How To: Completely Mask & Anonymize Your BitTorrent Traffic Using Anomos

Completely Mask & Anonymize Your BitTorrent Traffic Using Anomos

How to Completely Mask & Anonymize Your BitTorrent Traffic Using Anomos

A couple times a year, I hear about someone I know receiving that oh-so-scary letter from their ISP telling them to stop torrenting. ISPs will go as far as throttling your bandwidth (without lowering your bill), and sometimes even reporting you to authorities. The next thing you know, you're being summoned to court for copyright violations. You don't even have to be torrenting anything illegal! In my opinion, this is the worst part—you don't even get the bandwidth that you paid for.

I've seen a few solutions, such as using a private proxy. One that comes to mind is a tutorial from Lifehacker on BTGuard. In my opinion, BTGuard should not exist when it is an easy feat to encrypt the initial connection, or use a completely different alternative. My reason for not liking BTGuard? It doesn't even make you fully anonymous as it claims.

BTGuard acts like a proxy and simply anonymizes your traffic when connected through them. It's a paid service, too, and who wants to pay seven dollars every month when they are downloading free programs like Linux and device drivers? Not only does the cost prove to be an issue, but when you initially connect to the network, you are doing so over an insecure connection! This means that your ISP can see you connecting to BTGuard, and after they see your bandwidth usage, can you honestly think they will believe you are using it for something other than torrenting? Sadly, for now, services like these are all we have.

A free alternative would be to use ItsHidden VPN service. It allows you to make an encrypted connection to them before downloading torrents, but in order to do that, you need to sign up for an account. You can follow a tutorial on how to connect to the VPN here. You can really use any VPN to download torrents, but it is a bit mean to the other VPN users for you to suck up all of the bandwidth, so please refrain from doing that.

Today's Null Byte will demonstrate how to get ready for the future. Soon, torrents will be available in what is called an .atorrent file. These new breed of torrents support the Anomos protocol, which is used by the program of the same name. For now though, we can still convert normal torrents using Anomos and download from our other encrypted peers. This means that the more people who use it, the better!

  • ThePirateBay, the world largest BitTorrent tracker, has plans to offer .atorrent files as an optional download. 
  • uTorrent, the largest BitTorrent client, has plans to integrate the Anomos protocol in future releases.

How to Completely Mask & Anonymize Your BitTorrent Traffic Using Anomos

Requirements

  • Any major OS (Mac OSX, Windows, GNU/Linux)

Installation & Configuration of Anomos Client

Anomos is basically the same, in principle, as the standard Bittorrent protocol. It secures your anonymity, because it uses an extra layer similar to Onion routing, with end-to-end encryption as well. In practice, this means that IP addresses are hidden and the data being passed is encrypted. To completely trump even BTGuards issues, you can connect to the tracker anonymously using Tor. Using Tor on Anomos forces the initial connection to be run through Tor, but the rest is done via the Anomos network to maintain speed and security.

Let's check out how Anomos looks by downloading and installing it.

Downloads

Follow along with me in this vTutorial to install and set up Anomos to use Tor to connect to the Anomos network.

Instructions

  1. Click File > Settings.
  2. Go to Proxy address to use.
  3. Enter 127.0.0.1:8118 or 127.0.0.1:9050 into the field.
  4. Click File > Anonymize and open a .torrent file.

If you enjoy the tutorials from Null Byte, come to the IRC and chat amongst friends.

42 Comments

Anybody get the "Anomos Error:This is not a valid torrent file. (Torrent uses invalid piece size: 2097152 )"?? Couldn't find much response to this error after googling it

No, I have no idea :/. Never gotten that before. Anyone else get this that can help?

Are you sure you downloaded the correct file? Do the md5 hash is the same on the file and the one the downloader provided?

Tried to check out the itshidden website... Don't know how you signed up for free cause the only thing I could find on that (seemingly ancient) website was links to it's paid service

Yeah now when I try to reinstall OpenSSL just stops responding, I'm stumped. lol

i just use peer blocker

peer blocker helps but it does not hide you. it just blocks annoying people from connecting to you. Your isp can still see what your downloading and which IP you have. Plain as day

I figured that out after I finally got my first warning, I thought just using Peer Block would be alright, but nope I got screwed/

this confuses me. isnt 127.0.0.1 yourself?

Indeed. Computers normally operate on the client/host model. The Tor service runs on a port on your loopback interface so you can connect to it with another program before it tunnels out. Get it? It's kind of hard to explain elegantly and shortly.

so i have no errors and everything seems fine but the torrent just does not seem to actually download. anyone have any insight to this problem?

I'm guessing that there may not be any seeders on that torrent. Have you tried another?

yea, ive tried a few torrents. they start and when i go to the folder where they are being downloaded to, all of the files are there. just none of them have ever gotten past 0% and when i download them normally though vuze they work fine. find it kinda weird. and i know that tor is working so im just confused.

I must say, you didn't do a great job at explaining how to configure anomos - I have Tor and it works just fine (I'm just having juvenile fun connecting at http://www.whatismyip.com/ and coming up with all sort of random IPs) but anomos just fails - these are the logs:

[CRITICAL] 22:47:55 (SingleportListener:56) Could not open a listening port: [Errno 98] Address already in use. Check your port range settings.
[ERROR ] 22:47:56 (Rerequester:114) You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.
[ERROR ] 22:47:56 (Rerequester:114) You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.
[CRITICAL] 22:47:56 (download:465) Can't start two separate instances of the same torrent
[INFO ] 22:47:56 (download:566) Closing connections, please wait...
[ERROR ] 22:48:05 (Rerequester:114) You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.
[ERROR ] 22:48:05 (Rerequester:114) You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.

these are for torrents (not .atorrent BTW) that work just fine in Vuze (I'm downloading them with Azureus proxied through Tor - not the best experience as I'm losing ton of bandwidth, but still....)

And, incidentally, does anomos need to be run via sudo? I don't seem to be able to make it run as myself (and, to be sure, I don't like running client apps as root....)

It says the port is in use. You are running another service that is using the same port, I would go ahead and check netstat to see what's using it, and kill it. You could switch ports too. There could be an infinite number of issues there, all having nothing to do with the config. Directing it at 127.0.0.1:8080 and running it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, so I doubt that is your issue.

hey @AlexLong, im getting the same logging response as @MarcoMass. was there ever a solution to this? i have tor and privoxy enabled. i can even access tor through chrome, after some playing around. but i still cant get amomos to access tor's network on port 8118 or 9050. help!!

Would anomos help hide me while downloading from file upload sites such as rapidshare, hotfile etc.?

No, just torrents. But you can use a normal webproxy for that, most of them offer SSL now :D. Beware, it's painfully slow.

I use a encrypted vpn service, far better than btguard or any others, costs about $3-$4 p/m. One thing people must ensure on a vpn is that the company is based in somewhere like sweden or canada that decriminalises copywright violation. That way, no-one can demand the logs are handed over.

Definitely the way to go.

I'm having the same trouble as Ben a few comments above. It doesn't seem to be downloading at all.

Like I've said before, likely it is because no one else is downloading that torrent as an .atorrent.

what is the initial bitttorrent.vo.llnwd.net port TCP port that Anomos tries to connect to when you launch it? The reason I ask is because LittleSnitch asked if i wanted to accept it.

Not sure to be honest...Have you tried googling around? That's normal for a firewall to do, though (assuming that "LittleSnitch" is a firewall of some sort).

Hi,, I have the same problem pretty much as Ben Cardin.. I watched the video and did everything it said to do and no matter which file i try using this process wont go past 0%...Once I start downloading the file it shows up the progress bar and stays at 0% then the progress bar disappears but still says I have (1) active download but won't show the progress bar AND won't get past 0%... any ideas? i have been searching around and haven't been able to find anything...

I first open up Tor and connect then open up Anomos and do all the steps shown in the video. Once I go to open the torrent file it says that it is Paused and once I click on Play the progress bar disappears but on the side is still showing (1) downloading file that doesn't past 0%

Again, as I have said, if no one else is using Anomos to download the same torrent, you won't have peers. This is my way of encouraging people to use Anomos so we can actually get some peers going. If no one uses the Anomos protocol, we will never have anonymous torrenting with it :(.

You can tunnel torrents through I2P and its MUCH faster.

Hello, I just installed Anomos and tried a couple of .torrent files. The torrent anonymizer tracker url is set by default on https://tracker.anomos.info:5555/announce; I used 127.0.0.1:8118 as a proxy address. However Anomos failed. These are some log info.

[2012-03-05 16:30:53] You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.
[2012-03-05 16:30:53] You are trying to make an unencrypted connection to a tracker, and this has been disabled for security reasons. Halting.
...
[2012-03-05 16:30:53] Making announce to :5555
[2012-03-05 16:30:53] Warning: Will not connect to non HTTPS server
...
[2012-03-05 16:35:56] Making announce to :5555
[2012-03-05 16:35:56] Warning: Will not connect to non HTTPS server
[2012-03-05 16:35:56] Warning: Will not connect to non HTTPS server
[2012-03-05 16:35:56] Tracker announce still not complete 60 seconds after starting it
...

wHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Honestly Using Bittorrent in conjunction with tor is one of the most harmful things you can do to tor. Tor's Primary function is an anonymizing proxy, when you use bittorrent inside of tor then you use significant amounts of bandwidth that could be going to help iranians or chinese access the regular internet.

Freenet and I2P exist for such filesharing ventures.
If you want privacy on the internet then use a paid vpn like mullvad however privacy is not anonymity.
The "best" way to have anonymity is not to focus on using just one method instead use EVERY method.
Every anonymity method has advantages disadvantages and are designed for different types of activities.
I'd really love to make a post on this topic.

I believe it is actually impossible for someone to use Tor to download torrents because of how it is programed.

With current bittorrent clients tor doesn't "just work" since the client uses several methods for peer discovery like PEX and DHT which are MUCH harder to anonymise.

In theory you can use torrents inside tor's onionland and have everything be done via onion addresses instead of IP addresses but that HURTS tor a LOT. imo onionland is a leech and a gimmic.

I2P actually has a really neat bittorrent system that does everything on a DHT, without the need for any trackers OR indexes of any kind. Kind of slow but still really cool.

Thanks,

I read about Freenet and I2P and I found them interesting, worth knowing.

I accept your ethical and technical notes about using Tor under Bittorrent, though I'd have to deepen the issues to better understand them.

However I tried to leave blank the proxy address and the result is the same, I get the same log messages. Since at the moment I am still interested in trying to use Anomos, I'd like to know more about those mysterious log messages, in order to overcome the problem.

At this point I could expect from you an invitation to address my issue to a more specific site, but it was'nt easy. The same Anomos website only offers two email, to contact the developpers of the project, I think, that I would leave as a last resort. I'll try on alt.bittorrent then.

I thought here I could find some Anomos user

How do I find a .torrent? Yes I know about the likes of Pirate Bay, I use it all the time, but which bit is the .torrent file, that I must doubtless put into a folder that " file>Anonymize and open a .torrent file" brings you to? I have absolutely no idea how to progress past clicking " file>Anonymize and open a .torrent file" and as our friend in the vid doesn't do it I can't work it out?
Thanks

how do configurate tor with anomos?

How do I find a .torrent? Yes I know about the likes of Pirate Bay, I use it all the time, but which bit is the .torrent file, that I must doubtless put into a folder that " file>Anonymize and open a .torrent file" brings you to? I have absolutely no idea how to progress past clicking " file>Anonymize and open a .torrent file" and as our friend in the vid doesn't do it I can't work it out?
Thanks

I use SSH protocol, a secure tunnel to one of the PirateRay.com servers. You can select either a specific server or set the settings to enable the random selection of the server whenever the application starts.
After that, all the data that the user receives or transmits is encrypted.
All operations involving the torrent network will take place by using an IP address of a server that is located at the other end of the world. Logging on does not happen on the same servers, so you can be assured of your security and anonymity.

how do you do that?!?

An encrypted tunnel is created between your computer and external servers, you just need to run a small application (that acts as a proxy). All your bittorrent traffic will be encrypted and unreadable for others.

Here are simple instructions on how to configure Vuze, for example :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2vEpqiDfGE

thank you for the knowledge. really helpful!

I think this stopped working. The Anomos program tells me: "The ports on your router are not configured properly. This will interfere with file transfers. Please forward port 5061 to your machine". I did that, however the message stays. Also, not torrent traffic is taking place.

AFAIK, Anomos went out of businness end of 2010, so did the tracker at https://tracker.anomos.info:5555/announce (404)

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