Privacy

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POC: Decentralized Chat (programming.dev)
submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
 
 

chat.positive-intentions.com

github.com/positive-intentions/chat

I'm excited to share with you an instant messaging application I've been working on that might interest you. This is a chat app designed to work within your browser, with a focus on browser-based security and decentralization.

What makes this app unique is that it doesn't rely on messaging servers to function. Instead, it works based on your browser's javascript capabilities.

Here are some features of the app:

  • Encrypted messaging: Your messages are encrypted, making them more secure.
  • File sharing: Easily share files using WebRTC technology and QR codes.
  • Voice and video calls: Connect with others through voice and video calls.
  • Shared virtual space: Explore a shared mixed-reality space.
  • Image board: Browse and share images in a scrollable format.

Your security is a top priority. Here's how the app keeps you safe:

  • Decentralized authentication: No central server is required for login, making it harder for anyone to gain unauthorized access.
  • Unique IDs: Your ID is cryptographically random, adding an extra layer of security.
  • End-to-end encryption: Your messages are encrypted from your device to the recipient's device, ensuring only you and the recipient can read them.
  • Local data storage: Your data is stored only on your device, not on any external servers.
  • Self-hostable: You have the option to host the app on your own server if you prefer.

A decentralized infrastructure has many unique challenges and this is a unique approach. Ive taken previous feedback and made updates. Its important to note, the app is an unstable proof-of-concept and a work-in-progress. Its important to understand at this early stage in the project, there will be breaking changes. It is not ready to replace any existing apps or services. While the app is aiming to be an encrypted and secure chat system, the project is not mature enough to have been reviewed by security professionals and should not be considered encrypted or secure. it is provided for testing/review/feedback purposes.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

The live app

About the app

Even more about the app

Docs

Subreddit

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Apple and the satellite-based broadband service Starlink each recently took steps to address new research into the potential security and privacy implications of how their services geo-locate devices. Researchers from the University of Maryland say they relied on publicly available data from Apple to track the location of billions of devices globally -- including non-Apple devices like Starlink systems -- and found they could use this data to monitor the destruction of Gaza, as well as the movements and in many cases identities of Russian and Ukrainian troops. At issue is the way that Apple collects and publicly shares information about the precise location of all Wi-Fi access points seen by its devices. Apple collects this location data to give Apple devices a crowdsourced, low-power alternative to constantly requesting global positioning system (GPS) coordinates.

Both Apple and Google operate their own Wi-Fi-based Positioning Systems (WPS) that obtain certain hardware identifiers from all wireless access points that come within range of their mobile devices. Both record the Media Access Control (MAC) address that a Wi-FI access point uses, known as a Basic Service Set Identifier or BSSID. Periodically, Apple and Google mobile devices will forward their locations -- by querying GPS and/or by using cellular towers as landmarks -- along with any nearby BSSIDs. This combination of data allows Apple and Google devices to figure out where they are within a few feet or meters, and it's what allows your mobile phone to continue displaying your planned route even when the device can't get a fix on GPS.

With Google's WPS, a wireless device submits a list of nearby Wi-Fi access point BSSIDs and their signal strengths -- via an application programming interface (API) request to Google -- whose WPS responds with the device's computed position. Google's WPS requires at least two BSSIDs to calculate a device's approximate position. Apple's WPS also accepts a list of nearby BSSIDs, but instead of computing the device's location based off the set of observed access points and their received signal strengths and then reporting that result to the user, Apple's API will return the geolocations of up to 400 hundred more BSSIDs that are nearby the one requested. It then uses approximately eight of those BSSIDs to work out the user's location based on known landmarks.

In essence, Google's WPS computes the user's location and shares it with the device. Apple's WPS gives its devices a large enough amount of data about the location of known access points in the area that the devices can do that estimation on their own. That's according to two researchers at the University of Maryland, who theorized they could use the verbosity of Apple's API to map the movement of individual devices into and out of virtually any defined area of the world. The UMD pair said they spent a month early in their research continuously querying the API, asking it for the location of more than a billion BSSIDs generated at random. They learned that while only about three million of those randomly generated BSSIDs were known to Apple's Wi-Fi geolocation API, Apple also returned an additional 488 million BSSID locations already stored in its WPS from other lookups.>Apple and the satellite-based broadband service Starlink each recently took steps to address new research into the potential security and privacy implications of how their services geo-locate devices. Researchers from the University of Maryland say they relied on publicly available data from Apple to track the location of billions of devices globally — including non-Apple devices like Starlink systems — and found they could use this data to monitor the destruction of Gaza, as well as the movements and in many cases identities of Russian and Ukrainian troops.

"Plotting the locations returned by Apple's WPS between November 2022 and November 2023, Levin and Rye saw they had a near global view of the locations tied to more than two billion Wi-Fi access points," the report adds. "The map showed geolocated access points in nearly every corner of the globe, apart from almost the entirety of China, vast stretches of desert wilderness in central Australia and Africa, and deep in the rainforests of South America."

The researchers wrote: "We observe routers move between cities and countries, potentially representing their owner's relocation or a business transaction between an old and new owner. While there is not necessarily a 1-to-1 relationship between Wi-Fi routers and users, home routers typically only have several. If these users are vulnerable populations, such as those fleeing intimate partner violence or a stalker, their router simply being online can disclose their new location."

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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.world/post/10958052

Vanguard, the controversial anti-cheat software initially attached to Valorant, is now also coming to League of Legends.

Summary:

The article discusses Riot Games' requirement for players to install their Vanguard anti-cheat software, which runs at the kernel level, in order to play their games such as League of Legends and Valorant. The software aims to combat cheating by scanning for known vulnerabilities and blocking them, as well as monitoring for suspicious activity while the game is being played. However, the use of kernel-level software raises concerns about privacy and security, as it grants the company complete access to users' devices.

The article highlights that Riot Games is owned by Tencent, a Chinese tech giant that has been involved in censorship and surveillance activities in China. This raises concerns that Vanguard could potentially be used for similar purposes, such as monitoring players' activity and restricting free speech in-game.

Ultimately, the decision to install Vanguard rests with players, but the article urges caution and encourages players to consider the potential risks and implications before doing so.

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Fighting against surveillance has never been easy. But in the past year it has been specially tough in France. This talk is about shedding light on the many situations where the French State used surveillance to increase repression, mainly against activists, during the last months. Not to despair of this, but willing to provide a sincere overview to the rest of the world, La Quadrature du Net proposes to depict this situation as a satirical tale, with its own characters, plots and suspense. We want to show the political tension going on right now in France and how the checks and balances are lacking to stop this headlong rush to a surveillance state.

Looking back to France in 2023, what do we see? Implementation of new technologies such as drones, DNA marking or new generation of spywares. Also, an intensification of political surveillance, either by law enforcement deploying disproportionate means of investigations towards environmental activists or intelligence services using cameras or GPS beacons to spy on places or people that they find too radical. It was also the year of the “8 December” case, a judicial case where among other things, encrypted communications of the prosecuted persons were considered as signs of "clandestinity" that reveal criminal intentions.

On top of this, we also had to deal with the legalization of biometric surveillance for the Olympics and massive censorship of social networks when riots erupted in suburbs against police violence.

This talk is about showing the reality of the situation at stake right now in France, and how it could influence the rest of Europe. At the end, we hope to raise awareness in the international community and start thinking about how, together, we can put pressure on a country who uses its old reputation to pretend to be respectful of human rights.

Source: https://media.ccc.de/v/37c3-12309-a_year_of_surveillance_in_france_a_short_satirical_tale_by_la_quadrature_du_net

French version: https://video.lqdn.fr/w/rXmBKD6NcfxWxJEPHUZc4Z

German version: https://video.lqdn.fr/w/315ZAQFMTMG7wqiMDdGvsi

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submitted 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
 
 

cross-posted from: https://links.hackliberty.org/post/609883

This BBC interview has a #Cloudflare rep David Bellson who describes CF’s observations on internet traffic. CF tracks for example the popularity of Facebook vs. Tiktok. Neither of those services are Cloudflared, so how is CF tracking this? Apparently they are snooping on traffic that traverses their servers to record what people are talking about. Or is there a more legit way Cloudflare could be monitoring this activity?

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This guide isn't a "what not to buy" list. It acknowledges that no internet-connected toy can be entirely child proof because tech companies have yet to prioritize children's safety in their designs.

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Some banks will annually mail a paper “welcome” letter to all customers purely for the purpose of collecting bounced mail ultimately to verify if anyone has moved without telling them. The letters never state that’s the purpose.. they take that opportunity to talk about their service in arbitrary ways. Some banks even charge customers a fee for their cost in doing that. If you ask the banker about it they readily admit that it’s an address verification technique.

That’s it.. just a PSA so folks are aware, as it is a bit sneaky.

Some national postal services (e.g. USPS) sell your mail forwarding information which is how you get tracked to your new location by various entities even when you did not inform them of your new address. So obviously a good defensive measure is to never use the mail forwarding service. Select the entities you want to know your new address and inform them directly. But then to get some immunity to the sneaky trick in the 1st paragraph, perhaps give the next resident a stack of addressed envelopes and stamps and ask the next resident to ~~forward~~ (remail) for you.. or just ask them to trash your mail instead of returning it.

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Tech legal expert Eric Goldman wrote that a victory for the plaintiff could be considered "a dangerous ruling for the spy cam industry and for Amazon," because "the court’s analysis could indicate that all surreptitious hook cameras are categorically illegal to sell." That could prevent completely legal uses of cameras designed to look like clothes hooks, Goldman wrote, such as hypothetical in-home surveillance uses.

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Stop ChatControl! (de.indymedia.org)
submitted 6 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
 
 

Chat Control, the new EU law project to weaken messaging systems and get rid of E2E encryptions so as to scan in clients sides the content of the messages (but only for children safety, of course).

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After the Tchap project based on Matrix, the French Prime Minister asks anyone in the gouvernement to use Olvid, the only app validated by the ANSSI, with metadata encryption and no centralised architecture nor contacts discovery. But only the front-ends are open source, not the back-end.

Source: https://www.politico.eu/article/france-requires-ministers-to-swap-whatsapp-signal-for-french-alternatives/

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Hey everyone,

I am currently using an old(er) HYPERSECU FIDO key, USB-A with a button, and I am looking to

  • secure my phone as well (NFC) and, if possible
  • add biometric authentication to the mix.

Are there good alternatives or better: upgrades to the YubiKey which do support NFC as well as biometrics and come with a USB-C?

Thanks for your time 👋

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cross-posted from: https://programming.dev/post/6272443

After trying different browsers on android I found Privacy Browser to be what I need. It have encrypted backups,Domain settings,jsless by default,Deleting all site data and Most usable UI. Only issue is It is based on webview and I am using system default webview as my device is nonrooted so how secure is to go this way?

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cross-posted from: https://programming.dev/post/6002270

Hi,

If you don't know how work the chain of trust for the httpS

You might want to watch this video https://invidious.privacydev.net/watch?v=qXLD2UHq2vk ( if you know a better one I'm all ears )

So in my point of view this system have some huge concerns !

  1. You need to relies to a preinstalled store certificate in your system or browser... Yeah but do you know those peoples ??!! it might seem weird, but actually you should TRUST people that YOU TRUST/KNOW !!

Here an extract from the certificate store om Firefox on Windows.

I do not know ( personally ) any of those COMMERCIAL company !

  1. Of course we could use Self-certificate but this is not protecting against Man-in-the-middle_attack . Instead of using a chain (so few 3th party involved , so increasing the attack surface ! ) why not using something simpler !? like for example
  • a DNS record that hold the HASH of the public key of the certificate of the website !
  • a decentralized or federated system where the browser could check those hash ?

Really I don't understand why we are still using a chain of trust that is

  1. not trusted
  2. increase the surface of attack
  3. super complex compare to my proposals ?

Cheers,

Why I don't use the term SSLBecause actually httpS now use TLS not anymore ssl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security

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With a new open letter of specialists and engineers against that hazardous project

https://nce.mpi-sp.org/index.php/s/cG88cptFdaDNyRr

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Just wanted to share kind of tutorial I wrote about flashing LineageOS on old smartphones to keen them up to date 📱

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Just wanted to share an old but still relevant publication about tools to use to protect our privacy, feel free to comment and share suggestions 😁

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Like Nitter and Invidious

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cross-posted from: https://fedia.io/m/disabled/t/346115

Banks have started capturing customers voice prints without consent. You call the bank and the robot’s greeting contains “your voice will be saved for verification purposes”. IIUC, these voice prints can be used artificially reconstruct your voice. So they could be exfiltrated by criminals who would then impersonate you.

I could be wrong about impersonation potential.. just fragments of my memory from what I’ve read. In any case, I don’t like my biometrics being collected without my control.

The countermeasure I have in mind is to call your bank using #Teletext (TTY). This is (was?) typically a special hardware appliance. As a linux user, TTY is what the text terminal is based on. So I have questions:

  1. can a linux machine with a modem be used to convert a voice conversation to text?

  2. how widespread are TTY services? Do most banks support that, or is it just a few giant banks?

  3. if street-wise privacy enthusiasts would theoretically start using TTY in substantial numbers, would it help the deaf community by increasing demand for TTY service, thus increasing the number of businesses that support it?

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Cross post from r/privacy

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