Saturday, August 3, 2013

Virtual Private Networks, Another Way To Ensure Privacy

Before we get to the interesting part, first a little bit introduction about what a VPN is -
Put simply, a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a group of computers (or discrete networks) networked together over a public network—namely, the internet. Businesses use VPNs to connect remote datacenters, and individuals can use VPNs to get access to network resources when they're not physically on the same LAN (local area network), or as a method for securing and encrypting their communications when they're using an untrusted public network. When you connect to a VPN, you usually launch a VPN client on your computer (or click a link on a special website), log in with your credentials, and your computer exchanges trusted keys with a far away server. Once both computers have verified each other as authentic, all of your internet communication is encrypted and secured from eavesdropping. (lifehacker)
 So basically, what happens here is that the data you send is protected from eavesdropping. It is encrypted in  a way that can't be decrypted easily. So, other than the two methods discussed earlier, VPN is a method to stay anonymous too.

What are the advantages of using a VPN?

  1. Your data is encrypted.
  2. No-one can eavesdrop your communications.
  3. Your privacy is ensured.
  4. You can pretend to be someone you are not (You wanna use some service which is banned in your country, VPN is the answer).
  5. You can overcome browsing restrictions imposed on you.

What makes a good VPN?

  1. Price - Hell yeah, it should be priced reasonably (did I forget to mention VPNs are not free of cost)
  2. Free? Yeah, there are some free VPNs too. They serve you ads and are more or less useless. They dont do what they promise. They are good for beginners though, who want to learn, and privacy is not much of a problem.
  3. They should use SSL. If you have no idea what this means, then, simply put, its the best protocol the VPNs use, and all others come next to SSL. (other protocols have their own pros and cons)
  4. Logging- Some VPNs log your data. Not good.
  5. Exit location - There must be a lot of them. That is, you can pretend to be a lot of people. Also, if there are very less exit locations, then it will affect browsing.

How VPNs work?

Recommended VPN

Hide me is the only popular VPN that I know of which does'nt log your data. It might be worth a try. They have a 25% discount going on as a part of their promo campaign. Take a look here if that interest's you.

Surf the Internet Anonymously and Save 25% Off! with a VPN from Hide.me.


43 comments:

  1. Virtual private network is indeed a great service that allow users to surf net anonymously. I really like using HMA VPN service for such purpose. Thanks for letting know some common information that new users must need to know.

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    1. Do they keep logs? Not keeping logs is definitely a big plus, though it doesn't make much of a difference unless you are doing something really illegal.

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  2. I am reading a great book, Hacker Cracker by Ejovi Huwere. Is there a book on Hacking you have read that you would recommend to all aspiring Hackers to read ? Also, Kali is in essence a package of exploits. Admittedly, you do have to know what you are doing to use it. BUT, does this mean we are script kiddies ?

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  3. Good stuff, look forward to it.

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  4. In preparation for your Python tutorial I am reading Python for Dummies.The book tells me to go to this site to download a version of Python. http://www.python.org/download. However my browser wont connect. I am a bit unsure what it is I need to download, what is good and what is bad ? Or is Python, no matter where you get it, one and the same ? HELP.

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    Replies
    1. I noticed that Python 3.4 has replaced 3.3. Also, the link is working fine for me. I don't see any problem there.

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  5. Thanks. I have now used the Ubuntu Sofware Centre, and installed Python IDLE 3.4. I also discovered that if you type python in the terminal it will open up and is ready to go. Now for the hard part. ("Hello world").

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    Replies
    1. >>>print "Hello world"
      then press enter.............hard part done =p

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    2. Have you successfully completed the hard part?

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  6. Linux Command.org. Great site. Good shout.

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    1. That's where I learnt how to write scripts in linux.

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  7. Thanks again. I have downloaded the book, The Linux command line, from the link at the site, Linux Command.org. Awesome. The story behind Linux is very COOL indeed. Keep up the good work Shashwat.

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  8. Is there a way to look at the code, script. For example, if I run wifite and I want to see how it was written. How would you do this ? I ask you this because I want to see the linux language in action. If I can do this I think it will help me learn the concepts from the book above I have downloaded, the linux command line. What do you think ?

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    1. If you take a look around the directories in Kali you'll discover that almost everything you see can be opened with a notepad. Most files are bash, ruby, python, etc scripts. Just open them with leaf pad and see their source codes. I'll take a look and find some well documented scripts for you and tell their location on Kali.

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  9. Replies
    1. The usr/bin directory has a lot of python, perl, ruby and bash scripts. The ones you are interested in would have .sh extension. Use GVim to open them.

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  10. After a basic install to usb you are automatically a root user. Why does it give you an error warning when starting wireshark. ':45: dofile has been disabled due to running as superuser.' Thank you for the above response.

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    1. The error is there because you are running Wireshark with superuser / root privileges. The error is saying that running Wireshark as root can cause troubles as it can potentially harm the computer. I don't think that error would affect the functioning of wireshark. You can google something on running wireshark as non root user. In general you can ignore the warning, as it is just wireshark being careful.

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  11. Thanks.I thought this might be the reason.

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  12. I have a good install of Kali on USB. I have created another partition to store all my passwords and hashes etc. How do I clone,copy, this usb install to another USB, keeping its bootable ability ?

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  13. Thanks. I think its great that a site like this exists that helps people on their journey of learning. From the questions people ask us, we get to understand what we know and what we thought we didn't know. Thanks Shashwat.

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  14. Just a thought. The Russians have created a Trojan horse to attack Linux systems. When you consider 80%, if not more of the worlds hackers use Linux. Why would you do such a thing ? Must be working for Microsoft. Linux is a big community. Not one to be making enemies with. I love the challenge of hacking, the challenge of learning how to hack.To try and destroy a good idea is just MAD.

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  15. ImageUSB great. Used it with no problems. Good shout.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know. Positive feedback lets me know whether or not to recommend the software to others.

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  16. I think their is a clear difference between targeting a linux system to find weaknesses so that it can be made stronger. Compared with creating a Trojan Virus to maliciously attack Linux O.S. The former is a good way to learn hacking. The latter, is in my opinion malicious. Am I missing the point ? I do realize its a thin line we tread. I do respect your judgement with regard to these matters. However, in all the books I have read on learning the craft of Hacking, I have only come across one book on creating a Trojan Horse. My point being, this in most cases is not what hacking, pen-tester, should be about. It's not EVIL to try and find vulnerabilities, I agree. Maybe I will go to the dark side and see it different, and the script behind the trojan horse is a thing of beauty and something all powerful and a finger up to the world and the computer fraternity as a whole.

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    1. I can pretty much get the point you are trying to make here. The only way a trojan can contribute towards progress is by making the users and developers aware of the need to have antivirus software even in Linux. That is, by no means, real progress though. However we need to realize that the game of hacking is not one which is played by the rules and in a fair manner. There are the good, the bad and the ugly. I deduce your reasoning is better than mine in this case, and I'll not be that arrogant guy who sticks to his opinion even when he knows someone has a better answer.

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  17. When I come to your great site Shashwat, I am most definitely the student,. Like I said I respect your opinion. I have through my interaction with you learned so much. When I think about the issue above I am doing it looking through a Moral telescope. This is not appropriate because like you rightly state, Hacking is not played by rules. A philosophical perspective viz a viz Hacking is then out of place. It's just how it is. As for my reasoning being better than your good self. I think your perspective is very important and in no way, shape or form, inferior, compared with what I have said.
    RESPECT.

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    1. Always nice to see people who are logical and rational in their thinking and respect the opinion of others. Both the opinions are valid in their own places, and are not in any way contradictory, and can both prosper, in the moral and technical perspectives respectively.

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  18. Couldn't have said it better my self. The result from the conflict of ideas should, and needs to be, Understanding.
    I nearly had a heart attack yesterday when I couldn't get your page to load. It redirected me to a google Blog page. What happened Shashwat ?

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  19. Did you use HTTrack to mirror this site, thus, creating a Clone ?

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    1. On reading what I've written, I realize it's a pretty boring story, and it will take some time trying to make sense of it.

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  20. That does sound complicated Shashwat, if I'm honest. When something vexes me I become all the more determined to understand it. Boring, On the contrary, I find your response a Nugget of information. I always copy and paste your answers to my questions into WordPad. That way I will have a reference book that helps me retain what I am trying to learn. This will take a while to decypher though I must admit. Thanks, I appreciate your detail in the response.

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  21. What does tk mean/stand for, Shashwat ? Wow, Imagine after a year or so. I will have a book of answers to Hacking queries. Don't worry I don't believe in plagiarism so the copyright will be yours. 70 - 30, how does that sound ? If only. Got to dream.

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  22. I have used some of these tools
    The way back machine in Linux particular proved handy on many occasions, when the stuff had been taken down from the host.

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  23. The new layout of your Blog Looks good, I like it.

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    1. Yeah, I decided in favor of this one over many others that I had tried. Looks neat and clean.

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  24. Hi Shashwat. I haven't spoke to you in a while. Hope everything is going well for you and your blog. I live in Britain. It has now been decided that Hacking should carry a life sentence. I wont go into why this is a position of TOTAL hypocrisy. Also, Apple are making available Mac spoofing for their phones. I feel the NET closing in.

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  25. I got a couple of personal questions about what VPNs should be right for me, can i email you. (I wont give you a fishing scam, like the Indian fellow did.) xD

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