Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Practicum #4 - Patrick

Securing oneself when working with online activists and against governments is of paramount concern. In fact, in every place where I found ways to work with Anonymous, the first information given is how to hide what you do and protect yourself. I intended to set up Tor relays for my first assistance, but before I set up Tor on my machines, I set up other protections.

First, I logged into my router and prevented any traffic on certain ports to get into my computers. In this way, there was a basic level of protection that I could further tighten. Then on the server I run at home I set up far stronger protections. On it, I installed a strong firewall. This locked down my system heavily, so that only traffic I know about will be traveling to or from the server. Secondly, I installed antivirus and rootkit detectors. Even though I run a linux-based server, I have seen it compromised before and given that I could be dealing with governments or skilled hackers trying to prevent me from sending the aid I was intending to, I wanted to leave nothing insecure.

The last few things I did are more intricate than are required by this post, but included full-disk encryption, memory and swap-space encryption, user-right restrictions, and more. Most of these were suggested either in AnonOps IRC channels or forums, but some came from Tor's website. In my next post, I will describe what Tor is and why it was useful assistance to run it.

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