STEP 1 ? ENCRYPT YOUR COMPUTER STEP 2 ? SECURE YOUR COMUNICATIONS STEP 3 ? ENCRYPT YOUR COMMUNICATION STEP 4 ? ENCRYPT & PROTECT YOUR IP & INTERNET TRAFFIC STEP 5 ? COVER YOUR TRACES Your question: ?How can I be safe when working online and keep myself away of troubles?? Disclaimer: I will write this tutorial in a O. J. Simpson ?If I Did It? style, so please be aware that I don?t try to teach people how to do illegal things. This is only for informational purpose, I do not recommend anybody to use this info for any illegal purpose and I am not responsible for the use of this tutorial in any illegal action. Here?s the answer: First of all, you must know what are you doing and be sure that worth the risk. Because when you are playing against the law, if you are not fully aware of the consequences you will let your guard down, make mistakes and in the end you will loose the game. So if you do what you do only for fun or as hobby you should find something else to do because playing against law as an amateur will get you in big trouble. As for people that do to make a living, you will stay free and enjoy your work benefits by following as much as you from these advices: STEP 1 ? ENCRYPT YOUR COMPUTER: 1.1. The first and most important thing for anybody that uses its computer in order to make money is to make sure that its computer will not be used against him. And you can be sure about this if you fully encrypt everything that is storable memory, like your hard drive, USB memory flash and external storage devices. In order to do that use an encryption software that can encrypt of all the data stored on fixed and removable disk devices. 1.2. Now, after you register both programs (main BestCypt and BestCypt Volume Encryption) you must make the following setups: 1.1.1. from the main BestCrypt program window: a) access the menu "Key Generators" and activate the option "Use Keyboard Filter" from all three submenus: ?SHA-256?, ?SHA-1?, ?KG-Ghost?. This is important because it will prevent any keylogger to login the passwords you use for your encrypted drives, partitions, files. cool.gif access the menu ?Utilities? and then the submenu ?Swap File Encryption? and a window named ?CryptoSwap for Windows? will appear. From this window you must select the options: - enable encryption of swap file. - initialize swap file by random data when Windows starts - from the ?Encryption Algorithm? list you must choose: ?Rijndael 256-bit key? This is important because will encrypt your Windows swap file/ page file that contain a lot of sensitive information (including encryption temporally keys) of your current working session 1.1.2. from the BestCypt Volume Encryption window: a) open the ?Options? menu and then access the submenu ?Anti-Keylogger settings? and make sure the option ?Use Anti-Keylogger? is set on. b)from the menu ?Options? select the submenu ?Alarm Crash Hotkey? and select a combination of keyboard keys that will secure crash your Windows in emergency cases. This is very usefully because it will destroy all the encryption keys temporally stored in your RAM memory in order to prevent a "Cold Boot Attack? on your BestCrypt encryption keys. You can read more about preventing a "Cold Boot Attack? here: xxx.jetico.com/bestcrypt_faq.htm 1.3. After you do the above settings you are ready to fully encrypt your entire hard drive, and all the partitions on it. You can do this by opening the BestCypt Volume Encryption program, and in the program window you will see all your computer partitions. Press the right button on your mouse over each partition and you will have a menu in witch you have the option ?Encrypt Volume?. When selecting this option a new window will popup and you will need to select a password for your encryption. The best encryption algorithm you can use is set by default: ?AES 256-bit key + XTS mode 256-bit key?. Choose a good password that contain letters, symbols and numbers and after selecting OK BestCrypt will start encrypting your partition. After fist partition is fully encrypted (will require a couple of minutes) continue the same process with the second partition and all other partitions you have. 1.4. After you finish encrypting all the partition restart your computer and you will see that before Windows is loaded you will be asked for your encryption password. 1.5. In order to keep all the time in a secure place your most important files/tools you can use BestCrypt to create an encrypted ?Container? that is like a virtual partition where you can store your important data and all other data that you want to keep as secure as possible. You will need to use this feature for two reasons: - first because always is a possibility that your main encryption (the whole disk encryption) to be compromised and you don?t want that do happen with your most important data. - second because two differit encryption of your data will protect you better and will be really impossible for somebody to break the encryption with a brute force attach. You can create a BestCrypt Container by accessing your main BestCrypt Control Panel, and then the first menu: ?Container? and submenu ?New?. After that you must choose where you want to store your container, I recommend you to store it not only on your primary OS partition, and use as Encryption Algorithm: ?AES Rijndael? with ?CBC ? Cipher-block chaining?. After you setup your password your Container will be created and after that you must format the new created virtual partition in order to use your Container. After you format the Container virtual partition you can put on that partition all the data you want to protect and when you don?t use that data just dismount your Container from the BestCrypt Control Panel ?Container? menu, in order to keep your data encrypted and protected. 1.6. For the best security of your data you must: - dismount any encrypted partition/container when you not use it. - don't use hibernate mode, switch it off just to be sure - protect your bios setting with a password in order to prevent somebody else to change the boot order - set your computer not to boot first from CD/DVD or USB HDD in order to prevent booting software that can perform RAM memory dumping There are also others programs that can do a similar job but I think till now BestCrypt is the best for this kind of security. Similar software like TrueCypt have their features but you must know that also have some security vulnerabilities that can blow your encryption, so when you choose a whole disk encryption software do a little research about it. STEP 2 ? SECURE YOUR COMUNICATIONS: Ok, so you have your computer encrypted and nobody will be able to find out what you store on your HDD or on your memory flash. But how about your communications? In order to do business you must communicate, right? And when you do this a lot of people can listen/read/record your communications and use later against you. Doesn?t matter that you use IM, phone, SMS, emails, live chat or other form of communication, all this can be intercepted and recorded and can be used against you. Here are some advices about how you can be safe when you communicate: 2.1. On phone: 2.1.1. Never you a real phone, doesn?t matter is a public pay phone or a prepaid mobile phone, because your communications can be intercepted very easy and you can be located with millimetric accuracy. Read this article in order to find out how easy is for the police to track you down when you use a real phone to communicate: hXXp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4738219.stm 2.1.2. The best thing is not to speak over the phone business because if somebody is recording you and use later that conversation against you, that will be a very solid proof. But if you use IM is much harder for somebody to prove that the person behind the IM user is you. But if you really need to speak over the phone you should use Skype for 2 reasons: a) with Skype your conversation is encrypted in the Skype network, so if you speak with another Skype user your conversation will be fully encrypted and it will very hard(BUT not impossible) for somebody to decrypt your conversation. cool.gif the best thing about Skype is that is a virtual service and you can connect to it from any location that give you an internet connection. So in this way you will not be an easy trace for somebody that wants to find the exact location from where you speak. In order to increase your protection against somebody that wants to trace your location you must use Skype with OpenVPN, a software that you can read about it later in this tutorial. 2.2. On Instant Messenger: 2.2.1. When you use Instant Messenger to communicate you should use encryption for your conversations because all your IM conversation(except ICQ) are traveling from you to the person with who you chat in clear text mode and there are a lot of people that can intercept and record your conversation. Not only the police can do this, but also your network admin, your IPS admin, your IM server admin and some other people. There is a lot of software that offer IM chat encryption, but each of this three programs are good: Simp, GnuPG and Pidgin OTR. Personally I use Simp because is very simple to use and very user friendly. I was interested to use GnuPG because it suppose to be the best encryption as is open source but after I?ve done some personal tests I find out that is much complicated to use and it is not much more secure than Simp. You can download a free copy of Simp from the producer website: xxx.secway.fr/us/products/ Simp is very easy to install but if anybody have problems with it PM me and I will try to help you. Now if you want to use a open source encryption program you should download GnuPG from here: xxx.gnupg.org ? official website hXXp://www.gpg4win.org - for windows users 2.2.2. you must know that not every IM client is NOT equally secure to use in order to protect your privacy and your real location. As a Cnet security and privacy survey revealed last year, most of the IM servers kept logs of user logins, including user signs on or off and from what IP address and reveal this logs to any law enforcement agency, if a subpoena or a court order if provided. And be aware that all main IM servers like yahoo, msn, gmail, icq, aol are based in US where everybody knows that there is no much privacy protection. Here is the Cnet article about this: hxxp://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-9962106-38.html 2.2.3. For your own protection and security you should a IM network that have severs outside US and EU jurisdiction, such as Jabber network. The Jabber network is server-based (user do not talk directly to one another) but decentralized so user don?t have to use only one central authoritative server like all other IM. The architecture of Jabber network is similar to email; anyone can run his/her own Jabber server and there is no central master server. And because there are a lot of Jabber servers located in countries far away of EU/US jurisdiction your conversations and even IP address will be safe. And using Jabber with Psi client and GnuPG encryption will be perfect for private, secure and reliable communication. Personally I recommend everybody to use Russian based Jabber servers and to stay away from EU and US based servers. Here is some useful links regarding Jabber: xxx.jabber.org ? Jabber official webpage xxx.ejabberd.im/servers - a good list of Jabber servers, many of them located outside US/EU jurisdiction hXXp://psi-im.org/ - best IM client for the Jabber network xxx.gnupg.org ? official page of the GnuPG open source encryption software STEP 3 ? ENCRYPT YOUR COMMUNICATION: 3.1. Instant Messaging Encyption: Reading this you will find out how to install and use Psi IM client on the Jabber network with Simp encryption for the best security and privacy over IM: 3.1.1. Download and install Psi, the best IM client for Jabber network from their official webpage: hXXp://psi-im.org/download/ 3.1.2. Download and install Simp encryption software: xxx.secway.fr After you install the Simp software you will be asked to generate an encryption key. Depending on the version of Simp that you?ve installed (free or commercial) you should choose the higher RSA bits key. Next you choose your encryption key you will be asked to provide a password for this key, this is your private password and will protect your main RSA key. You need to keep this password secure all the time and don?t tell it to nobody because only you must know this password. After your RSA key is generated your main Simp program will open and you from now on you will be able to encrypt all conversations with other IM users that have Simp installed on their computer. in the same way described here. 3.1.3. Open the Psi client, first time users will be asked to register a new account and if you agree a ?Register Account? windows will open. If this window will not open you can open it from Psi ?General? menu, using the ?Account Setup? submenu. In the ?Register Account? windows you must input the Jabber server domain, as I already said I recommend using a Russian Jabber server from the list I?ve posted above or from your own Google search. After you submit your server (don?t need to make other configuration) you will be asked to provide a user name and password. 3.1.4. After you successfully register your Jabber user you can start adding buddies to your contact list, you can do that from the Psi ?General? menu, using submenu ?Add a contact?. Please be aware that you will need to submit the full Jabber ID of your buddies like: [email protected] not only his nickname. 3.1.5. Possible temporally problems with Simp encryption: - Be aware that some times you will have problems with encryption of a conversation. You always much check if a conversation with a buddy is encrypted by looking in the bottom table of the Simp window, to see if your buddy ID is under the green ?Authenticated/Encrypted? row. - If it is under the blue ?Encrypted? or under red ?Unencrypted? row you must select that connection under the blue ?Encrypted? or under red ?Unencrypted? row and by pressing the right button of the mouse over it and select the option ?Close session? in order to restart the encryption process. - If this will not work, you should remove your buddy encryption key from the upper table. It is easy to find out what is your buddy key from the upper table because it starts with your buddy IM id. Just move the mouse cursor over that key and push the right mouse button and select the ?Remove? option from the menu that will open. 3.2. Phone SMS Encryption: You will need this if you work with ppl in the real environment and you need a secure and fast way to communicate with them. As everybody knows now days almost all Mobile phone communications, including SMS can be intercepted very quickly and very easy not only by law enforcements agencies but also by other persons/institutions that are interested in obtain information from your communications, persons like: private investigators, bounty hunters, debt collectors and others. In order to encrypt your communication trough phone in a cheap way you can use cryptosms tool that will encrypt your SMS messages. This tool is writhed in java and runs on a lot of mobile phones which provide j2me. You can download this tool and all the documentation about it from the official vendor website: xxx.cryptosms.org STEP 4 ? ENCRYPT & PROTECT YOUR IP & INTERNET TRAFFIC 4.1. Use an OpenVPN service in order to connect to the Internet because: 4.1.1. it will protect your IP address by replacing your real IP address with the OpenVPN service server IP. By using a OpenVPN service your whole Internet traffic will be tunneled through the VPN server and all your traffic will be routed trough the VNP server so whatever program you use, Internet browser, Skype, IM client, FTP client, SSH client and so on the ?end user? IP that will be logged as it was your real IP will be the VPN server IP. 4.1.2. The advantage of using a OpenVPN service to work online is that it will encrypt all your data traffic from your computer to the VPN service server, so your local ISP and even LE from your country will not be able to see what you do online because all your traffic data is encrypted with a AES-256 bits key. 4.1.3. The best OpenVPN service must have its servers located outside the US/EU jurisdiction for t he best security and privacy. I recommend the services of: perfect-privacy.com as they have a lot of servers that you can connect on only by paying for one single user account and also they have some servers outside US/EU jurisdiction, in Hong Kong, in Malaysia, Russia, Israel, China and few other good locations. And the best thing with these services is that they don?t log users original IP addresses when you connect to their servers, for a better privacy. 4.1.4. IF you choose the services of perfect-privacy.com you will find in their member area (in menu "How to Connect") a very good tutorial on how to use their OpenVPN software in order to connect to their servers and surf the web in a secure mode. 4.2. For the best protection of your real IP and of your real location/address, beside a good OpenVPN service you must use a good socks proxy service in order to increase your protection when you work online. 4.2.1. Using socks proxy is very recommendable when you doing your job trough Internet browsers, because it will protect your OpenVPN server IP and in this way it will be extremely hard for somebody, even for LE, to track you down only if they have logs of your socks IP that do some shit like: carding online stores, hacking in shop admins, transferring money from online bank account and other things that are done by Internet browsers. Personally I recommend the services of: anyproxy.net as they have a lot of socks from all over the world and good prices if you buy many. 4.2.2. When using socks proxy I recommend using a tool called Proxifier in order to choose what programs you want to connect trough the socks proxy. You can download the software from its vendor official website: xxx.proxifier.com On their website you will find how to use this tool but if you have problems with it post in this threat and I will try to help you as I can. STEP 5 ? COVER YOUR TRACES Whatever you work on your computer you leave traces of your work, cookies and cache pages from the websites you visit, temporally files of your saved/edited files, files that you simple delete it but are still stored on your hard drive, and other traces of your activity. You need some tools that can delete all this traces in a secure and reliable way, so nobody can ever recover any of these traces from your hard drive. Also you must know that law enforcement agencies and many others institutions and individuals use software that can recover deleted data from your hard drive very easy, even data deleted for months. There is such a software that is used by almost all law enforcement agencies when its comes to ?computer forensics? its name is EnCase and you can read more about it here: XXX.guidancesoftware.com/products/ef_index.asp hXXp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EnCase In order to prevent such tools to recover data that you don?t want to be recoverable, you should use these tools: 5.1. CCleaner from: XXX.ccleaner.com With this tool you will be able to secure erase(with overwrite) all your Internet Browsing traces, like cookies, offline saved data, history, temporally files, memory dumps and other sensitive traces of your activity. Also this tool is good for your Windows registry as it will clean it from old and useless entries. 5.2. Eraser from: XXX.heidi.ie/node/6 With this tool you will be able to secure erase any file from your computer and even entire partitions, flash memory sticks and other magnetic memory media. This tools is the best to use for every file you want to delete from your computer. After you install this software you will have the option to erase data from a file/partition/memory stick just by pressing the right mouse button on the target and select from the menu ?Erase? if you want to secure delete the target file or ?Eraser Secure Move? if you want to secure move the target file. Also, when you empty your Recycle Bin you should use the option ?Erase Recycle Bin (1-Pass Pseudorandom Data)? in order to secure erase your data. The 1-Pass Pseudorandom Data erasing should be enough for not so important data but if you really want to be sure that the erased that will never be recovered you should use ?3-Pass DOD E? as this is the official erase standard used by US agencies to erase ?Top Secret? classified documents. 5.3. Use the best privacy protection browser: Firefox and set not to store history data and other data such as password and cached pages. And also set Firefox to automatically delete all ?Private Data? when you close it. You can set this option in Firefox by selecting the ?Options? submenu from its Tools main menu, and then by opening the Privacy table you will see at the bottom of the table the Settings button for Private Data. If you have problems with installing or/and making to work of any tool/software I?ve posted here please post in this thread and I will try my best to help you. Any suggestions, feedback and new ideas will be appreciated.