Shmoocon 2006: Anonym.OS: Security and Privacy, Everywhere You Go


kaos.theory’s Anonym.OS was probably the most widely covered project to come out of this year’s Shmoocon. This was spurred by Wired’s article which was picked up by Slashdot, Ars, and others. Anonym.OS is a live CD based on OpenBSD 3.8 that provides anonymous internet access and aims to be usable by anyone. On the network it appears as a Windows machine to hide among the majority of internet users. The CD does several things to protect the user, starting with secure operating system. The main component is Tor, which we’ve covered before, All traffic is sent through Tor and since the disk uses local DNS look-up you don’t have to worry about DNS requests leaking. I really like this project because kaos.theory has done all of the dirty work like setting up really strict packet filter rules and forcing everything through Tor. Of course, I would have liked it even if it was just an OpenBSD live CD that used Fluxbox. The only two apps it has now are Firefox and GAIM. They are taking suggestions for what to add in the future and will probably be adding cryptographic filesystem support so that users can save safely. If they added Gimp and a hard drive install script I would be using this at every con I attended.


  1. there a firefox extension that will switch proxys that could be included in case you did not want to use the tor network. It would how ever show you out on the net.

    you could use that for downloads to keep from overloading the tor network.

    Great CD. No traces for when searching some weired things.

  2. calvin says:

    god damnit enough with this shmoocon bullshit. this is not a hack in any way. this site is really letting me down.

  3. tiuk says:

    I find the coverage really interesting, and I’m sure some other visitors do too. I’d rather have these con updates than nothing at all, wouldn’t you?

  4. mewse says:

    i enjoy reading about it.

    making openbsd into a livecd for anonymous internet isn’t a hack?

  5. grayskies says:

    really loving the shmoocon coverage. I wish I could have gone.

  6. atlas says:

    Piping in from kaos.theory! We had no idea how popular Anonym.OS would turn out to be. We’ve had a blast though and really appreciate everyone’s excitement and input. The more ideas and suggestions we can get, the better the next release will be.

    We considered including the option of de-torifying, as with a tool like switchproxy, but decided against it. Since it’s a Live CD and (at least with this iteration) not installed to the hard drive, we figured that we would err on the side of anonymity always and if you wanted to leave tor, you’ve always got the power switch. =)

    One quick correction; we do have other apps besides Firefox and gAIM. Thunderbird rounds out the graphical side and the command-line tools included cover web browsing, IRC, and mail.

  7. Jared says:

    I downloaded this and tired it the other day, and I couldn’t get the internet to work on it. I tried both the manual and automatic setups of the network. I was using my laptop, and I’m not sure that my wireless card is supported (and that it was even attempting to use it over the wired ethernet port). Makes my CD drive loud too, but a cool idea!

  8. Yeah, I hadn’t used the CD since receiving my free copy at the conference (thanks!) so I had forgotten about Thunderbird.

  9. paxswill says:

    umm…maybe a stupid question, but what architecture(s) does it run on?

  10. Ben says:

    Not a stupid question. It runs on i386 only as far as I am aware. I don’t believe there are versions for other architectures out yet but don’t quote me on that.

  11. atlas says:

    You’re correct, it only runs on i386 natively. However with VirtualPC or QEMU, you can run it on PPC. QEMU has had mixed results (and unfortunately, the vast majority of the mixture is failure) but VirtualPC and VMWare are solid and were the primary test beds.

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