Kickstarter is apparently not the place to go if you’re trying to crowdfund privacy hardware. Just days after the Anonabox project, a highly criticized effort to package the Tor privacy protection service into a portable miniature Wi-Fi router, was suspended by the crowdfunding site, another similar project has met its demise—and its founder’s account has been deleted.
TorFi, which Ars mentioned in a report on October 21, was a project by Jesse Enjaian and David Xu of Berkeley, California aimed at creating home routers with turnkey Tor protection and support for OpenVPN connections—allowing users to route all their Internet traffic either through Tor's "onion router" network or a virtual private network provider of their choice. The project’s initial pitch was dependent on repurposing routers from TP-Link purchased through retail and re-flashing them with a customized version of the OpenWRT embedded operating system.
I agree that the security of a container isn’t any better than a well-secured application using sys_setcap(), a custom suite of SeLinux labels, and a roll-your-own use of Linux namespaces. However, that’s precisely what Linux containers are. Containers are not contradictory to other, existing best-practices. They’re not contradictory to VMs, but work well with them. It’s not contradictory to SeLinux or AppArmor, but works with them. In fact, when you come down to it, once you start tweaking and configuring all of the security tunables in Linux to secure your application as much as possible, you’ll realize that you’ve simply rolled your own container solution.
In the wake of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's big reveal on government spying, there's been a concerted effort by companies big and small to try and make our lives truly private. One seemingly promising solution was Anonabox, a little plug-and-play device that routes traffic through Tor to keep our online activities anonymous. Unfortunately, we were all misled on a number of levels, prompting Kickstarter to remove the project forever. Hot on its heels is Project Sierra, a network encryption device that's supposedly the real deal.
Hypervisors present a smaller attack surface than containers. This is somewhat mitigated in containers by using seccomp, selinux and restricting capabilities in order to reduce the number of kernel entry points that untrusted code can touch, but even so there is simply a greater quantity of privileged code available to untrusted apps in a container environment when compared to a hypervisor environment.
The list of allowed smartphones, which US officials may share confidential information has become a bit longer. The National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) - a product tester under the supervision of the NSA - announced Tuesday the green light for the S5 Galaxy, Galaxy Note 4 and the tablet Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition).
For those not familiar with Privacy Indicator, this is an Ubuntu AppIndicator especially created for Unity, which allows you to control various privacy aspects.
Until this release, the indicator could be used to enable / disable Dash online search results and Zeitgeist logging (and also clear the Zeitgeist log), clear recently used files (which show up in the Nautilus or Nemo "Recent" sidebar item for instance) and to show or hide your real name on the Unity panel.
The Anonabox, which was created by August Germar, of Chico, California, aimed to be an “open source embedded networking device designed specifically to run Tor.” Its fundraising goal was $7,500, and in five days, it raised $585,549 from nearly 9,000 backers—including three Ars editors.
Germar told Ars that he was not aware that it had been suspended until Ars forwarded him an e-mail from Kickstarter outlining the possible reasons why it could have been cancelled.
This release also features an in-browser updater, and a completely reorganized bundle directory structure to make this updater possible. This means that simply extracting a 4.0 Tor Browser over a 3.6.6 Tor Browser will not work. Please also be aware that the security of the updater depends on the specific CA that issued the www.torproject.org HTTPS certificate (Digicert), and so it still must be activated manually through the Help ("?") "about browser" menu option. Very soon, we will support both strong HTTPS site-specific certificate pinning (ticket #11955) and update package signatures (ticket #13379). Until then, we do not recommend using this updater if you need stronger security and normally verify GPG signatures.