How To Protect Yourself From Corporate Censorship

  • Use Decentralized alternatives.
  • Fire up that VPN
  • Fortify your browser and your devices
  • Utilize Aliases for your own protection

Decentralized alternatives to popular websites on the internet are slowly beginning to pop up and gain prevalence as we are seeing increased prevalence on various media sources. Alternatives to youtube and other social networking sites like DTube exist. Here is an article listing 4 popular decentralized Social media platforms. Entirely decentralized portions of the internet are currently being tested. And of course we obviously have anonymizing darkwebs such as Tor, Freenet and I2P. However I would be an idiot not to note the fact that these platforms have had extreme amounts of trouble gaining any sort of traction with their target audience due to the fact that they lack the addictive simplicity that services like Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube have. Only time will tell if one of these platforms will gain enough popularity to become viable alternatives to what we currently have.

Get a paid VPN. Securing your connection to the internet is of the utmost importance due to the potential for 3rd party eves-droppers and the fact that we really don’t know what information is being given away by our internet service providers.

Utilize TOR or some other encrypted peer to peer darknet like I2P or Freenet. These systems are for the ultra-paranoid, and I don’t really recommend them for the average user who is simply trying to protect themselves  preemptively.

Be careful what you download and get an Antivirus. Utilize www.virustotal.com to see if the file you have downloaded shows up on ANY antivirus. You can also use nodistribute.com if you don’t want your scan results sent to the antivirus companies. Protecting yourself from malware can help prevent your privacy from being invaded by governments or people.

Know your rights. Google around to know what the copyright and internet laws are in your area. Be aware of what the government can and cannot do to you legally.

Utilize secure Open Source software and host your own servers. Offshore servers may sometimes be necessary in the absolute worst cases of censorship. Open Source will ensure that no company will be able to revoke access to the software. The government hates open source because they can’t get their backdoors implanted into the code as easily, although it has potentially happened so be aware.

Note: I am speaking about all this in wake of the recent Mass censoring of Alex Jones and Infowars. Regardless of what your political ideology is, everyone deserves to be able to have their ideas heard. In current times, Corporate Censorship is a new breed altogether. Normally it would be the government, but with big corporate run media platforms anyone can be censored off the platforms if it serves the corporate interest. I’m no anti-capitalist. Quite the contrary, but I do think we need to push the free market in a direction that prevents censorship. Decentralized platforms and Open Source software can help with this. Stay safe.

 

Best Resources to get Started Hacking as a Beginner

So In the future I will do an all encompassing tutorial on what you should do in order to get started with hacking. But In this article I’m going to give you a list of great resources that helped me get from beginner to intermediate (at which point you should have a pretty clear idea of what you need to do).

  1. Codecademy
  2. Cybrary
  3. Hacksplaining

Thats it…..                                                                                                                                  Well sort of. That’s all you need to get started with  the basics. First I’d recommend learning HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python and command line basics on codecademy. That won’t take you long at all. Once you’ve done that, head over to cybrary and take a look at some of their courses. At minimum you’ll want to find a course that will take you over the basics of how networking works. The most comprehensive free overview of networking would probably be the Networking+ course. Then you could take a look at their Linux+ course. Both of these courses will supposedly prepare you for the comptia certifications which is something to look into if you’re interested in a career in IT. The next thing you’ll want to do is head over to Hacksplaining and go through all their vulnerability overviews. They only cover web vulnerabilities but It’ll be a decent foundation for you as a newbie hacker. Understanding the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities is an absolute must these days in my opinion.

Bonus!

  1. Metasploit Unleashed
  2. VulnHub

By this point you’re somewhat of an intermediate. You’ve got the basics of a few coding languages, you’ve got an understanding of Linux, networking and you have an idea of what a vulnerability is. Metasploit unleashed will teach you how to actually use vulnerabilities to compromise a system. This is where the real hacking begins. On top of that you’ll learn one of the quintessential industry standard hacking tools Metasploit. After you’ve completed metasploit unleashed go check out VulnHub for some vulnerable VMs that you can practice your skills on. Start with the tried and true ones like Mr. Robot and Kioptrix so you can follow along the write ups (tutorials) until you gain a thorough understanding.

And did I mention that all these resources are FREE? yep. You don’t have to spend a dime to become a master hacker. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you do.

And after doing all that you’ll be a pro. except not really.

What is a Social Engineer?

Social engineers are nothing new to society. In some sense they’ve always existed but they’ve just been going by different names. Conman, grifter, flimflammer, trickster. I think you get the point. A social engineer is a person who uses his social skills to manipulate people or organizations (or in some cases entire societies) into giving him what he wants.

Micro scale social engineering however is very different from macro scale social engineering. An example of micro scale social engineering would be when a conman tricks someone into lending him money and not giving it back (an inelegant con, but a con none the less). An example of macro scale social engineering would be wartime propaganda used to convince a society to support the war effort.

So where does this become relevant to me as a hacker? If you’re hacking a target you may find that public exploits are not available because the target is kept up to date and security is seemingly airtight. But often times the weakest link in an organization is the human behind the desk. With social engineering you won’t even have to crack open your terminal to gain sensitive data and potentially access to a target. I’ll cover more in depth about methods employed by social engineers in future articles, but a great book to learn more about social engineering from a hackers perspective would be Social Engineering: The art of Human Hacking. Go check it out or google around and do some research of your own.

3 Types of Hackers (which one are you?)

What is a hacker? According to google it is “a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data.” But what are the different motives of hackers and how do we define the difference? Hackers are typically divided up into three subcategories. You’ve got White Hats, Black Hats and Grey hats.

White Hat: a hacker who hacks legally/ethically for profit or non-profit. Penetration testers, security consultants, computer forensics and incident response teams are just a few examples of the roles that white hats will often play within the public and private sectors. You can usually find them at big tech conventions like Black Hat or DefCon as well as various freelancing websites.

Black Hat: a criminal hacker who hacks illegally for fun, profit, revenge or a whole array of nefarious reasons. These hackers are usually found frequenting various underground forums and IRC channels.

Grey Hat: These hackers are typically harder to pin down. They may or may not be bound by an ethical or legal code but you won’t find them committing malicious crimes. Most hackers fall within black or white hat but there is definitely a spectrum as not all white hats are ethical and not all black hats are criminals.

With that being said guys, there are a whole lot of reasons why hackers start hacking and I couldn’t even hope to list all of them but understand that there is definitely a moral line and a legal line that you have to identify before you do anything you’ll regret.