New Chat System Project
A new concept for a chat system; DarkMatter
DarkMatter Project - A Proposal for a new communications/interaction platform based upon Direct Democracy for Anons.
Join us in #ideas at irc.cyberguerrilla.org , lis5ghm2ai4yjoxy.onion , irc.anonplus.com or irc.cryto.net
To participate, read the following instructions
AS OF 5-27-13
- <ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION>
If you want to play around with some of the modules that are up now from the web: Make sure Tor is running.
Open a Tor browser.
Go to eir4w2v5cy3qzeks.onion From that page you can join the DM IRC; channels: #dev or #talk ;You can also join the IRC using your chat client at: eir4w2v5cy3qzeks.onion ; channels #dev or #talk
Note : most other functions are disabled from the web front-end right now. Ask for a test account in DM IRC #dev.
To access the inner chat and other options through the bbs-like function module (This is -not- the irc on the web gate , and we'd -prefer- to set up a test account for you in irc first to make it easier for you and to set the menu access you can see up to maximum) :
- a) Download PuTTY or similar
- b) Direct your terminal session to : eir4w2v5cy3qzeks.onion
- c) proxy settings 127.0.0.1 , port 9050 (or check your Tor port, could be 9150), Socks5
- d) Connect
- e) login with credentials supplied to you in DM IRC #dev
- f) check out the basic functions in the menu system along with multi-node chat
Note: If you initially have slow connections over Tor, change your Identity a few times to get a better faster path. Works to decrease latency quite a bit if you experience it.
BTW - You might wonder WHY we have an inner BBS like system and why the system is laid out like one even on the web. The rationale for having it as a part of DarkMatter is that in the event that ISPs go down, internet gets censored (even more), catastrophes occur, a country cuts off internet access, etc. we wanted to have a Plan B in place for anon users to be able to still communicate in any forseeable scenario. To our knowledge, few systems in operation for anon users provide for that contingency. This experimental system supports web front-end, telnet, HF packet radio modems, modem-to-voip-to-DM, and land-line modem access connects. Other connect methods are under consideration. A number of collaboration modules such as a message board, a nameless ircd, and an AES encrypted P2P IM system will be added to the existing framework soon.
AS OF 5-7-13
- <UNDER CONSTRUCTION>
It has become apparent that general Anon communications via the "old standard" of IRC has been impossibly abused rendering it almost a megaphone to feds and derailing trolls. System Admins and Channel Ops have routinely exhibited censorship and tendencies to form power groups which centralize and direct Anon activities. This is unacceptable and truly goes against the original ideas of Anonymous, therefore we must make a change in the way we EQUALLY communicate to disallow these power centers.
The rationale to create this new model is with the intent of fixing problems with the existing irc networks that are unfortunately unaddressable without a radical change in the entire protocol and concept. This is not to say that the purpose for the project is to replace ANYTHING, but only to add in a different and less potentially abusable method of communication and interaction for Anon users. Here , we are referring to the Anons that have not lost sight of the original premise , and who don't want to follow, but think and act TOGETHER. Remember? Divided by ZERO? It still applies, and without it, we are lost. The fundamental Problem, and why we need to address it: At some point, if you can’t state your principles, you may not have any.
Existing Anon IRC networks are hierarchical in nature both in terms of topology and in terms of power. Users are forced to be subservient to operators, and central HUB sites have known to resort to extortion to force their will upon others.
IRC has survived over two decades, in a world that is increasingly image- and video-based. IRC can offer neither of those easily. It is tired, it is old, and in need of augmentation for this and many other reasons, not the least of which is it's forced hierarchical structure.
These paradigm changes are necessary because the existing method of handling abuse on a case-by-case basis in IRC alone as a communication medium is ineffective and becomes completely unworkable in large networks. Also, anytime you give someone the power to control these abuses it seems inevitable that that power is abused. As long as the existing hierarchy is maintained (which is fundamentally forced if using IRC as a framework) , there is an ultimate limit to the size that the current network can grow and retain any functionality at all. If you don't see this already, you are not looking hard enough.
What we're working on: The DarkMatter network , as proposed, exists for the users. While minimum responsibility system "maintainers" are still necessary , it does not exist for the opers or server admins, it exists for the users. In fact, the model removes current hierarchy and power abuses, we believe, as much as possible. Cyber-activism can't be directed and controlled by a select few, we must revisit the model of earlier solidarity and equality, not the fragmented state of chaos and suspicion that exists today. It’s embarassing how some of the people who invented the idea of fifth generation warfare don’t recognize it when they see it.
The DarkMatter network will evolve into a more fully meshed architecture in order to address these and other fundamental problems inherent in all existing IRC based networks. IRC networks make use of scanner scripts/bots to attack their own users in the channels, and also attack websites from their channels and vice versa. Bots are controlled, via PHP on websites, and used to attack other sites or people in the channel against their direct IP. Just depends on the IRC network and how they set them up, if intentional to attack other networks, how would you know? This isn't a public vulnerability in the IRC protocol, its an inherent trust issue with the nature of how IRC works and how people abuse it.Now, These people also have scanners, that connect to and scan IRC networks and channels from other IRC networks, or directly from web based PHP scripts, so while IRC in general might not be being taken over directly, they may be taking over your machine in the process of you being on the network or a channel admin. Networks like Freenode that let you register and use a vhost mask your IP to help protect you somewhat, but if your client itself is weak and they use any DCC to figure out your real IP and scan your real host, you just put yourself that much more at risk. Its like fish in a barrel on IRC networks. You are at the mercy of the network you join and what measures you put in place between you and the IRC Server/channel(s). Some key points about the current prototype DarkMatters system concept:
- -DarkMatter systems do -not- run on the hierarchical IRC model and therefore cannot be abused in the aforementioned ways.
- -DarkMatter systems are more like a secure menu-driven , services based system than a conventional IRC.
- -DarkMatter systems , although they do support real-time multi-user and private person-to-person chat in "channels", have other functions such as file sharing, voting on issues, etc.
- -Safe Room - We are attempting to link with a totally anonymous irc, a nick-less chat area developed by others for use when whistle-blowing or other ultra-clandestine communications are required beyond even our basic model.
- -The DarkMatter concept does not allow for easy direct conversation logging. The chat function is for -CHAT-, not for copy/pasting and documenting your current project or woes against another user, etc. and certainly not (as in irc) to be utilized as in blackmail or otherwise hurt other users.
- -An internal anonymous email system is provided , as well as areas for "group voting" on group-identified issues, and a document storage area for retrieval by ALL the users is provided as well.
- -There is no hierarchy, there are no chiefs in DarkMatter. There are no channel operators with special powers. Everyone is on an even playing field. Everyone has an equal voice. Everyone has access to any control commands present.
- -There is no kick/ban function. There is a command that sets off an action if many users activate it, which send the messages of the "offending" user to a dedicated channel; For 15 minutes if 5 users activate the command, one hour if 10, one day if more. Others may join this dedicated channel and read the messages while the targeted user is not banned from the first channel and can read others messages, so then therefore there is no censorship implied or imposed, it is just a method to "keep the general peace" as enacted by the system.
- -Bots on DarkMatter nodes. Now, all that exists is a simple helper bot with no function other than to help users understand and use the system , do basic tasks, and for user entertainment purposes. Bots are scripted with a "Brain Editor" not coded with php, etc. Users will be given bot-development software for utilizing this functionality. There is no support for bot-nets or malicious scripting bots. irc bots are not supported, but work-alikes are easily implemented for users.
- -No scripts, as in IRC , are supported whatsoever. It is not irc-based, and never will be.
- -The use of secure Tor sockets and non-irc related ports and no http
- -The system architecture , which relies on Tor and encryption of plain-text data, has no IP logging mechanism.
There are several parts to TOR called nodes that can be used to our advantage. You can hide your IP Address from -TOR- itself for another layer of anonymity by using your own proxy before TOR reads and send you traffic. The biggest flaw of TOR is an exit node. Exit nodes are not encrypted. End to end data encryption added to Tor can defeat the problems inherent and Tor alone is certainly not the entire solution, just a small part of it. In fact, in some cases Tor will likely not be used at all since other anonymity means are readily available that fit its role. Another consideration is the speed at which data transactions occur over Tor. This may prove to be too slow for some users because of routing lags inherent in the Onion model. In any case, multiple solutions are identified to preserve user anonymity along with security in data transactions. We are studying multiple options and will apply the most appropriate.
Another good proxy program the government hasn't touched yet is "JAP". We might concern ourselves with a like system that uses JAP if we find that Tor has too many REAL vulnerabilities, not the "theoretical" ones that have rarely been shown to matter in real-life testing. http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/index_en.html
Its important to be clear up front as to what these services do and don't do. What they do is ensure that your IP address will not be exposed to web servers you visit via http communications. They do not prevent you from identifying yourself manually to web servers by using your name or other identifying details in communications to that server. A later post will discuss TCP/IP and HTTP in order to clarify what all of this means. For now its safe to say that using JAP/JonDo or Tor along with certain 'best practices' can truly hide your IP.
- -Connection to a DarkMatter server requires nothing more than a properly configured open source client such as PuTTY. In the future, we are considering a custom client effort, but this will depend upon interest by technical supporters.
- -There is no web-client access to a DarkMatter server. Adding in a web-client to a DarkMatter system just opens up another attack vector and set of vulnerabilities, so this will likely never be supported. We are considering several hardened Linux distros for DarkMatter servers, including ESL, which is very promising, and are in a selection phase now.
We are evaluating these distros for their strengths. Selection criteria is as follows;
- Site Defacement
- Web Application Vulnerabilities
- Malware Uploads
- Denial of Service Attacks
- SQL injection and Cross Site Scripting attacks
- Data Theft
- Advanced Persistent Threats
- -Minimal needed-service-only based setup of the servers will be the norm, further obfuscating attack vectors.
- -Any non compliant connection request is refused, i.e. forced anonymity. If a user attempts to connect to a DarkMatter server without adhering to connection rules that force anonymity, they are turned away. Period.
- -There is only an .onion address for each DarkMatter node.
- -DarkMatter will be Inclusive by nature, not Exclusive as current IRC based systems tend to dictate. No cliques are encouraged or wanted. Philosophically, this is a direct democracy system only. Join AnonOPs if you prefer leadership and if you are a follower not a leader. In DarkMatter, everyone is equal. Like it or not.
Some preliminary technical details in brief: The system , as envisioned and now in a very early alpha phase of development, is not based upon standard Open Source irc code. It relies on a multiple layer remote login, security gateways utilizing complex passwords, and in some cases re-captcha like human being validations, encryption, hardened minimal servers , and additional user-elected layers like Tor or JAP for anonymity functions as required.
The system supports multiple OS's on the client and server sides NOW, but is in need of various important customizations. A (now) private repository for joint-advanced development is in progress and will be available for review by selected contributors/developers very soon.
The system, now, is CLI menu based upon services, for example, chat, file libraries, secure anon email functions, custom user setting adjustments, and other functions like voting booths for relevant issues concerning the community.
The prototype, as it exists now, is accessed thru a terminal emulation front-end,and is not optimized sufficiently yet due to its generic nature. Customized settings and plugins for the client are supported somewhat sufficiently now, but need optimization and more customized solutions. Non-standard ports are also utilized, along with a long term goal solution for hard-to-predict combinations which are regularly updated , encrypted, to clients that use the system(s). The system in its current form supports end-to-end encrypted sessions using secure sockets with Tor for anonymity and encryption for data security . The system combines Tor (for now, this may change) with a secure protocol because we need data secrecy -and- anonymity. In the prototype, we now simply use various encryption options to connect to the menu-driven remote systems. We will enforce that only encrypted and anonymous connections to the servers are used.In the case of encryption, If either the client or the server does not negotiate an authenticated and encrypted connection, the server will terminate the connection. More exists in the spec, but for now this is all we can quickly tabulate - this pad will be updated frequently and collaborative coding and planning spaces are to be offered to interested parties in the Anon community.
Prerequisites for inclusion in this project as a developer are as follows:
The ability to work with others, follow and understand these rather complex software engineering goals, and not to attempt make this effort a one-man / one power center show. It goes against the philosophy of the project, and we have such dead-ended developed applications already that we will not be named here but are quite well recognized. We are NOT rewriting the internet, we have seen the abject failure of such radical approaches from evidence like low user acceptance, very complex software configuration which are not at all well-suited for the masses of (non-technical) Anons in the global community, and other reasons too numerous to list here but readily apparent to objective and-unbiased reviewers and developers with no agenda for hidden control or spying mechanisms.
Advanced C/C++ experience: We want to make this a respected and pro-Anon software developer solution, not a newbie playground destined for failure.
Software testing experience and a full understanding and ACCEPTANCE of these software application design rule philosophies, in general: http://www.multicians.org/thvv/proverbs.html
Finally, it should be noted that the effort required to produce a current revision is a tiny fraction of the effort that will be required for the original final core and that we are at ORIGINAL status level, with only general principles of operation and user functionalities clearly define and utilizing less-than-optimized or vetted code, in addition to generic starting points for the long-term effort. Yes these approaches are proven by years of similar development but in need of advanced customizations and module additions to reach the goal.
If you fit this description of a team player who really wants to make a difference that will hang-in with the project for more than a passing association, and allow for a new paradigm of Anon communications, please do ask to be included. We need you. The project will be extensive in scope, but not insanely so. Perfection only exists in nature, not software coding skills, we know that already.
The whole enchilada in a conceptual easy-to-understand shell: THIS IS NOT a how-to manual, it's a pad that is a call for serious contributors. If we have to tell people how to do it, why bother? That is the purpose of multiple heads, to make new and better methods, but based on the software engineering models basic core values and experiments performed to date to prove general concepts.
We are Anonymous , have SHOULD no ego about this, other than that it is a necessary core idea-set for the freeing of current control structures imposed by the old ways of irc, even the clever but still hierarchically constrained bolt-ons to irc that exist today as alternatives. Again , no need in revisiting that which is an obvious dead-end.
Some approaches are still a huge vulnerability no matter how "popular" or mass-accepted. No matter what you fix, patch , or convolute by virtue of its hierarchical structure, irc approaches are still based upon easily discovered fundamental code problems and imposed and screwed up forced power structures impossible to remove from the model.
/* <Technical experiments to date, soon to be explictily described, please be patient it is not a simple system nor is it remotely cut in stone as to it's precise coding on a few fronts yet. We have an idea, some supportive evidence that it will work, and it addresses other issues not yet addressed for the Anon community , but hugely needed in a more TRULY conceived of direct-democracy driven multi-group/ multi-user system. :-) >
It was necessary that technical solutions to problems of control and censorship abuse be found and implemented so that eventually ops and the power and frequent abuses that go with them in irc based Anon ircs will no longer be necessary. DarkMatter, as a concept, and basic experiments we have performed to date, show that ours is a viable option worthy of more advanced development. If you are not convinced yet, fine, but:
We, as stated above, are looking for additional programmers and to get the prototype DarkMatter servers to have the capabilities we need to allow for working 100% so the system can evolve beyond the current conceptual / cruder generically generated code example phase.
If you are interested in assisting us please contact: [email protected]; See us in irc.cyberguerrilla.org #ideas
For further discourse, and selected strategic discussions, chat there with DMR_F in #ideas or pm him. This user will attempt (for now) to field all comms and direct them to internal resources and others involved in this project until we switch over to the beta-level systems completely for internal security reasons.
LULZ and all the best, Thanks for reading our short Intro Pad about the effort.