yourself and/or your loved ones in danger?
Let's do our best to come up with as many countermeasures as we can.
Why Become an Anonymous Whistleblower?
The government and/or your workplace will tell you that there is a Whistleblower program in place, and that you should make use of it if you witness any wrongdoing. You will need to use your own judgement, on whether to use this program, or if you should instead become an internet whistleblower. Every situation is different.
What I CAN say, however, is that it is in the nature of government to seek unlimited power. EVERY government in the world would eventually strip their citizens of all rights and control their every move and thought, IF they thought they could get away with it. Similarly, individuals and corporations (and yes, governments) will risk fines and jail time by doing something illegal, if they think that it is worth the risk of getting caught.
You see examples of this everywhere. One of the easiest-to-find examples is when a car manufacturer doesn't bother to fix a fatal defect because the cost of fixing it is greater than the cost of the lawsuits from the inevitable deaths (link). Even when they DO get caught, the penalty isn't even that bad because the fines are for some odd reason TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
When the government does something illegal, they KNOW they're doing something illegal. They just do it anyway because they can get away with it, and because they hide it well enough. When someone steps forward and says "hey, this isn't right!", the government's reaction is NOT to say "oh, that person is right, we should correct things and be sure to follow the law!" Instead, what they think is "oh no, this guy is going to tell on us, and if word gets out, then it will be a setback in our quest for power! we need to make sure our secret stays hidden! how do we go about doing that...?"
The answer is typically to threaten to ruin the potential whistleblower's life in some way. Maybe they get transferred to another department. Maybe they get fired for being 1 minute late. Maybe the whistleblower made the complaint official so they go for a gag order. Or maybe the problem is big enough that they hack their emails and start a smear and discrediation campaign. Sprinkle a little crack on them. Plant child pornography on their hard drive. Use their SSN and credit cards to ruin them financially. Or maybe they just put a couple bullets in them.
The government doesn't want you to right wrongs. The government just wants power. If you uncover illegal activity, you must determine if reporting the violation through official channels will actually fix the problem, or if you must do your best to raise a public stink about it. This also applies to corporations. Be wary of dealing with HR - they exist to protect the company, not you.
"It's Just Metadata"
When solid evidence of mass survillence was revealed, one of the arguments that the government used to try to downplay it is that they were not actually collecting message contents, but instead only collecting the metadata (sender, reciever, date and time, etc). First off, this is bullshit - they are obviously collecting the message contents too. Second off, METADATA IS FUCKING IMPORTANT. You can put together a pretty clear picture of exactly what is happening, just from metadata. Metadata is basically a smoking gun to the message or file contents.
The scary thing is, most tech-savy people - myself included - are not able to guarantee that they can clean ALL of the metadata from a file. And not only is metadata stored on the operating system level (on the "outside" of files), but the program that created the file in the first place probably has its own metadata INSIDE the file. And there's no way you can trust "metadata-cleaner-v0.6.exe" (now with the Ask toolbar!) to keep you out of jail.
You must assume that the original files that you copy and intend to leak, are littered with metadata that very very clearly identifies you as the leaker.
To combat this, there are several steps you can take.
  1. DO NOT leak the original untouched files. Certainly keep a copy of them, but original files might have your digital fingerprints all over it, and will put you at risk. Instead, copy or transcribe the contents, and place it into a new file, and be sure to do it on a computer that cannot be traced back to you or any of your accounts.
  2. Modify the contents of the file. When pasting text, you should strongly consider pasting the contents format-free (control-shift-v) (or use Notepad as an intermediary). Depending on how paranoid you are about this, also consider converting everything to upper-case or lower-case. If images are involved, resize them slightly. Also, especially if the image is a .jpg, save with a slightly reduced quality to introduce noise or to destroy "invisible" markers that the human eye cannot detect. Also be aware that documents might have deliberate variations, depending on the person who accessed them. This could be hidden in typos, punctuation, capitalization, even full words or sentences. The document you plan on leaking might actually be trapped.
  3. You must also consider who had access to the file? Are you the only one? Because if you are, then taking every precaution possible will not help you. Is it a limited group of people? You are going to be placed under a microscope. The more people that "could have" done it, the better. You need to be able to hide in a crowd of suspects - the larger the pool of suspicion, the better.
This is in no way a comprehensive list. The reality is, the offending organization has as many tools at their disposal as they can imagine. You must try to determine the level of risk yourself, and what the most likely countermeasures would be, and adjust your strategy to circumvent them. Be smart, and careful, and paranoid. And honestly, you should seriously consider using a journalist instead of doing this yourself.
There is also one more matter to be careful of... the actual file contents itself. You have to read it, and you have to determine if any innocent person would be put in danger if you leak the information. And then you must determine if leaking the document is still worth it.
Doing the Deed
There are a number of precautions that you can take when you need to remain anonymous for an online activity. Some of these are pretty basic. Others of these are more extreme. It is up to you to determine which measures are appropriate, to protect yourself from the risks you are about to take.
  1. Do not use any computer that is associated with you or anyone else you know. You should buy a laptop off of Craigslist. Do not use your real phone number, or real email address, or your real name, etc. When arranging to buy this laptop, you should ideally not be using your own computer or internet connection to communicate with the seller. Using your laptop with a Tails linux live CD in a coffee shop is typically secure enough though, for this particular activity. Buy the laptop using cash. Try to not give the seller any reason to remember you.
  2. Remove the hard drive from your newly acquired laptop. Only boot up on a Tails live cd. Read up on spoofing your MAC address. Never switch on the laptop at home, or use your home internet connection. Never connect to any of your personal online accounts using this laptop. Never use this laptop to browse the internet - your browsing behaviors could get the laptop/connection "fingerprinted" back to you. This is a "dark" laptop, and you should take every measure to keep it that way.
  3. I do not know if it is even possible to aonymously buy a burner phone in the United States. But if you absolutely need one, try to do it as anonymously as possible, using all of the other tips listed here, and then some. Use cash, avoid cameras, avoid local shops,
  4. Do all of your preparations offline. Only connect to the internet for the amount of time you need to perform your activity, and no longer. Every second you spend online increases your exposure and threat. This is very similar to the concept of military radios that transmit in encrypted bursts, to help prevent enemy interception and triangulation.
  5. Only use public hotspots, when you connect to the internet. And assume that every time you hop online, someone puts a pin in a map where you are. This means, do not use hotspots near your home. Do not use the same hotspot twice.
  6. Use TOR. It's not perfect, and I have my suspicious about government infiltration of the network. But it's FAR better than nothing. In addition, you should also use a VPN if you can. This is far more difficult though, since VPNs are generally not free. Check /VPN, for assistance in researching this topic though, I think there might be a few, albiet with limited bandwidth. If you need to buy a VPN, use bitcoin (/bitcoin), instead of your credit card. Reasons should be obvious enough.
  7. Avoid cameras, CCTV, and traffic cameras. This is especially difficult this day in age, but try to make an effort to anyway, without appearing suspicious. Maybe call off your upload / activity, if there were too many cameras. If your adversary is strong enough, you must assume that they will pinpoint the location you used, and long after you're gone, they might arrive on the scene to confiscate security footage from the surrounding area.
  8. Consider anti-facial-recognition makeup and clothing. Note, this only fools facial recognition software, and should only be used if circumstances warrant (aka, they already know who you are, and are looking for you). This type of behavior will INSTANTLY cause everyone around you to pay attention to you. A realistic silicon mask and makeup is probably a superior alternative, if you have access to that sort of thing, to make an old-fashioned disguise, but takes a bit more effort.
  9. In extreme cases, consider performing a surreptitious upload. For example, maybe you can leave your laptop in a bag, and have it automatically connect to a coffee shop's WiFi and perform a task and then disconnect, while you pretend to work on a paper, or chat up the cute girl with the glasses. If you are this worried though, you might be better off not even entering the building with the hotspot in the first place. If you need to put even more distance between you and your internet access, consider using a directional WiFi antenna. Naturally, you might want to build it yourself, as opposed to buying one on Amazon.
As you can see, possible methods for avoiding detection start to become increasingly ridiculous. Every measure has a countermeasure. You must determine the likely measures that will be used to find you, and focus on countering those. If you have the spare time, then take it a few steps further. But at some point, a budget for time, alabi windows, and resources avaialble to perform countermeasures start to become stretched thin.
Hitting The Fan
Despite being more careful than you thought humanly possible, there is always the possibility that will get caught. Maybe you leave your fingerprint on a spoon. Maybe a random camera catches your face. Maybe you brag about it on Facebook. Maybe your moment of doing the right thing was witnessed by a 192 megapixel camera with a wide angle lense, mounted on the bottom of a Cessna and flown in lazy circles around the city at an altitude of 8000 feet while recording everything within 30 miles, allowing law enforcement to rewind the footage to locate you at the scene, and then fast forward while tracking your movements to find out where you live.
I guess that last one was oddly specific... (link)
The point is, you need a plan for when things go south. Edward Snowden's plan was to fly to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. Most of us aren't going to need that extreme of a getaway plan, but picking a country you would flee to in such a hypothetical sitaution is amusing by itself. (Relavant Wikipedia Article)
Depending on the severity of your actions, it might be wise to leave the country BEFORE you publish your dirt. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, withdraw as much cash as you can comfortably / legally travel with, and transfer your remaining assets to a safe international bank. I'm not an expert on international finance, if you have enough assets you would likely want to speak to a lawyer to make sure your funds don't get frozen or confiscated.
For the rest of us who are not on the top of the international most wanted list, you may want to pre-plan a legal defense.
Or you could just take up a hobby. I hear handcuffing yourself in a duffel bag in your bath tub and padlocking it from the outside so you can practice escaping is a pretty fun and safe solo activity. (link)
submitted by primo_pastafarian to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Topic 5: Staying Anonymous in a High Risk Activity

To preface this topic, I must state that I am not advocating any immoral activity. Also please note, that just because something is illegal, does not necessary mean that it must be immoral. Remember that the Civil Rights Act was not passed until 1964 - just over 50 years ago. Just because something is enshrined into law, does not mean that it is moral and just.
That said, there may come a time in your life where you decide that you must do something that is going to piss off someone with the means to hurt you. For the purposes of this Topic, let us pretend you have compromising files that detail illegal activity, and you want to release it onto the internet. The pressing question is, how do you release your content without revealing who you are and putting yourself and/or your loved ones in danger?
Let's do our best to come up with as many countermeasures as we can.
Why Become an Anonymous Whistleblower?
The government and/or your workplace will tell you that there is a Whistleblower program in place, and that you should make use of it if you witness any wrongdoing. You will need to use your own judgement, on whether to use this program, or if you should instead become an internet whistleblower. Every situation is different.
What I CAN say, however, is that it is in the nature of government to seek unlimited power. EVERY government in the world would eventually strip their citizens of all rights and control their every move and thought, IF they thought they could get away with it. Similarly, individuals and corporations (and yes, governments) will risk fines and jail time by doing something illegal, if they think that it is worth the risk of getting caught.
You see examples of this everywhere. One of the easiest-to-find examples is when a car manufacturer doesn't bother to fix a fatal defect because the cost of fixing it is greater than the cost of the lawsuits from the inevitable deaths (link). Even when they DO get caught, the penalty isn't even that bad because the fines are for some odd reason TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
When the government does something illegal, they KNOW they're doing something illegal. They just do it anyway because they can get away with it, and because they hide it well enough. When someone steps forward and says "hey, this isn't right!", the government's reaction is NOT to say "oh, that person is right, we should correct things and be sure to follow the law!" Instead, what they think is "oh no, this guy is going to tell on us, and if word gets out, then it will be a setback in our quest for power! we need to make sure our secret stays hidden! how do we go about doing that...?"
The answer is typically to threaten to ruin the potential whistleblower's life in some way. Maybe they get transferred to another department. Maybe they get fired for being 1 minute late. Maybe the whistleblower made the complaint official so they go for a gag order. Or maybe the problem is big enough that they hack their emails and start a smear and discrediation campaign. Sprinkle a little crack on them. Plant child pornography on their hard drive. Use their SSN and credit cards to ruin them financially. Or maybe they just put a couple bullets in them.
The government doesn't want you to right wrongs. The government just wants power. If you uncover illegal activity, you must determine if reporting the violation through official channels will actually fix the problem, or if you must do your best to raise a public stink about it. This also applies to corporations. Be wary of dealing with HR - they exist to protect the company, not you.
"It's Just Metadata"
When solid evidence of mass survillence was revealed, one of the arguments that the government used to try to downplay it is that they were not actually collecting message contents, but instead only collecting the metadata (sender, reciever, date and time, etc). First off, this is bullshit - they are obviously collecting the message contents too. Second off, METADATA IS FUCKING IMPORTANT. You can put together a pretty clear picture of exactly what is happening, just from metadata. Metadata is basically a smoking gun to the message or file contents.
The scary thing is, most tech-savy people - myself included - are not able to guarantee that they can clean ALL of the metadata from a file. And not only is metadata stored on the operating system level (on the "outside" of files), but the program that created the file in the first place probably has its own metadata INSIDE the file. And there's no way you can trust "metadata-cleaner-v0.6.exe" (now with the Ask toolbar!) to keep you out of jail.
You must assume that the original files that you copy and intend to leak, are littered with metadata that very very clearly identifies you as the leaker.
To combat this, there are several steps you can take.
  1. DO NOT leak the original untouched files. Certainly keep a copy of them, but original files might have your digital fingerprints all over it, and will put you at risk. Instead, copy or transcribe the contents, and place it into a new file, and be sure to do it on a computer that cannot be traced back to you or any of your accounts.
  2. Modify the contents of the file. When pasting text, you should strongly consider pasting the contents format-free (control-shift-v) (or use Notepad as an intermediary). Depending on how paranoid you are about this, also consider converting everything to upper-case or lower-case. If images are involved, resize them slightly. Also, especially if the image is a .jpg, save with a slightly reduced quality to introduce noise or to destroy "invisible" markers that the human eye cannot detect. Also be aware that documents might have deliberate variations, depending on the person who accessed them. This could be hidden in typos, punctuation, capitalization, even full words or sentences. The document you plan on leaking might actually be trapped.
  3. You must also consider who had access to the file? Are you the only one? Because if you are, then taking every precaution possible will not help you. Is it a limited group of people? You are going to be placed under a microscope. The more people that "could have" done it, the better. You need to be able to hide in a crowd of suspects - the larger the pool of suspicion, the better.
This is in no way a comprehensive list. The reality is, the offending organization has as many tools at their disposal as they can imagine. You must try to determine the level of risk yourself, and what the most likely countermeasures would be, and adjust your strategy to circumvent them. Be smart, and careful, and paranoid. And honestly, you should seriously consider using a journalist instead of doing this yourself.
There is also one more matter to be careful of... the actual file contents itself. You have to read it, and you have to determine if any innocent person would be put in danger if you leak the information. And then you must determine if leaking the document is still worth it.
Doing the Deed
There are a number of precautions that you can take when you need to remain anonymous for an online activity. Some of these are pretty basic. Others of these are more extreme. It is up to you to determine which measures are appropriate, to protect yourself from the risks you are about to take.
  1. Do not use any computer that is associated with you or anyone else you know. You should buy a laptop off of Craigslist. Do not use your real phone number, or real email address, or your real name, etc. When arranging to buy this laptop, you should ideally not be using your own computer or internet connection to communicate with the seller. Using your laptop with a Tails linux live CD in a coffee shop is typically secure enough though, for this particular activity. Buy the laptop using cash. Try to not give the seller any reason to remember you.
  2. Remove the hard drive from your newly acquired laptop. Only boot up on a Tails live cd. Read up on spoofing your MAC address. Never switch on the laptop at home, or use your home internet connection. Never connect to any of your personal online accounts using this laptop. Never use this laptop to browse the internet - your browsing behaviors could get the laptop/connection "fingerprinted" back to you. This is a "dark" laptop, and you should take every measure to keep it that way.
  3. I do not know if it is even possible to aonymously buy a burner phone in the United States. But if you absolutely need one, try to do it as anonymously as possible, using all of the other tips listed here, and then some. Use cash, avoid cameras, avoid local shops,
  4. Do all of your preparations offline. Only connect to the internet for the amount of time you need to perform your activity, and no longer. Every second you spend online increases your exposure and threat. This is very similar to the concept of military radios that transmit in encrypted bursts, to help prevent enemy interception and triangulation.
  5. Only use public hotspots, when you connect to the internet. And assume that every time you hop online, someone puts a pin in a map where you are. This means, do not use hotspots near your home. Do not use the same hotspot twice. Make sure the "map" of every hotspot you've used doesn't center on your home, or even the town you live in.
  6. Use TOR. It's not perfect, and I have my suspicious about government infiltration of the network. But it's FAR better than nothing. In addition, you should also use a VPN if you can. This is far more difficult though, since VPNs are generally not free. Check /VPN, for assistance in researching this topic though, I think there might be a few, albiet with limited bandwidth. If you need to buy a VPN, use bitcoin (/bitcoin), instead of your credit card. Reasons should be obvious enough.
  7. Avoid cameras, CCTV, and traffic cameras. This is especially difficult this day in age, but try to make an effort to anyway, without appearing suspicious. Maybe call off your upload / activity, if there were too many cameras. If your adversary is strong enough, you must assume that they will pinpoint the location you used, and long after you're gone, they might arrive on the scene to confiscate security footage from the surrounding area.
  8. Consider anti-facial-recognition makeup and clothing. Note, this only fools facial recognition software, and should only be used if circumstances warrant (aka, they already know who you are, and are looking for you). This type of behavior will INSTANTLY cause everyone around you to pay attention to you. A realistic silicon mask and makeup is probably a superior alternative, if you have access to that sort of thing, to make an old-fashioned disguise, but takes a bit more effort.
  9. In extreme cases, consider performing a surreptitious upload. For example, maybe you can leave your laptop in a bag, and have it automatically connect to a coffee shop's WiFi and perform a task and then disconnect, while you pretend to work on a paper, or chat up the cute girl with the glasses. If you are this worried though, you might be better off not even entering the building with the hotspot in the first place. If you need to put even more distance between you and your internet access, consider using a directional WiFi antenna. Naturally, you might want to build it yourself, as opposed to buying one on Amazon.
As you can see, possible methods for avoiding detection start to become increasingly ridiculous. Every measure has a countermeasure. You must determine the likely measures that will be used to find you, and focus on countering those. If you have the spare time, then take it a few steps further. But at some point, a budget for time, alabi windows, and resources avaialble to perform countermeasures start to become stretched thin.
Hitting The Fan
Despite being more careful than you thought humanly possible, there is always the possibility that will get caught. Maybe you leave your fingerprint on a spoon. Maybe a random camera catches your face. Maybe you brag about it on Facebook. Maybe your moment of doing the right thing was witnessed by a 192 megapixel camera with a wide angle lense, mounted on the bottom of a Cessna and flown in lazy circles around the city at an altitude of 8000 feet while recording everything within 30 miles, allowing law enforcement to rewind the footage to locate you at the scene, and then fast forward while tracking your movements to find out where you live.
I guess that last one was oddly specific... (link)
The point is, you need a plan for when things go south. Edward Snowden's plan was to fly to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. Most of us aren't going to need that extreme of a getaway plan, but picking a country you would flee to in such a hypothetical sitaution is amusing by itself. (Relavant Wikipedia Article)
Depending on the severity of your actions, it might be wise to leave the country BEFORE you publish your dirt. Make sure your passport is up-to-date, withdraw as much cash as you can comfortably / legally travel with, and transfer your remaining assets to a safe international bank. I'm not an expert on international finance, if you have enough assets you would likely want to speak to a lawyer to make sure your funds don't get frozen or confiscated.
For the rest of us who are not on the top of the international most wanted list, you may want to pre-plan a legal defense.
Or you could just take up a hobby. I hear handcuffing yourself in a duffel bag in your bath tub and padlocking it from the outside so you can practice escaping is a pretty fun and safe solo activity. (link)
submitted by primo_pastafarian to ShadowWar [link] [comments]

What is Bitcoin Mining? (In Plain English) - YouTube How Mining Bitcoin Works? Get Passive Income in Bitcoin Mining Daily 2020 how to make money from bitcoin mining  bitcoin GPU mining  bitcoin EB49 – Meni Rosenfeld: Mining Pool Reward Systems, Bitcoin Economics, Bitcoin in Israel What Is BitCoin Mining? and Should You Mine?

Bitcoins: Die Währung der Zukunft ist in aller Munde. Damit Sie bestens Bescheid wissen, informieren wir Sie in der c't-Bitcoin-Serie laufend über alles Wissenswerte rund um die Kryptowährung. Pool-hopping is the practice of mining in a pool only during the good times, and leaving during the bad times; by so doing, a pool-hopper can get more out of the pool than the value they contribute to it, increasing their rewards at the expense of other miners. Pool-hopping gets its name from the act of constantly hopping into and out of the pool (to either other pools or solo mining). The Bitcoin.com mining pool has the lowest share reject rate (0.15%) we've ever seen. Other pools have over 0.30% rejected shares. Furthermore, the Bitcoin.com pool has a super responsive and reliable support team. Durch Bitcoins Mining können Sie Einheiten der virtuellen Bitcoin-Währung erhalten. Mit entsprechendem finanziellen Aufwand kann so jeder Computer-Besitzer nebenbei Geld verdienen. Wie das geht und was Sie dabei beachten sollten, erklären wir Ihnen in unserem Ratgeber. The pool-hopping attack casts down the expected profits of both the mining pool and honest miners in Blockchain. The mainstream countermeasures, namely PPS (pay-per-share) and PPLNS (pay-per-last ...

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What is Bitcoin Mining? (In Plain English) - YouTube

Start trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency here: http://bit.ly/2Vptr2X Bitcoin mining is the process of updating the ledger of Bitcoin transactions known as th... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue A somewhat in depth look at what BitCoin mining actually is: More Information on Bitcoin Mining and we are building up to getting your own BitCoin miners setup so you can start mining! Link Dump! Meni has been studying mining pool reward methods for several years and in 2011, wrote a paper titled “Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems”. This research gave him a broad ... This video also will show you how to start legal Bitcoin hacking from home, It's very easy and "free" This is a very simple and easy to follow quick start guide on HOW TO HACK BITCOIN in just a ...

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