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Staying Safe at a Major University

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Hey guys, I'm going to be heading to a major university here in a few months and from what I've heard, it's heavily watched for downloading. I won't be able to live if I can't download music or video files. I use mostly torrents but I use emule once and a while if I can't find a torrent.

What do you guys think the safest way is for downloading on campus? Thanks

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It is quite likely that bit torrent will be blocked completely (It is here, sucks for getting a Linux distro). The best way around that would probably be a ssh tunnel to your home computer or a paid shell account.

One thing you might want to keep an eye/ear out for is a campus dc++ network. Our network admins stop it at the firewall, but don't do anything about an internal private network.

If your network admins see you constantly ssh tunneling out though, expect an email asking about why you need to do it. If they watch that tightly then you stand very little chance of file sharing.

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yer, thats a great idea, ssh tunneling, but would a proxy work, im not sure, only asking. do the admins have logs of when something is downloaded if its downloaded from a proxy?

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You should use ssh tunneling or some form of encrypted file sharing, that may not be noticed, like GNUNet. Chances are, the admins probably aren't going to notice you ssh tunneling, and if they do, you've can just say you were using ssh for legitimate purposes, or that you are concerned about your privacy on such a large network.

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If I use Azureus to DL along with the I2P NETWORK plugin and Safe Peer plugin you think I'd be fairly safe? I don't know a whole lot about the network yet other than lots of students trade music on the intranet.

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Keep in mind, no matter how the traffic is encrypted/obfuscated, if there is a lot of it some one will come knocking on your door.

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If they have a phone line in your dorm, just buy a router and pay for/share internet service from home.

Failing that, buy a $20 10dBi wireless antenna and connect to other people's connections.

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I go to MNSU, Minnesota State University, and I download many things using Bit Torrent. I made sure that I read the student policies relevant to the use of their internet connection, basically it said do not download/upload in extreme amounts of data. So, I talked to the department in charge of the school's network to get their definition of what "extreme amounts" are. They gave me an exact number, 300 KBps. So, I just made sure I capped my downstream at 290 KBps just to be safe.

Anyway, the important thing is to read the student policies carefully... and abide by them, you shouldn't get into trouble this way.

Also, I believe you CAN LEGALLY download music and movies, as long as you already own a copy. (Now why the hell would you download them if you already own them?) Simple... let's say you don't have a DVD drive? Or software that lets you rip them to your computer? Most people do, but keep that in mind if you are questioned. You may want to double check with that to see if what I said was true about it being legal... I am pretty sure it is.

I download plenty of things using Bit Torrents legally, like someone stated, Linux Distros... that and also movies that I already own. I have movies that I left at home, when I was living in the dorms, and wanted to watch them... so I just simply downloaded it.

If they do have a block on Bit Torrents try changing the default port number, or use a proxy network such as Tor. Or of course, SSH Tunneling like someone already stated.

Anyway, good luck.

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Bit torrent programs such as utorrent allow you to force encryption on all of your torrent connections.

I would assume that if you randomize the port that utorrent is connecting on as well that you would only appear on then network as a node that is sending and recieving alot of encrypted material.

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Azureus also has encryption settings. And they have fall back options.

"If encryption is enabled you won't be able to connect to incompatible clients unless you configure fallback options"

Fallback options:

[ ] Allow non-encrypted outgoing connections if encrypted connection attempts fails

[ ] Allow non-encrypted incoming connections

[ ] Use the 'cryptoport' tracker extension to prevent plain incoming connection attempts. Some trackers don't accept this and fail with errors such as "Invalid Port" or "Illegal Argument"

Anyway, here is a list of Bit Torrent clients that have encryption options:

  • Azureus
  • BitCommet
  • BitTornado
  • BitTorrent / Mainline
  • BitSpirit
  • BitTyrant
  • KTorrent
  • MonoTorrent (Client Library)
  • rTorrent
  • ĀµTorrent

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Don't want to get caught, don't download. I know it's sounds lame. But it's true.

Or use a different way of getting your warez. Sharing only encrypted files with friends

(you really know) with private tacker. Using PeerGuardian or moblock(Linux).

Or get a wifi card and point it at the nearest open hot-spot.

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Don't want to get caught, don't download.

...

I won't be able to live if I can't download music or video files.

...

Are you suggesting for him to die!?

lol, he does have a good point though.

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When I need to use bit-torrent I just use a SSH Tunnel....gets the job done. You could also just pay for/sign up for a USENET account and you'll get FAAAST http speeds on downloads (be it music/wah-rez/etc), I've tried this as well...canceled it because of costs. If you want to use a 'cover' when downloading, just steal someone else's school account..very easy in univ's, just don't be a asshole and mess with their shit.

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If you want to use a 'cover' when downloading, just steal someone else's school account..very easy in univ's, just don't be a asshole and mess with their shit.

Wait... so it's not being an asshole by using their account to download warez? So they get the blame?

Anyway, you weren't kidding... it's incredibly easy to get someones school user/pass. (ARP Poisoning + Packet Sniffing.)

I have been using Tor or SSH whenever I am sending private data across the network.

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Get yourself a dedicated server (serverpronto, 30$/month) and setup torrentflux on it. Download all the torrents on the server, then down them to the local machine using sftp or some other form of tunneled file transfer application. May be overkill but I'm sure if you and some of your friends at school pitched in, maybe you could afford it alot easier. 6 people splitting 30$ each month isnt bad.

Might be able to get away with the same scheme on some shared webhosting providers, but I doubt it. You could always just ask nicely to use my torrentflux server too :P. Another advantage to the whole thing is that the server is on a 100mbit connection to the net, and the torrents, if seeded nicely, are blazingly fast.

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Don't want to get caught, don't download. I know it's sounds lame. But it's true.

*sigh* The day people stop saying that is the day when I can stop posting this:

Anyhow, here is my spin. Semi old school. Many people try to look at the problem from the inside of the box-out and with hackers today they would love to do things software wise. Here is a way looking from the outside in and using a more brick and mortars feel:

1) First off like someone said: READ YOUR STUDENT RIGHTS AND RULES CAREFULLY! You should always do this to find loopholes and inconstancies with school policy.

2) First option. Find a Computer Cafe in your area, make sure its a independent one and not owned by the school or a lab. Get a USB dongle or a bunch of DVD's. Burn XeroBank Browser and one of the encrypted Bittorrent programs above. Go to said Cafe and use a public terminal. Download to your hearts content and bring the data with you to your dorm.

3) Second Option. Find a friend outside of the campus network who you can befriend or put on a payroll to download whatever you want and burn it/hdrive it for your use. If you pay him use real cash.

In this way, they cannot find illegal wares in downloads because you are obtaining them physically outside of there network.

4) While NB may have had plugs in his ear about illegal matters, he did say something smart. If you have a laptop, go to your local computer shop and buy a WiFi dongle you can plug into USB. Find a WiFi point in a cafe somewhere and start DL there to your hearts content. Warning, I suggest only a laptop with this because carrying your PC tower around to a Cafe will raise obvious suspicion.

If you do decide to go to the data on disk route like above, remember also just incase to have a microwave/toaster/magnet near by just in case they become pushy. Always keep physical backups of what you have so you can torch one set and keep the others.

Oh, and if you would like to get really evil, see if you can find network admin computers and install USB Hacksaw on them. Sometimes the best defense is the best offense. :pirate:

Edited by Sidepocket
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Yea this was complete hell when i went to MIT, they knew how to catch anything, ssh tunneling, proxy, you name it they stopped it, however there was this pretty 31337 dude in my dorm who manage to wright a program that showed it as yaho traffic , the connection would bounce off yahoo servers, and from there it would bounce to another AIM server then to a p2p netwrok or what have you, pretty cool sh1t

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In a lot of universities, they keep track of who you are by assigning a "nedID" to your computer's mac address. If you don't want to get caught, I suppose you could grab a mac address off one of the library computers and spoof it on your own. I've never tried it because the school I go to kills you for network abuse, but I heard it works. Really though, a lot of schools have dc++ hubs, which are amazing. And because they're local, it's hard to get caught and you won't use up your allotted bandwidth.

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Most of the time college have dc++ and most of the time admins done care. If that doesnt work you can use usenet or usergroups for downloading. If not sometime schools have legal download programs like Ruckus, i know my school does. You can download movies and music but there is a limit for how long you can have them. This isnt a problem cause you can use a program like TuneBite to just record the music and then save it to harddrive. If that doesnt work, you can also make some older friends and or Live OFF CAMPUS! i love my apartment and we have wicked partied. You should look into that. Sure you have topay for your own utilities...but you can do whatever you want. Since you are going to be a freshman and i dont think colleges let freshman live off campus...you can actually use your packet sniffer to save UDP packets from steaming music and save them. There is an article on google on how to save streamed music from saving UDP packets. Hope this helps...

what college are you going to anyways? Maybe if you go to mine, you can party with me and use my interwebb!!!

-seven.

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* arp or tcpkill all the boxes that are pushing lots of traffic or just arp them all then the network is all quiet and open for you

* force encryption

* repeat :)

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In a lot of universities, they keep track of who you are by assigning a "nedID" to your computer's mac address. If you don't want to get caught, I suppose you could grab a mac address off one of the library computers and spoof it on your own. I've never tried it because the school I go to kills you for network abuse, but I heard it works. Really though, a lot of schools have dc++ hubs, which are amazing. And because they're local, it's hard to get caught and you won't use up your allotted bandwidth.

Not a bad idea, unless you try it from your dorm room. Chances are good (depending on their infrastructure) that they could tie the source of traffic to a physical switch port, and thus to the jack in the wall. No spoofing of MAC addresses saves you in that case.

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