Technology

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 host more than 200 sessions and self-organized events.

This year eQualit.ie is among the official supporters of the Internet Freedom Festival, and our staff will host 3 sessions and a night event, the Tools & Tech Showcase.

Our first session will focus on community-driven DDoS self-defence and will take place on Tuesday, March 7th, at 12.15. Another session scheduled on Tuesday, March 9th, at 17.00pm will be dedicated to our brand-new multiparty chat encryption protocol (n+1)sec and will consist of a workshop with software developers, security experts, designers, usability specialists, and communications systems engineers on how to make an encrypted multi-party chat protocol as usable as possible. On Thursday, March 9th, at 12.30, our outreach coordinator Floriana will be co-leading a session presenting a training prototype for partitioning one’s social domains as an introduction to Qubes OS.

eQualit.ie will also host the Tools & Tech Showcase on Tuesday 7th March starting from 19.30. Come and explore all the awesome tools and services that are helping the Internet freedom community join forces to fight censorship and surveillance.

See you soon in Valencia!
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Internet Freedom Festival: Tool showcase

The Internet Freedom Festival, which will take place in Valencia, Spain, from the 1st to the 6th March 2016, is a common space where diverse communities working against and affected by censorship and surveillance can come together to teach, plan and act.

Internet Freedom Festival logo

The rich schedule of the festival includes sessions on 8 different tracks and also night events. For the night events, eQualit.ie will host a tool showcase and award ceremony on Thursday 3rd March, starting from 7 pm.

THE TOOL SHOWCASE

During the showcase, 13 tools will be introduced with a short presentation to the entire room and then be assigned to their own tables for a continuing discussion with the audience. You can learn and get to see demos for Android apps carrying security advice and instructions for activists; routers and servers that enhance connection security; censorship circumvention systems; tools for encrypted communication; IMSI-catcher detectors and much more: there will be solutions for every taste and need. Here’s the complete list of the tools that will be presented at the showcase:

 

At the end of the event, the public will be invited to pick their favorite tool for the following unofficial IFF categories:

  • You did whaaaat?
  • Wish I’d thought of that!
  • You get a biscuit.

No one will leave empty handed! There are prizes for winners, drinks for participants and eQualit.ie will interview and blog about each of the contestant’s tools. And if we still have time, a vodka tasting workshop may follow!

 

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Q1 2014 Traffic Report: DDoStoyevsky’s Crimean Punishment

In the last 12 months we have seen steady growth in many aspects of the Deflect project, particularly with respect to membership, traffic, localisation and network capacity. The most significant contributing factors have been the uptake of more partners, the efficacy of our new banning software and the continued rise in DDoS attacks as a form of censorship.

To this end, we have more than doubled the number of our partners, so Deflected sites now operate in 17 languages and focus on affairs in 55 countries across the world. In addition, we have taken on more sites that report news or advocate for issues from a transnational perspective, resulting in a more even distribution of traffic from around the world.

A comparison between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014 shows this clearly.

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We see that unique visitors have nearly tripled, the number of visits has more than doubled, page requests have all multiplied, hits are between four and five times as many and we are dealing with at least twice the amount of bandwidth as this time last year. The figures continue to grow as we move into March and April because of the current Ukraine situation. In the wake of the Euromaidan protests, the fall of the Yanukovich government and the annexation of the Crimea, we brought onto the network a number of key independent news sites operating in the region that have brought with them a large amount of traffic and a comparable amount of DDoS attacks.

The figures above are only for the legitimate traffic served. With respect to malicious requests, we saw an average of around 8MBps across the network for the month and when we first took on the Ukranian sites in March we saw spikes of 200 bots per edge.

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DBP: Our Philosophy

The Deflect team has spent the last two years mitigating DDoS attacks against independent media and human rights websites. We’ve learnt a thing or two along the way and have put a lot of effort into developing open source software to make our lives (and weekends) a bit easier. The BotnetDBP project consists of four components to detect and ban malicious bots.

Banjax: responsible for early stage filtering, challenging and banning of bots, identified via regular expression matching

Learn2Ban: introduces intelligent, adaptive features to botnet detection and banning by using a machine-learning approach.

Botbanger: uses the support vector machine model constructed by Learn2Ban to test HTTP traffic and determine the legitimacy of the requester.

Swabber: is responsible for managing the actual banning of IP addresses identified by either Banjax or Learn2ban

GitHub repo

Notably, current Learn2Ban accuracy has been determined at 90% and above (i.e. both false positives and true negatives amounted to less than 10%). In several cases, accuracy of 99% was achieved. We continue to develop models based on larger attacks the network receives

We rely on our community of peers and invite you to take a look at the code. Your commentary and analysis are essential to seeing this open source initiative mature and become of relevance to anyone running a web server. For reference, all components are built modularly and can be adapted to any web service environment, albeit Banjax was written as an Apache Traffic Server plugin.

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