On Thursday, the FBI arrested two suspected hackers who allegedly participated in Anonymous and LulzSec attacks. One of them, Cody Kretsinger, faces 15 years in prison for allegedly helping break into the Sony Pictures website with an SQL injection and publishing user data. As we described on Thursday, the indictment against Kretsinger says he used what’s called a proxy server to hide his identity while carrying out the attack. But on Friday it emerged that the site he allegedly used to disguise his identity cooperated with police working to track him down. That’s got some in the online privacy community very nervous.
[..]We were recently e-mailed by someone who is working on the ipFilterX project and asked us to check out his project, what we saw was very interesting so we decided to ask him some questions and see what you guys think. Any project that helps protect the privacy, security and safety of the people of the internet is a project we are willing to cover[…]
A little about ipfilterX, here is what their site says about the project;
IpfilterX blocks Anti-P2P companies and the organizations that support them, Corporations, Military Ranges, Government Agencies, Law Firms, P2P spammers and many more. There’s no need to block more than 1 billion of IPs to be protected, overloading further to a certain value will result in banning innocent IP ranges which means legitimate P2P sources and peers, this paranoid setting will mess up your machine. You won’t run into risks using IpfilterX and won’t run into more risks than using an overbloated ipfilter.
ipfilterX is purposely designed to be used against Spy Networks , Government Agencies, and all kind of public and private organizations that work any time to collect your personal data and your interests, in this way they would net users like people naked on a scanner in order to control, know, and prevent them. Today you can fight them back, ipfilterX is your privacy firewall, a digital shining of steel shield .
We have coded ipfilter since 2001, we are the original team that discovered this way to face the digital enemies, both with “Mathew-Method” we worked to an ipfilter shield, later we have also split from Bluetack Team because we disagree with their hog way to ban ips ranges and finally we gave birth to ipfilterX project at 2004. ipfilterX remained an open source project until 2011 when, after serious problems of the founder and leader Karl Constantine, we decided that was necessary a small financial help from users in order to continue the project. Today with a very tiny sum per year, internet users may protect themselves yet from that Evil who composed the Big Brother mosaic of the net.
Our Blocklist can be used with P2P Software such as PeerBlock, PeerGuardian, iplist, Vuze, Transmission, uTorrent, Tixati, eMule, edonkey, MuteP2P, Ares, DC++, RetroShare, FrostWire, Shareaza, BitTyrant, BitLord, BitComet, BitSpirit
So, after reading that we became more interested and sent him some questions about the project, here is what we asked him and here are his responses;
-How do you describe your project in your own words?
-My project is intended to be a project that keeps out an large scale enemies and potential threats of net users , not only for filesharers . It’s a project started more than 10 years ago when there were not VPN Services as now . It’s a privacy shield for excellence , it has its rights and must be considered highly on equal classification when whoever talks about privacy because it’s what we do , we protect users from many menaces .
-And how and why is it effective.
It’s effective because ipfilterX breaks connections before they can ever be considered “connections”, an ip blocked can not reach who is blocking it, it as machine can’t even “see” the other machine that’s blocking it . Get on example : ipfilterX bans ips of Botnet Command and Control Servers, a machine that is infected but protected by ipfilterX won’t communicate with the C&C server so the infection returns useless to the criminals behind it , a VPN can’t do that. That’s only one example but I can continue on this line to explain why ipfilterX defense protects people from who’s interest is to manipulate, control, eradicate, spy, make statistics, etc. You can consider it as the antivirus definitions, there are ever new menaces, there are ever new ips to block, and old definitions are enough useless, without updates, with our Team that works any day over tons of ips, keeping eyes over what bad guys are doing on the net, then ipfilterX wouldn’t be different from others ipfilters out there. An ipfilter not updated can make only damages to who is using it, that’s the real false sense of security and a wide open door to evil from the abyss of the web .
-Have you done any studies/tests on a large scale to see if DMCA’s notices decrease? IE 100 or however many people using it got DMCAs VS 100 people not using it?
Well, my customers never got a DMCA, I and my Team are very proud of this but we, after all the work done and that we continue to perform, live with the doubt that something could be missing in the field. Recently we discovered an user (not an ipfilterX one) that using Peerblock got many DMCA notices. He didn’t know that only Peerblock is useless against any kind of danger, what makes Peerblock useful is the fuel of its engine, a real updated and excellent ipfilter; so we contacted him in order to see if once that he could use our product he would or would not still get DMCA notices, that’s a real challenge that we like to get to test in what we believe and work since more than a decade .
-What Type of sales plans are available for the service?
Well, we have 3 kind of plans: normal ipfilterX, ipfilterX2 that contains 40-50 millions of ips more than ipfilterX because it contains biggest and extended MIL, POLICE, GOV, MALWARE ranges (we have highlighted that it could contain more false positives but until now no one complained about it), we made it for paranoid mode, although we don’t consider Paranoia a false reality but a thin line of reality that potentially may ever transform itself to Reality, and ipfilterX3 which consists of ipfilterX – ipfilterX2 and 3 Add-On Modules, 3 kind of different and dedicated blocklists: Malicious, Spammers and Malware Hosts. Plus, since some month, we release for free ipfilterHTX, ips and ips ranges that we suggest to be blocked in Deny Rules of HTAccess or Ngix for websites, it contains Ips that result with regulary and ordinary fall recurrence in Bruteforce, Spam, and DDoS Attacks to websites.
-How frequently do you guys update it, and how large would you say each update is?
Well, we update it any week, official release within 10 days from the previous one, plus before to update and give details about the Changelog, we update a NightBuild Version, within 5 days from the last official ipfilterX release. In the update further to block new ips, often we remove, after checking, several ranges that became useless, left from previous owners and bought by innocent new ones, or merge adjacent ranges that we discover to be one only and not different from each other. About the level of menaces blocked it’s posted on the Changelog the ipfilterX Security Level from 1 to 5, sort of Defcom but reversal of its measures, when you see 5 as level then we strongly suggest to update as soon as possible, don’t get to bed at night or hang on before to get your coffee in the morning.
-What exactly are the markers you block ip addresses based off of, is it just copyright trolls and government?
Also this information is posted on the Changelog : We block whatever can be consider a menace or a potential one to net users, yes Not only GOV and Copyright Trolls but Unfair Companies like those that sell Software to spy citizens, Business Groups, Malvertising, Scammers, Flooders, Statistics and Research Agencies, Cover Societies of Secret Services, Private CyberCrime Centers, etc.
-How often is a IP wrongfully blocked?
Well that is what we aim to avoid since the beginning, ipfilterX points its force to never ban innocent ips; You see many ipfilters that ban more than 2 or 3 billions of ips, that’s madness. They block more than the 50% of the internet, it’s like if an antivirus would put in quarantine whatever file got a strange name or number. No way. I understand that to run a completed check of ip ranges can be a long analysis but who made those Net Wall Monsters has no idea of what has done; to ban millions of ips is a total ruin of filesharing networks, of the Net itself, the average user won’t understand why he can’t visit a website or why while visiting a website PeerBlock Icon starts to blink, or worse why he can’t connect to some friend across the globe to join in some multiplayer game.
Sounds like a good concept, we have not yet tested this project but he ensures us it is safer than VPNs, so if any of you decide to try it then let us know what you think and how it worked for you, we will be trying it out and stress testing it to the max.
Check out their project and enjoy it’s benefits, more security never hurts and from people who have been in the game for a long time, I think it is pretty good to see people this dedicated to helping people stay secure and private while ont he internet, we at School of Privacy tip our hats to them…