Streisand sets up a new server running L2TP/IPsec, OpenConnect, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, sslh, Stunnel, a Tor bridge, and WireGuard. It also generates custom instructions for all of these services. At the end of the run you are given an HTML file with instructions that can be shared with friends, family members, and fellow activists.
Silence censorship. Automate the effect.
The Internet can be a little unfair. It’s way too easy for ISPs, telecoms, politicians, and corporations to block access to the sites and information that you care about. But breaking through these restrictions is tough. Or is it?
- A single command sets up a brand new Ubuntu 16.04 server running a wide variety of anti-censorship software that can completely mask and encrypt all of your Internet traffic.
- Streisand natively supports the creation of new servers at Amazon EC2, Azure, DigitalOcean, Google Compute Engine, Linode, and Rackspace—with more providers coming soon! It also runs on any Ubuntu 16.04 server regardless of provider, and hundreds of instances can be configured simultaneously using this method.
- The process is completely automated and only takes about ten minutes, which is pretty awesome when you consider that it would require the average system administrator several days of frustration to set up even a small subset of what Streisand offers in its out-of-the-box configuration.
- Once your Streisand server is running, you can give the custom connection instructions to friends, family members, and fellow activists. The connection instructions contain an embedded copy of the server’s unique SSL certificate, so you only have to send them a single file.
- Each server is entirely self-contained and comes with absolutely everything that users need to get started, including cryptographically verified mirrors of all common clients. This renders any attempted censorship of default download locations completely ineffective.
- But wait, there’s more…
- Nginx powers a password-protected and encrypted Gateway that serves as the starting point for new users. The Gateway is accessible over SSL, or as a Tor hidden service.
- Beautiful, custom, step-by-step client configuration instructions are generated for each new server that Streisand creates. Users can quickly access these instructions through any web browser. The instructions are responsive and look fantastic on mobile phones.
- The integrity of mirrored software is ensured using SHA-256 checksums, or by verifying GPG signatures if the project provides them. This protects users from downloading corrupted files.
- All ancillary files, such as OpenVPN configuration profiles, are also available via the Gateway.
- Current Tor users can take advantage of the additional services Streisand sets up in order to transfer large files or to handle other traffic (e.g. BitTorrent) that isn’t appropriate for the Tor network.
- A unique password, SSL certificate, and SSL private key are generated for each Streisand Gateway. The Gateway instructions and certificate are transferred via SSH at the conclusion of Streisand’s execution.
- Distinct services and multiple daemons provide an enormous amount of flexibility. If one connection method gets blocked there are numerous options available, most of which are resistant to Deep Packet Inspection.
- All of the connection methods (including L2TP/IPsec and direct OpenVPN connections) are effective against the type of blocking Turkey has been experimenting with.
- OpenConnect/AnyConnect, OpenSSH, OpenVPN (wrapped in stunnel), Shadowsocks, and Tor (with obfsproxy and the obfs4 pluggable transport) are all currently effective against China’s Great Firewall.
- Every task has been thoroughly documented and given a detailed description. Streisand is simultaneously the most complete HOWTO in existence for the setup of all of the software it installs, and also the antidote for ever having to do any of this by hand again.
- All software runs on ports that have been deliberately chosen to make simplistic port blocking unrealistic without causing massive collateral damage. OpenVPN, for example, does not run on its default port of 1194, but instead uses port 636, the standard port for LDAP/SSL connections that are beloved by companies worldwide.
- L2TP/IPsec is a notable exception to this rule because the ports cannot be changed without breaking client compatibility
- L2TP/IPsec using Libreswan and xl2tpd
- A randomly chosen pre-shared key and password are generated.
- Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS users can all connect using the native VPN support that is built into each operating system without installing any additional software.
- Monitors process health and automatically restarts services in the unlikely event that they crash or become unresponsive.
- Windows and Android SSH tunnels are also supported, and a copy of the keypair is exported in the .ppk format that PuTTY requires.
- Tinyproxy is installed and bound to localhost. It can be accessed over an SSH tunnel by programs that do not natively support SOCKS and that require an HTTP proxy, such as Twitter for Android.
- An unprivileged forwarding user and SSH keypair are generated for sshuttle and SOCKS capabilities.
- OpenConnect / Cisco AnyConnect
- OpenConnect (ocserv) is an extremely high-performance and lightweight VPN server that also features full compatibility with the official Cisco AnyConnect clients.
- The protocol is built on top of standards like HTTP, TLS, and DTLS, and it’s one of the most popular and widely used VPN technologies among large multi-national corporations.
- This means that in addition to its ease-of-use and speed, OpenConnect is also highly resistant to censorship and is almost never blocked.
- Self-contained “unified” .ovpn profiles are generated for easy client configuration using only a single file.
- Both TCP and UDP connections are supported.
- Client DNS resolution is handled via Dnsmasq to prevent DNS leaks.
- TLS Authentication is enabled which helps protect against active probing attacks. Traffic that does not have the proper HMAC is simply dropped.
- The high-performance libev variant is installed. This version is capable of handling thousands of simultaneous connections.
- A QR code is generated that can be used to automatically configure the Android and iOS clients by simply taking a picture. You can tag ‘18.104.22.168’ on that concrete wall, or you can glue the Shadowsocks instructions and some QR codes to it instead!
- AEAD support is enabled using ChaCha20 and Poly1305 for enhanced security and improved GFW evasion.
- The simple-obfs plugin is installed to provide robust traffic evasion on hostile networks (especially those implementing quality of service (QOS) throttling).
- Sslh is a protocol demultiplexer that allows Nginx, OpenSSH, and OpenVPN to share port 443. This provides an alternative connection option and means that you can still route traffic via OpenSSH and OpenVPN even if you are on a restrictive network that blocks all access to non-HTTP ports.
- Listens for and wraps OpenVPN connections. This makes them look like standard SSL traffic and allows OpenVPN clients to successfully establish tunnels even in the presence of Deep Packet Inspection.
- Unified profiles for stunnel-wrapped OpenVPN connections are generated alongside the direct connection profiles. Detailed instructions are also generated.
- The stunnel certificate and key are exported in PKCS #12 format so they are compatible with other SSL tunneling applications. Notably, this enables OpenVPN for Android to tunnel its traffic through SSLDroid. OpenVPN in China on a mobile device? Yes!
- Firewall rules are configured for every service, and any traffic that is sent to an unauthorized port will be blocked.
- Your Streisand server is configured to automatically install new security updates.
- Linux users can take advantage of this next-gen, simple, kernel-based, state-of-the-art VPN that also happens to be ridiculously fast and uses modern cryptographic principles that all other highspeed VPN solutions lack.
Copyright 2014-2017 Joshua Lund