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nihilist@mainpc - 2024-01-31

Tor Browsing Setup

In this tutorial we're going to cover how to browse the web anonymously, and some simple rules to follow to protect your anonymity.

Initial Setup

If you have a regular debian distribution, do as follows to install the tor browser:

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/5 ] [~]
→ sudo apt install tor torsocks curl apt-transport-tor gnupg2 -y

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~]
→ sudo torsocks curl --output /usr/share/keyrings/derivative.asc --url http://www.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion/keys/derivative.asc
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 77312  100 77312    0     0   7106      0  0:00:10  0:00:10 --:--:-- 23126

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~]
→ echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/derivative.asc] tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm main contrib non-free" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/derivative.list
deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/derivative.asc] tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm main contrib non-free

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~]
→ sudo apt update -y
Hit:1 bookworm InRelease
Hit:2 bookworm-security InRelease
Hit:3 bookworm-updates InRelease
Hit:4 default InRelease
Get:5 tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm InRelease [39.6 kB]
Get:6 tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm/main amd64 Packages [34.3 kB]
Get:7 tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm/contrib amd64 Packages [506 B]
Get:8 tor+http://deb.w5j6stm77zs6652pgsij4awcjeel3eco7kvipheu6mtr623eyyehj4yd.onion bookworm/non-free amd64 Packages [896 B]
Fetched 75.3 kB in 12s (6,284 B/s)
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
16 packages can be upgraded. Run 'apt list --upgradable' to see them.

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~]
→ sudo apt install tb-starter tb-updater -y

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/6 ] [~/Nextcloud/blog]
→ systemctl enable --now tb-updater-first-boot.service                                                                                                                                                                                      (3)

Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ → /lib/systemd/system/tb-updater-first-boot.service.

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/6 ] [~/Nextcloud/blog]
→ systemctl --no-pager --no-block status tb-updater-first-boot.service

● tb-updater-first-boot.service - Helper Service for /usr/bin/torbrowser to determine when it is save to Copy Tor Browser from /var/cache/tb-binary to user home by Whonix developers
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/tb-updater-first-boot.service; enabled; preset: enabled)
     Active: active (exited) since Wed 2024-01-31 08:59:34 CET; 2s ago
    Process: 140334 ExecStart=/bin/true (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 140334 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
        CPU: 690us

[ mainpc ] [ /dev/pts/1 ] [~]
→ torbrowser
INFO: ARCH 'x86_64' detected.
INFO: ARCH_DOWNLOAD 'linux-x86_64' detected.
INFO: Not running inside Qubes Disposable Template, ok.
INFO: Using stable version. For alpha version, see:
INFO: Running connectivity check...  Downloading...:
INFO: CURL_OUT_FILE: /home/nihilist/.cache/tb/temp/tbb_remote_folder
INFO: Connectivity check succeeded.
INFO: Find out latest version... Downloading...:
INFO: CURL_OUT_FILE: /home/nihilist/.cache/tb/RecommendedTBBVersions
INFO: Learn more about this Download Confirmation Notification.
INFO: Previously downloaded version: none
INFO: Currently installed version: None installed. (Folder /home/nihilist/.tb/tor-browser does not exist.)
INFO: Online detected version: 13.0.9
QUESTION: Download now?

INFO: Because you are not using --nokilltb, now killing potentially still running instances of Tor Browser...
firefox.real: no process found
INFO: Digital signature (GPG) download... Will take a moment...
INFO: Downloading...:
INFO: CURL_OUT_FILE: /home/nihilist/.cache/tb/files/tor-browser-linux-x86_64-13.0.9.tar.xz.asc
INFO: Downloading Tor Browser...
INFO: Downloading...:
INFO: CURL_OUT_FILE: /home/nihilist/.cache/tb/files/tor-browser-linux-x86_64-13.0.9.tar.xz
INFO: Digital signature (GPG) verification... This will take a moment...
INFO: Using digital signature signing key by The Tor Project.
INFO: Digital signature (GPG) verification ok.
INFO: Installation confirmation
Currently installed version:  None installed. (Folder /home/nihilist/.tb/tor-browser does not exist.)
Downloaded version         :  13.0.9
We have not previously accepted a signature yet. Therefore assisted check for downgrade or indefinite freeze attacks skipped. Please check the Current Signature Creation Date looks sane.
Previous Signature Creation Date:  Unknown. Probably never downloaded a signature before.
Last Signature Creation Date    :  January 23 13:14:38 UTC 2024
According to your system clock, the signature was created 8 days 3 hours 25 minutes 2 seconds ago.
gpg reports:
gpg: Signature made Tue 23 Jan 2024 02:14:38 PM CET
gpg:                using RSA key 613188FC5BE2176E3ED54901E53D989A9E2D47BF
gpg: Good signature from "Tor Browser Developers (signing key) " [ultimate]
Primary key fingerprint: EF6E 286D DA85 EA2A 4BA7  DE68 4E2C 6E87 9329 8290
     Subkey fingerprint: 6131 88FC 5BE2 176E 3ED5  4901 E53D 989A 9E2D 47BF
Learn more about this Installation Confirmation Notification.
QUESTION: Install now?

INFO: Extracting /home/nihilist/.cache/tb/files/tor-browser-linux-x86_64-13.0.9.tar.xz ...
extraction percent done: 19 / 100
extraction percent done: 44 / 100
extraction percent done: 63 / 100
extraction percent done: 82 / 100
extraction percent done: 100 / 100

Next, we'll do some slight configuration changes, starting with the automatic connection:

Then we make sure that all javascript is disabled, using the shield option on the top right corner, make sure it's set to the "Safest" setting:

Then a personal preference, let's switch on the dark theme:

And from there you can start browsing. You can browse the clearnet first to see how the tor connection works:

As you can see here, when browsing to the clearnet, your traffic is being encapsulated threefold, meaning that you are entrusting your connection to 3 tor node owners around the globe. And on top of that, they are in 3 different countries.

Next, when you browse to a website that can be accessed via a .onion link, you might get the above message that shows up. I prefer to not prioritize onions to avoid unecessary page refreshes. Instead i click on the .onion available button if it appears.

Now when you're connected to the .onion hidden service, you can see that your connection goes through more tor nodes, this is the best way to access websites online, you're not leaking any info they don't need to know that way. Plus, since we are on the "safest" setting, we are not loading any javascript that may be used to fingerprint our activity online.


Until there is Nothing left.

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