PacketFlagon – The HydraProxy
Today marks 1 year since the Immunicity arrest that saw someone get arrested for allowing people to send their HTTP(s) traffic where they wanted to without interference.
In that time it’d seem that the City of London Police haven’t really done much;
— Immunicity (@Immunicity) July 30, 2015
Whilst not a real launch party* it is the official unveiling of the open sourced software derived from the original RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk platform.
What is a ProxyShard / HydraProxy
The PacketFlagon platform is essentially one central server that feeds and receives information from lots of other servers around the Internet.
Anyone is free to download the BSD licensed software from GitHub, upload it to their webserver and then 30 seconds later are capable of creating, editing and serving the PAC files that help your browser circumnavigate Internet censorship.
The HydraProxy element comes in several parts, the first is that not only are there now tens of the PacketFlagon frontends available but the PAC files are also available on S3 and most impressively of all the platform maintains a number of what it terms “deadhand” nodes that constantly monitor the central server and the various frontends.
If the deadhand nodes reach consensus that a frontend has been blocked another domain is automatically registered, a new virtual machine is created and then bootstrapped to be a frontend node, all without human intervention!
The App provides an easy way to manage existing PAC files or to create new ones, we’re told that later versions will also include some intelligent circumnavigation methods in case the ISPs start to block the PacketFlagon API itself.
Is It Safe To Use?
Yes. Keep an eye on the Brass Horn Communications warrant canary just in case but we trust the team.
With that said it’s always a better bet to take your security and censorship circumnavigation into your own hands and look at how to properly use Tor or create SSH tunnels / your own SOCKS proxies.
* It’s understood that if you’re at DefCon in Las Vegas and can track down the @PacketFlagon team they might buy you a beer!