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eQualitie Blog

  • Distributed Deflect – project review
    This is the fifth year of Deflect operations and an opportune time to draw some conclusions from the past and provide a round of feedback to our many users and peers. We fought and won several hundred battles with various distributed denial of service and social engineering attacks against us and our clients, expanding the […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #12 Zifra
    Zifra is a building a memory card with state-of-the-art encryption capabilities. Not only does it encrypt, but it also hides the files so that they become invisible to prying eyes. Two guiding principles in Zifra’s development are openness and user-friendliness. Verified open source code is used for crucial parts of the solution and Zifra’s technology […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #11 Z.cash
    Freedom of expression comes in many forms. One of them is the ability to send value to another person or business regardless of location or intent. Current financial privacy models are based on centralized systems which historically limit inclusion to the global market and are susceptible to compromise and potentially unlawful subpoenas, as highlighted in […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #10 Wire
    Wire is a secure, end-to-end encrypted messenger. It’s open source, works on phones, tablets and computers, supports up to 7 devices per account, and doesn’t require a phone number to register. Wire is headquartered in Switzerland with servers in the EU.Wire started with an idea that people need and deserve a privacy-focused messenger that wasn’t […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #9 Toosheh
    52% of the world population does not have access to any form of internet. 80% of the world doesn’t have access to an internet that is 100% uncensored. Toosheh is an innovation that can provide access to free data to a lot of people with a limited or no internet access all over the world […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #8 pretty Easy privacy (p≡p)
    p≡p stands for pretty Easy privacy. The idea is to make end-to-end cryptography accessible to everyone by automatizing all steps usually taught to users at CryptoPartys, starting from OpenPGP encryption for email and then including chat communication channels like XMPP+OTR. p≡p end user software comes along with a cloudless (peer-to-peer) synchronization protocol allowing users to […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #7 Passbolt
    Passbolt is an open source password manager built for collaboration. It allows teams to securely share and store credentials – like the wifi password of their office, their organisation’s Twitter handle or the administrator password of their router. It’s 2017 and the most popular passwords are still “123456” and “azerty”. Most people still reuse passwords […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #6 Paskoocheh
    Due to heavy information controls, Iranians face significant challenges when attempting to access the Internet. In addition, popular Iranian app markets such as Cafe Bazaar are not allowed to distribute any circumvention tools, and many tool developers over-comply with sanctions by not making their tools available to Iranians. Paskoocheh is a response to these problems. […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #5 Gridsync
    Gridsync is an open source, cross-platform desktop application and graphical user interface for Tahoe-LAFS, the Least Authority File Store.   Tahoe-LAFS’s unique design offers a number of highly-desirable features for users that require secure and reliable cloud storage: its “provider-independent” security model ensures that storage service providers cannot read or alter the data of their […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #4 Coral Project Talk
    Online comments are broken: managing interactions with readers can be so challenging that many newsrooms are closing comments. This may be a way of saving on resources, but also isolates journalists from their readers. The Coral Project – a project focused on the needs of community journalists founded by Mozilla, The New York Times, and […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #3 Certbot
    In a nutshell, Certbot is a tool for getting certificates from the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority (CA) and configuring your web server to encrypt users’ connections to your website with Let’s Encrypt certificates. But there’s more to it: Certbot is an easy-to-use automatic client that fetches and deploys SSL/TLS certificates for your webserver. Developed by […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #2 Bitmask
    Bitmask is an open source desktop app that aims to be an intuitive and easy-to-use client for VPN and Encrypted Email. Bitmask is a project developed by LEAP, a non-profit dedicated to giving all internet users access to secure communication, with a focus on making encryption technology easy to use and widely available. LEAP is […]
  • IFF Tech&Tools Showcase 2017 – #1 Amnesty Decoders
    Amnesty Decoders is an initiative by Amnesty International born out of a desire to inspire a new generation of digital activists to contribute in real time to human rights research. With this project, Amnesty started building a community of tens of thousands of volunteers who are helping the organisation turn mountains of messy data into […]
  • eQualit.ie at the Internet Freedom Festival
    The Internet Freedom Festival (IFF), the Global Unconference of the Internet Freedom Communities, will take place in Valencia, Spain, from the 1st to the 6th March 2017. With over 1000 participants from more than 100 countries, and with 40% of women registered in the event, the IFF focuses on inclusivity and skill sharing and will […]
  • Distributed Denial of Women – a general strike
    It’s a well-known problem: the tech industry, be it proprietary or open source, hasn’t managed to tackle inequality in its ranks despite several proactive efforts and millions of dollars invested to diversify their staff. There are many explanations and critiques of these approaches, but in the end what counts is that technology is still developed […]
  • Who bytes your bits? – digital security training in Toronto
    On the 9th February eQualit.ie’s director Dmitri Vitaliev will lead a digital security training for high-risk journalism hosted by journalist Susana Ferreira as part of #OffAssignment Toronto, a series of workshops and talks for freelance journalists and independent media-makers in Toronto, and organized with the support of CJFE at the DAIS Tkaronto Gallery in Toronto […]
  • Deflect in 2016 – an overview
    In 2016, Deflect set some records and helped defend online voices against some record breaking attacks. Throughout the year, Deflect served a bit less than 2% of the population connected to the Internet in 2016, published 3 DDoS analytic reports, mitigated the strongest DDoS attack that ever targeted our network, renewed its funding and began […]
  • Deflect Stats December 2016
    In December 2016 the Deflect network recorded a slight increase in the number of total hits as compared to the previous month, with a comparable number of unique visitors and banning events. Overall, our edges served 635.4 million pages to 9.6 million unique visitors and banned 36,681 bots.   The following pie charts offer some […]
  • Deflect Labs report #3
    Botnet attack analysis of Deflect protected website blacklivesmatter.com Seamus Tuohy and eQualit.ie View the report with 3D rendering (5mb) This report covers attacks between April 29th and October 15th, 2016. Over this seven-month period, we recorded more than a hundred separate denial-of-service incidents against the official Black Lives Matter website. Our analysis shows a variety […]
  • Deflect Stats November 2016
    In November the Deflect network served pages to many legitimate visitors interested in breaking news reported by deflected websites, and mitigated automatically some intense attacks. During the month, Deflect served 585 million pages to 9.8 million visitors, with a slight increase of unique IPs as compared to our October statistics, suggesting a rise in the […]
  • TA3M, December 19th – the Cryptmas edition
    Our techno activism 3rd Mondays events are back! This time with a focus on mobile security and anonymity. As recent reporting highlighted once again the dangers to personal privacy from modern day surveillance, we are offering an overview of current possibilities for improving your mobile privacy, just in time for Christmas! We will discuss: – […]
  • Deflect Stats October 2016
    In October Deflect’s metrics kept following the trend we had seen in September, with comparable figures in terms of unique visitors (9.3 million) and a slight increase in total hits (632.8 million requests reaching our edge servers), but with almost twice as many bots identified and banned by Deflect’s banning system – 50,323 bots against […]
  • Deflect Stats September 2016
    In September, Deflect metrics grew as new websites joined the service and a popular Syrian website rejoined Deflect to ensure an uninterrupted news stream on the regional conflict. In other news, the Internet witnessed the largest ever DDoS attacks, surpassing 600gbps and then 1 terabyte of traffic per second. These events followed the leaks of […]
  • Deflect Stats August 2016
    “No news is good news” in the DDoS mitigation game, and this is what we were hoping for in August 2016. We decided to capitalize on this opportunity and focus the team on new developments supporting free Let’s Encrypt certificates for all Deflect clients, as part of the TLS/HTTPS system. Then, on the 29th everything […]
  • Deflect Stats July 2016
    From what we can conclude from our statistics, during the month of July bot controllers must have come back from their holidays, since the traffic on the Deflect network has started to increase again and we have witnessed one of the most intense bursts of DDoS attacks we had observed so far. This series of […]
  • Deflecting cyber attacks against the Black Lives Matter website
    Last week and throughout the weekend, Deflect helped mitigate several DDoS attack bursts against the official Black Lives Matter website. At current estimates over 12,000 bots pounded the website just over 35 million times in 24 hours. An unusual trait of this attack was the prevalence of  malicious connections originating from the US. An in-depth […]
  • Deflect Stats June 2016
    If any conclusion can be drawn in comparing this month’s statistics with the rest of the year, it’s probably that hot weather is also discouraging to those bot controllers launching DDoS attacks! The month was rather uneventful on the malicious side of things, but the team worked in earnest to improve our mitigation mechanisms, including threat […]
  • Deflect Stats May 2016
    May 2016 was an interesting month for Deflect. We began the month with two intense attacks that required our team’s intervention right in the middle of May Day. After this, the month unrolled with a series of smaller attacks against the same websites, which were by then automatically mitigated by the Deflect network without requiring […]
  • Deflect Labs Report #2
    Botnet attack analysis of Deflect protected website bdsmovement.net This report covers attacks between February 1st and March 31st of six discovered incidents targeting the bdsmovement.net website, including methods of attack, identified botnets and their characteristics. It provides detailed technical information and analysis of trends with the introduction of the Bothound library for attack fingerprinting and […]
  • Deflect Stats April 2016
    April 2016 was noticeable for the amount of attacks launched against Deflect protected websites. Most of them were using the WordPress Pingback reflective attack method. Ukrainian readers topped our statistics this month, with readers from the United States, Ecuador and Russia also generating several million daily hits.       An interesting set of data […]
  • TA3M May ’16 – “Who Am I” Film Screening
    Join us for the next TA3M for a screening of the German hacker film Who Am I. After the screening we will host a group discussion led by Gabriella Coleman (Professor at McGill University who works on computer hackers) and Thomas Geffroyd (Ubisoft, Content Director for the Hacker game Watchdogs) about the film and the […]
  • eQPress – secure hosting with Deflect
    In the last few months, the Deflect team has set up a hosting platform that allows anybody to have an easy-to-manage, secure website (or even a multisite) that protects you not only from DDoS attacks, but also from other problems that may arise if your hosting provider is poorly resourced, unable to handle basic attacks […]
  • Use the Console to manage your eQPress account
    When you first create a website on eQPress, what you need to know is how to configure it and how to use WordPress. But if you’ve ever managed a WordPress-based website or blog and/or have just migrated your existing site to eQPress, you will probably be already familiar with the WordPress Dashboard and don’t need […]
  • TA3M APRIL ’16 – a Basic Internet Service in Canada?
    Should Canada do more to encourage broadband adoption? The CRTC is currently debating whether to define a basic Internet service and whether to subsidize Internet access to rural, remote or low income communities. For people interested in the information superhighway, this hearing is when the rubber hits the road. Concordia professor Fenwick McKelvey will introduce […]
  • Deflect stats March 2016
    This is the first in a monthly series of posts sharing and discussing statistics on the Deflect network. March 2016 was a busy month for us. We began to publish analytic reports on DDoS attacks against some of the clients we protect on the network. Our aim is to help the target’s advocacy efforts and […]
  • Deflect Labs Report #1
    Botnet attack analysis covering reporting period February 1 – 29 2016 Deflect protected website – kotsubynske.com.ua This report covers attacks against the Kotsubynske independent media news site in Ukraine, in particular during the first two weeks of February 2016. It details the various methods used to bring down the website via distributed denial of service […]
  • Deflect Labs – fighting impunity with analytics and advocacy
    For the last four years, the Deflect DDoS mitigation system has protected independent online voices from the onslaught of cyber-attacks aiming to silence them. We have grown, learning our lessons as we took the punches. One aspect of this work stood out as particularly interesting during this time: there were stories to be told in […]
  • TA3M MARCH ’16 “WHO BYTES YOUR BITS”
    We’re all familiar with the idea of a search warrant — but how else can the government access your private information in Canada? This informal TA3M workshop will explore this question—whether in the context of a criminal investigation or otherwise. We’ll also discuss the implications for businesses and organizations that hold private data for their […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase: the winners!
    During the Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia, eQualit.ie hosted a tool showcase on Thursday 3rd March. 15 awesome tools were presented, and the audience voted for their favourite projects for three different categories – “You did whaaaat?”, “Wish I’d thought of that!”, and “You get a biscuit”. We are now proud to announce the winners, […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #14: CGIProxy
    First created in 1996, CGIProxy is a clientless web proxy that supports Javascript and Flash, enabling access even to the most complex websites, and can be used to anonymize connections and circumvent censorship. Over the years, CGIProxy has been downloaded over 2 million times and has been a model for several other similar web proxies. […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #15: SecurePost
    SecurePost is an Android App that allows a group to share a Twitter account or Facebook page without sharing the account password. Every post published through SecurePost is cryptographically signed and can thus be verified through the app itself or with a Chrome plugin, that will clearly show if the post has been published by […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #2: Code of Conduct builder
    Usually, those who are most hurt by censorship, surveillance and a lack of Internet freedom are the most marginalised members of society; people who have been too often excluded from the world of tech, policy and other important areas which impact Internet freedom and human rights. To face this problem, many groups have taken inspiration […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #11: StoryMaker
    StoryMaker is an open source app helping anyone learn to make great multimedia stories and safely produce and publish them with their mobile device, in a privacy-preserving fashion that ensures they can share and publish their stories where they wish, despite the threat of censorship. The final release out of beta comes with the inclusion […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #13: uProxy
    uProxy is an open source browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that lets users share their route to the Internet with each other. uProxy has been made for people in two situations: those who need to get safe and unrestricted access to the Internet and those who have an unrestricted connection that they would like […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #6: OnionShare
    OnionShare is a desktop application to share files anonymously and securely using the Tor network. It’s incredibly simple and uses the anonymity-protecting and firewall-slicing properties of hidden services. It supports a diversity of use cases such as sending a screenshot to a friend, or leaking classified documents to a journalist. As long as both the […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #1: CENO
    CENO (Censorship.NO!) is an innovative approach to censorship circumvention, based on P2P storage networks, and in particular on Freenet. CENO maintains strong privacy and anonymity features as well as offering users plausible deniability in an emergency situation. CENO is built in advance of aggressive Internet filtering and the establishment of national intranets to fence off […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #5: NetAidKit
    The NetAidKit is a pocket size, USB powered router that connects everything to everything, designed specifically for non-technical users. The easy to use web interface will allow you to connect the NetAidKit to a wireless or wired network and share that connection with your other devices, such as a phone, laptop or tablet. Once the […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase: the projects
    During the Internet Freedom Festival, which will take place in Valencia, Spain, from the 1st to the 6th March 2016, eQualit.ie will host a tool showcase and award ceremony on Thursday 3rd March, starting from 7 pm. During the showcase, 15 tools will be introduced with a short presentation to the entire room and then […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #12: Umbrella
    Umbrella is a free and open source Android app to help journalists and activists manage their security on the move. Subdivided in several sections addressing not only digital and physical, but also psycho-social and operational security issues, Umbrella offers simple, practical advice on what to do and what tools to do it with – covering […]
  • IFF Tool Showcase #10: StingWatch
    An IMSI-catcher is a telephony eavesdropping device used for intercepting mobile phone traffic and tracking movement of mobile phone users. Essentially a “fake” mobile tower acting between the target mobile phone and the service provider’s real towers, it is considered a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. Wikipedia article Employed, among others, by the US federal government and […]