About this project
Thanks for checking out our project page. We are grateful for everyone's incredible interest and support!
We've been diligently working since summer 2013 to develop ICLOAK™, a portable online anonymity tool to give you a fast, convenient and flexible way to browse the Internet anonymously on any computer.
We've done all the ground work and prototyping and now we need your help to take this baby to market and help folks take back their CHOICE about what's tracked about them and what isn't.
ICLOAK™ Stik is your superhero tool that turns any computer you use into a safe and trustworthy computer.
We've combined a security hardened operating system with a secure web browser, encrypted password management and more, onto a USB drive so you can plug it into any machine (even the most unsafe and virus filled), reboot the machine and start browsing as if you took the time to build a custom computer built for security, privacy and anonymity from scratch!
Once you finish browsing, unplug, reboot the computer again, and ICLOAK is designed so that no one will ever know you even used that computer.
Below are 3 versions of the product packaging card that we are considering. In the white box in the middle will be a small plastic box that contains the actual USB device below.
Actual ICLOAK™ Stik:
Like our t-shirts say... YOU ARE BEING WATCHED. We are too. All of the time. Big Data, Big Brother, Hackers, Ex-Lovers, Employers, Marketing Firms, Stalkers, Identity Thieves, and on and on. Every day there is another news report about how data is being collected on everyone.
To protect yourself the questions are...
- HOW do you change your IP address so it is not tracked everywhere you go?
- HOW do you change your Media Access Control (MAC) address so your computer cannot be identified?
- HOW do you know if there is HIDDEN software recording your every keystroke on your computer?
- HOW do you stop sites from tracking your browser Navigator data profile and tracking your browsing from site to site?
- HOW do you protect yourself when you want to?
If you are like most average folks using the Internet every day, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO! Don't feel bad... neither does anyone else who isn't an Uber Geek like us.
The trouble is, the technology around us has outpaced the normal person's ability to keep up with it all. Because of this, few people have the knowledge or time to figure out ways to protect their privacy WHEN THEY WANT TO.
It's not always easy to find a computer you can trust. Many machines have spyware and malware even the owners don't know about and their antivirus cannot detect! So we asked ourselves, how can we turn every computer you will ever use into a secure and trusted machine when you NEED it?
We needed a way to bypass the computer's hard drive and software and yet utilize all its processing capabilities. This led us to the boot-from-usb method that's been around for a long time.
We figured, if we could somehow build in all the tools you need to browse the Internet securely and anonymously into a SINGLE portable USB drive that works on PCs, Macs, and Linux, we'd have managed to turn almost every machine on the planet into a secure and trusted machine you could use.
Whether you use a computer in the office or a computer at a cyber cafe in Bangkok you will be protected.
We have many ideas about what ICLOAK can do and we'll be working on adding them into the product in the future. Right now, however, ICLOAK does the following things really well:
1. ICLOAK will mask your IP address. Period. All of your data traffic is forced over TOR or I2P anonymizing networks making you appear to be somewhere else than where you really are.
2. ICLOAK gives you the ability to choose a Country to appear to be coming from. This has many uses including gaining access to content that is blocked in certain jurisdictions.
3. ICLOAK will automatically create a new, random MAC address (this is the hardware identifier for the device you are connecting with) every time you connect to any network.
4. With ICLOAK you can browse anonymously on any 64-bit Windows, Linux or Mac computer without needing to alter those machines.
5. It WILL NOT LEAVE ANY TRACE of your browsing activities on any machine you use. No cookies, no browser history, no user ids, no log files.
6. ICLOAK Stik is immune to any sort of persistent infections so you will be safe from malware, spyware, viruses and any other malicious software each time you reboot.
7. ICLOAK Stik can store encrypted versions of any usernames and passwords you want to keep safe. Also, it allows you to keep separate "identity sets" for keeping multiple identities separate from each other.
8. ICLOAK Stik can store files on a "visible" section of the USB drive that can be used to store files you want access to on your regular computer OS or transport from place to place. (ICLOAK itself is contained in a section hidden from your regular OS).
9. ICLOAK Stik itself cannot store any information about you or what you do with it without your deliberate action. So even if someone steals your ICLOAK Stik, there will be no information on it about your browsing activities. NOTE: If you store passwords, or other files on the unencrypted partition, only that information will be retrievable by someone else if they get your Stik.
Here's an infographic we put together to demonstrate how ICLOAK works.
There are literally dozens of these but we'll only list what we think are the top ten online threats ICLOAK can help protect you from:
1. Identity theft
2. Silent monitoring of your camera and microphone
3. IP address recording
4. Browsing and download history spying
5. Email hacking using malicious cookies and similar scripts
6. Screen captures
7. Password theft through spyware
8. Key-logging software that records your keystrokes.
9. Loss of funds through theft of credit card and bank details
10. Prevent websites from tracking, recording and selling your web usage data to advertisers.
So what's under the hood?
ICLOAK is a made up of both hardware and software components.
Hardware: The hardware that will go into building ICLOAK is a robust and high quality USB drive manufactured by the largest manufacture of USB drives in the world, Kensington.
It's made from durable aluminum with no moving parts.
One of the things we want to ensure is that your ICLOAK Stik lasts at least 3-4 years with daily or regular use. With periodic use we expect it to last up to 5 years or longer.
The USB drive is also small and very portable making it easy to carry with you wherever you go. It is designed to easily slip on a keychain or in your pocket.
ICLOAK Stik will come with features to enable you to browse anonymously from any machine.
ICLOAK™ Stik will contain ICLOAK™ Ring which can be used to store and manage your passwords securely.
ICLOAK™ Stik will also contain a separate partition for storage that your regular computer can access.
ICLOAK™ Stik PRO
In addition to giving you the ability to browse anonymously from any machine, ICLOAK™ Stik Pro will also come with additional software so you can:
- Create/Edit Excel Spreadsheets in private
- Create/Edit Word docs in private
- Send/Receive anonymous messages
- Store Bitcoins in a secure wallet
- Store encrypted usernames and passwords
We are innovators and if there's one place innovation is recognized and supported it's right here on KickStarter. We are here because we believe we have something that could help millions of people around the world take charge of their online freedom and rights.
ICLOAK is not just a gadget to us, it's an ideal, a philosophy, a statement that says we should have the right and the option to freely participate online. We are here because we hope to find kindred spirits who believe in what we are doing as much as we believe in it ourselves and in the GOOD of what we are doing.
So jump on board, join a movement that is making a difference for average people everywhere and help us get to our next milestone!
Your amazing contributions will be put towards:
1. TESTING TESTING TESTING
2. Having ICLOAK reviewed by a third party for security
3. Manufacturing the first run with Kingston
4. Adding additional features
5. Promoting ICLOAK more broadly
We've done all the groundwork, now we need your help to get this product off the ground and into production.
Every pledge, big or small will be welcomed with open arms and loads of good karma (and rewards) towards you and yours.
ICLOAK is right now in Alpha testing and we will soon be releasing a private Beta so we are confident our progress to the final shipped product will be right on schedule.
Here are some of the cool gifts you will receive for your pledge to this campaign:
THE ICLOAK™ Stik and ICLOAK™ Stik PRO
Below are 3 versions of the product packaging card that we are considering. In the white box in the middle will be a small plastic box that contains the actual USB device below.
Here is a photo of a packaged prototype:
Actual ICLOAK™ Stik below.
Plug into our campaign and help us get it to production level and shipped out to all our backers by the end of November 2014.
Thanks in advance for all your support!
The Entire ICLOAK Team at DigiThinkIT, Inc.
Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges with working to create an online anonymity tool is the ever-changing online landscape. When things like the Heartbleed vulnerability keep popping up, we have to keep constantly evolving ICLOAK to take such issues into consideration. So what may be rock solid today can be compromised tomorrow.
We mitigate this by staying abreast of all that's happening in the online anonymity, security and privacy space and evolving ICLOAK to keep up with these changes. Of course we won't always catch everything so we also participate in open source communities in this area to take advantage of the depth of knowledge and expertise in such communities.
Another potential risk is that building and shipping a physical product comes with its own challenges. We don't anticipate any issues (we are working with very reliable suppliers), we want to give you a head's up that there could be some logistical challenges that may arise for one reason or another and interfere with production and/or shipping timelines. If this occurs, we'll keep you posted and we ask for your patience.
Lastly, one of the most ambitious things about this project is that we want ICLOAK to work on every computer on the planet, regardless of operating system, make or model. This is a (very) tall order and as much as we have done thorough testing, ICLOAK may not work on some computers due to some compatibility issues we did not foresee. If this happens to you after you receive your unit, please let us know and we will do what we can to build out the compatibility aspects that will ensure it works on your computer. ICLOAK will be in ongoing development so we'll be depending on you to help us make it even better.
Computer security is in an ever changing state. We cannot guarantee that we can anticipate every possible exploit or attack that may be developed against ICLOAK Stik or any of the parts and pieces that make up the total package. However, we are making every effort to keep on top of threats and will have an updating system in ICLOAK to allow it to get critical security patches as soon as they become available.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Tails is a very cool project and one of the things that gave us inspiration for ICLOAK. All of the software we have has it’s roots in Open Source technologies that have been used for years, are proven, and well tested. In fact we love open source software and plan on contributing changes back upstream to make the open source projects even better. ICLOAK is actually based on Ubuntu and runs in RAM only just like Tails. Unfortunately all of these tools require additional technical knowledge which has limited their widespread use. It’s great that uber geeks are able to be safe, secure, and private, but we believe that privacy is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone, not just those that have a Ph.D. in Computer Science or happen work in the technology industry. That’s why ICLOAK has been designed to be easy to use, and for the uber geeks don't worry: we have plans to allow you to build your own ICLOAK if you have the technical knowledge to do so.
I would like more details on the differences between ICLOAK and Tails. Could you provide additional information?
We are in the process of preparing a formal multi page white paper with a fully indepth response about the difference between ICLOAK and Tails. We will publish it as soon as it is available.
Both versions give you a secure operating system and private browsing. The pro version gives you additional office software usually available in distributions of linux similar to Microsoft Office (like Abiword and GNU Calc), Private Messaging Tools, a Bitcoin wallet, and a Password Manager tool. We have many additional feature ideas and are still working out exactly will be included in each version of the ICLOAK.
This is a feature on our development roadmap that may or may not be included at launch. We have plans to include a secure messaging platform on the ICLOAK. This will be included in the ICLOAK PRO. As always you will be able to access web based email via the Tor Browser Bundle.
The current versions of ICLOAK only runs on Macs and PCs. We have plans for reaching other devices in the future with either apps or hardware later on as long as we have enough people wanting support for other platforms.
Tor takes the idea of VPNs and builds on top of it. Instead of your data just going one hop to a VPN provider where it is then passed along to it’s final destination it creates a chain of multiple servers (by default 3) from within the Tor network. One of these servers is an exit node the other two are what is referred to as relay nodes, which only serve to anonymously pass data to the exit node.
This is like a digital version of a spy novel where a secret agent wants to send a message back to base without being discovered. The idea behind passing it off to multiple servers is that no one person knows both the destination and origin of a request. In addition to just passing data around to other servers Tor also encrypts the message multiple times with each server removing one layer of encryption. Think of this like a Russian nesting doll with a lock. Each server only has a key for the outer most doll and unlocks it and sends the contents of that doll along the chain to the next sever. This process repeats until it gets to an exit node where it passes the data along to the final server. If you are using end to end encryption (like SSL) to the destination server that will be encrypted as well and the end server will unlock the final doll and send a message back using the same process in reverse order.
So unlike a VPN which can say “it was user #1234 and he was accessing something on example.com” a Tor server would only know part of that information. This would be either which user it was, what the next server in the chain is, what the previous server in the chain was, or where the destination is. As if this wasn’t already secure enough, after a certain amount of time (by default 10 minutes) the entire chain of servers is changed with more random servers from the Tor network. Because of this process it is considerably harder to break than a VPN. To identify someone you would need the logs from every server on the Tor network that an individual used during their Tor session. This could be over a dozen servers located in many different countries all over the world. Additionally unlike most software which keep logs by default Tor doesn't include a logging feature in their software. You would have to use third party software that explicity logs Tor traffic, which most people do not.
At the current time ICLOAK only supports 64 bit hardware. We are working on a 32 bit build that can run separately. It is really important to distinguish here between 32 bit hardware and a 32 bit operating system. ICLOAK does not use or touch the underlying operating system on your computer, so it does not matter if you are running a 32 bit version of Windows.
64 Bit processors have been available for quite awhile and chances are very good if your computer was manufactured after 2005 you probably have a 64 bit processor (which will work with the 64 Bit version of ICLOAK). On Intel processors the transition to 64 Bit first started with some of the later Pentium 4 designs and by the time the Pentium D was released all the standard consumer processors were 64 bit. AMD followed a similar timeline and released the Athlon 64 in 2003. High-End computers could get 64 bit processors as early as 2002, while low end systems might have had to wait until 2005-2006. If you are running ICLOAK on very old hardware you may experience reduced system performance due to the limited power of the device compared to more modern systems.
Because ICLOAK is still in development we won't fully know what the minimum system requirements are until after ICLOAK is feature complete. One thing that we can expect though is that the system requirements will be entirely reasonable and should run on almost any computer manufactured in the last 6-12 years, depending on how high end the hardware was at time of manufacture.
Since ICLOAK runs entirely in RAM it is very important to ensure that there is enough RAM available. It is fairly safe to assume that ICLOAK will require at least 1 GB of RAM to run smoothly, though we will not be able to confirm this until we test ICLOAK on configurations with less memory. On many computers there is less RAM in the device than the maximum supported limit for the motherboard so it may be possible to add RAM to your computer. This process is one of the easiest system upgrades to do on a computer however it does involve taking the case off and exposing sensitive electronics. There are many different guides available on the web on how to do this. If you are not comfortable making this upgrade any computer repair shop should be able to do it for you.
Since ICLOAK does not access the hard drive there are no hard drive space requirements. Processor and GPU requirements are minimal as there are no processor or GPU intensive applications currently included in ICLOAK beyond the Browser. If you are trying to access websites which use GPU accelerated graphics and more recent 3D Graphics technologies such as WebGL you may be unable to access this content on older hardware.
One of the main goals of the kickstarter campaign is to have an independent audit of our software. All of our software is based on open source tools that are proven and well tested. Nobody, not even us, has a backdoor into the device.
The ICLOAK browser uses a modified version of the Tor Browser Bundle, which is based on Firefox. So you don't have to worry about it not receiving any support or displaying websites improperly. It will be regularly updated, however to try to reduce the number of bugs that get in the software that could potentially compromise your security it won’t include new Firefox features until after they have been thoroughly tested. Unfortunately this means that you'll have to wait a bit longer before viewing the latest cutting edge website, but you can rest assured knowing your privacy and data are safe.
Will the project and all its software be fully open source? If so, where will I able able to access the source code?
For ICLOAK Stik, YES.
(Thank you LEIF, for pointing out this wasn't very clear) :) The additional language is in no way to suggest we plan to hold things back, and in fact, after a few nice discussions once we have identified a good person to lead the effort, we will start publishing sooner rather than later.
We value the open source community and what existing projects have been able to achieve so far. Without their work a project like ICLOAK would not be possible. All open source software which is used in our project and any changes we make will be released back to the open source community. We have plans to open source other things in the ICLOAK platform that have been developed in house and foster a robust open source community that can independently review, contribute to, and build off (or fork) our software. We are still working out the details on our open source policies and will have more information in the future.
We have written our own password manager that can be launched from within and outside of ICLOAK. This will be open sourced and available for free after ICLOAK goes to market.
We are still looking at messaging options for ICLOAK. We would prefer to use something that is open source and improve and contribute back to the community that created it than to build our own software, however we will do whatever best meets the needs and provides the best user experience for ICLOAK.
ICLOAK uses the Tor Browser Bundle as it's primary browser. The default browser is Startpage but DuckDuckGo is also included from the browser search bar. Since the Tor Browser Bundle is based on Firefox many of the same browser choices you have available are available as well.
We based ICLOAK on the Ubuntu Linux distribution. As of yet we have not made changes to the source code other than removing unnecessary features to harden the Operating System and make it more resistant to malware.
No at this time. We are locking the drive to make sure you have a clean ICLOAK on every boot. Depending on demand and support we might add this ability later on.
Last summer there was an exploit in the Tor Browser on Windows computers (not the network itself) that allowed someone to see what someone’s real IP address was. Since ICLOAK is it’s own operating system based on Linux it would not have been affected by this issue. It is true that no piece of software is foolproof, including ICLOAK. However, ICLOAK was designed to be highly resistant to malware. We plan on contributing back to the open source community, having regular security tests, and locking everything down to make sure that when a vulnerability is discovered it is fixed quickly and the damage that can be done is minimized.
Will ICLOAK use the AES Encryption algorithm which is rumored to have NSA backdoors? Will it support alternative encryption methods like Twofish and Serpent?
In the late 1990s there was a worldwide competition to see who could come up with the best encryption algorithm to replace the old Data Encryption Standard (introduced in 1977) which was quickly becoming obsolete due to powerful advances in computing technology. The NIST invited cryptographers, mathematicians, and academics from all over the world to help vet and choose the next major encryption algorithm. During the multistage voting process the NIST chose the Rijndael cipher as the top choice, which became the Advanced Encryption Standard or AES. Serpent and Twofish were the two other AES finalists which got the second and third most votes in the NIST competition.
Distrust of encryption algorithms is nothing new. Many people accused DES of having a backdoor as well. In response the NIST created a more open process for choosing AES. The reality is that the math that makes encryption possible is very complicated and very few people possess the technical know-how to really vet an encryption algorithm properly. That is why almost every piece of software implements existing encryption algorithms rather than trying to invent their own which is likely not devised by someone who holds a Ph.D. or has expert level knowledge in Cryptography and probably has a mistake somewhere. So while it is possible that there is a backdoor into AES it hasn’t been found yet since 1998 when the Rijndael cipher was released. Trying to find holes and vetting AES is something that would be a project in and of itself.
Since we want to give our users the best encryption possible we plan to use prebuilt encryption libraries that have been thoroughly tested. Both the ICLOAK Alpha and the Tails Linux distribution currently use TrueCrypt (a library which is widely used, has existed for many years, and is currently going through a complete cryptanalysis) which supports both Twofish and Serpent and gives the option to encrypt with all 3 algorithms. We are reviewing cryptography options and may change libraries as we progress through development.
Yes, GPG will be available on ICLOAK.
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