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A few lines about cyber security
The electronic devices we use cannot guarantee total security.
For that there are mountain paths, caves, the open sea. And that old habit of talking to each other’s faces.
We can, however, try to use these damn devices with a certain conscience, avoiding handing over in the hands of repression the evidence that can link us to an action or a claim, a communiqué.
Using certain shrewdness can also prevent the people we are in contact with from getting involved in an investigation because of our superficiality.
Smartphones generally have more vulnerabilities than a PC, for their purely commercial purpose. They are therefore devices that continue to collect data about their users in order to offer them the most appropriate useless product. Many applications – facebook for example – keep the device’s microphone open almost constantly. Others – such as google maps – keep track of every movement of the device on which they are installed. Maybe to send at the end of the year a disturbing report of every movement of the spied person…
There are custom roms like Lineage that can be installed instead of android allowing you not to install google applications so you can avoid being tracked all the time.
Regardless of whether you use android or other Rom, it is good practice to encrypt – you can do it by going to “Security” in the “Settings” menu – always the contents of your smartphone using a complex password. Most of the evidence extrapolated from smartphones – as from PCs – is obtained simply by seizing the device and connecting it to a forensic PC. In case of lack of encryption all data saved on the phone will appear in clear and therefore usable against us and against the people we are in contact with.
Tor is a browser, available for both PCs and smartphones, which encrypts our data traffic and relies on a network whose nodes are shared voluntarily. Using it allows you to use the internet in a more secure way. Tracking the place from which you connect becomes very complex. The more people use it, the harder it becomes to track them and the more secure the Tor network becomes.
Used within operating systems developed to promote anonymity such as Tails can ensure an acceptable level of security even for the most paranoid.
There are an infinite number of mail service providers. Most are commercial and often cooperate with the authorities, giving them access to the mailboxes and ip addresses of the computers that use their services.
There are some maintained by collectives that place the security and anonymity of their users at the heart of their efforts. Among the many we mention riseup and autistici. These do not keep track of any data of those who use their services, such as access or ip and encrypt all the content of their servers. Even if they wanted to, they could not have access to the contents of your mailboxes.
In addition to these there are temporary mail as guerrillamail, which allow you to use a mailbox that will self-delete when you close the relevant tab.
About images and videos
The image and video files contain metadata that can help identify with some accuracy the device that recorded that content. Sometimes the coordinates of the place where the photo was taken or the video was recorded are present. To protect your security and make any identification more difficult, we recommend that you remove this data before sending the files, especially if they refer to direct actions.
With Tails you just need to right-click on the multimedia content to be cleaned and select the option ‘Remove metadata’.
Or another myriad that you can find simply by searching the internet…
Deletion of files
When you delete a file from your computer by moving it to the Recycle Bin and then emptying it, what is deleted is just the link created between your operating system and the data that makes up the file on your hard drive. The data that makes up the file will then remain on the disk until it is overwritten by new data, giving the possibility – in case of computer equipment seizure – to be recovered using computer forensic tools. To minimize this possibility, it is important to delete files using specific programs that will overwrite that data several times with others randomly before deleting the file.
There are several programs that provide this function: on Linux
you can use wipe (to install it on debian or ubuntu
type from terminal “sudo apt install wipe”), on windows Moo0
FileShredMoo0der. For smartphones we have not found anything similar that satisfies us enough, but you can always connect it to your computer as a multimedia device and use one of the programs listed above by accessing it as a USB stick.
With Tails, always him, just right click on the files to delete permanently and select “wipe”.
N.B. The most recent hard drives (so-called SSDs, “solid state”)
support a limited (albeit high) number of writings, so
this process shortens their lives. Use it carefully and
In general, it is better to partially or completely encrypt a hard disk with sensitive material.