Friday, 29 June 2018

Protect journalists

Rob Hiaasen. Wendi Winters. Gerald Fischman. John McNamara. Rebecca Smith.

Yesterday, these people went to work in the morning. They never came home.

They are the 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, and 34th journalists and media workers killed this year in the line of duty. Telling the truth is a deadly job, with more than 1300 journalists losing their lives since 1992. This time seems a little different, though. While people in the many parts of the world are sadly used to hearing about the deaths of journalists, these five people were sitting in a newsroom in the United States of America.

We can argue about the merits and hypocrisies of U.S. foreign policy all day long, but one thing that the world has never had to question was the commitment of the U.S. to the principles of press freedom. Just three days after the current U.S. president used authoritarian language in calling journalists "enemies of the people," a man shot up a newsroom. Americans of a certain political persuasion wear t-shirts that call for the murder of journalists. Rightwing personalities actively have called for vigilantes to gun down those who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of truth.

The world weeps for you, America.

Here at SumRando Cybersecurity, we are committed to do our small part in protecting journalists from the sociopaths who would do them harm. While we can't provide physical security, we offer encryption tools to help protect their identities and information online. SumRando Messenger is a secure messaging app that also gives you the ability to destroy your messages forever, even on the phone of the person you sent it to. SumRando STASH is a secure file transfer service where you can exchange documents anonymously. SumRando VPN protects your online privacy and security. We currently offer journalists a year of unlimited VPN data for $20.18, nearly $50 off the regular price.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

World Cup - not all fun and games

Finally! After four years of waiting, it's time for the World Cup! It's a time to wave your flags, shout until you have no voice, and maybe skip out of work. There's nothing like it in the world, this global celebration of sport, when half the world tunes in to watch with friends and family and cheer on the best players in the universe.

Unfortunately, for some people, it isn't all fun and games. For LGBT fans, it can be downright dangerous, especially in Russia.

The St. Petersburg based LGBT group Coming Out has set up a hotline for LGBT football fans visiting Russia in response to the oppressive environment created by the Putin regime - including recent discriminatory legislation - and threats from homophobic football gangs roaming the country. Violence against LGBT in Russia is not uncommon.

We invite LGBT football fans in Russia to use SumRando Messenger to communicate safely and privately during the World Cup. Our end to end encryption is top notch and is under the Russian radar, unlike some of the more trendy messenger apps. (For example, the Russian regime has given thumbs up to hacking WhatsApp and Skype as part of its plan to monitor all internet traffic in the country.) Even better, SumRando Messenger gives you the ability to destroy your messages forever, even if they are on the other person's phone. Leave no trace of your communications. Leave no "evidence" for oppressive governments to exploit should you be arrested for simply being you.

SumRando Cybersecurity is a proud supporter of LGBT rights. Time moves forward, not backwards. It's time for humanity to move forward as well. Until then, we'll continue to provide the tools to keep LGBT and any oppressed group safe from the hateful wrath of oppression.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

It's the economy, stupid.


This tweet struck us yesterday as the perfect microcosmic example of the consequences of internet shutdowns.

India is by the worst culprit in shutting down the internet, with 177 known shutdowns since 2012. African countries are doing their best to compete, with Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Chad among the guiltiest parties.

Internet shutdowns cost countries $2.4 billion USD in 2016. That's a lot of supplies not delivered, a lot of orders not taken, a lot of bills unpaid, a lot of products unused.

While a VPN can't help you when an ISP or a government completely turns off internet access, it can help when only certain websites and apps are blocked. Why not take advantage of our limited time offer of one year of unlimited VPN data for $20.18 USD?

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The pettiness of internet censorship

There's a story by the Russian author Fyodor Sologub called The Petty Demon about a vindictive, paranoid man and a vindictive, paranoid town. The main character, Peredonov, is obsessed with achieving material success, no matter whose life he has to destroy to get there. About Peredonov, Sologub writes, "He didn’t like people, he never thought about them other than in connection with what benefits or pleasures he might derive from them." His hostile treatment of others is a reflection of his egoism, a trait that has emerged in our modern world's obsession with materialism.


Peredonov's obsessions lead to paranoia, and he begins to see a little demon everywhere. In one scene, he cuts out the eyes of the royals in a deck of cards because he thinks they are looking at him. Everyone is out to get him and prevent him from obtaining the object of his desire - a position as school inspector, which would come with wealth and power. (SPOILER ALERT: It doesn't end well for him.)

Is this not an accurate description of Vladimir Putin?

Putin's recent ban on the messenger app Telegram is just the latest in a long list of assaults on online freedom and freedom of expression. As recently as 2014, Russia was ranked "partly free" on Freedom House's annual Freedom on the Net report. Since 2015, it has been ranked "not free."

This devolution has come as more Russians gain access to the internet. In 2004, only 8% of Russians had access. As of December 2015, 70% had access. Powermongering, paranoid Putin won't let Russians have access to the real internet because people might be able to spread information about protests and ways to elect opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny. Democracy and freedom are Putin's petty demons.

But - Russians can bypass Putin's censorship with SumRando encryption tools. Replace your Telegram account with SumRando Messenger. Download SumRando VPN for Windows and Android to access blocked websites. Visit www.sumrando.com for more information.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Update on SumRando Web Proxy

Last week, an article was published regarding VPNs and Proxies and potential vulnerabilities with WebRTC.  We felt the article was somewhat misleading, and we want to take the opportunity to clarify what this all means and how it impacts you as a user of SumRando's products and services.

What is WebRTC?
WebRTC is an HTML5 specification that allows for real-time communication between browsers and devices without plugins or other widgets installed.  It enables voice and video communication to work inside web pages.  Many popular browsers (think FireFox and Chrome) already have WebRTC enabled. 

What is a Web Proxy?
A web proxy server is a computer that sits between you and the internet, which reroutes your requests through our servers by way of the website on the browser. When you are using a web proxy, Internet traffic on that page is routed through the proxy server, making it look as if it came from the server's IP address instead of yours.  This is isolated to only the webpage you are using, not the entire browser.

What is a VPN?
VPN stands for virtual private network. VPNs provide a virtual version of a secure physical network, where the information you send over the Internet is encrypted and secured from others on the Internet. By running a VPN, an encrypted tunnel is established between your device and the VPN servers.  Once the connection is established, all of your Internet activity (from browser to Skype to email) is pushed through this secure tunnel, through the VPN servers, and out to the Internet. The video on our VPN page - https://www.sumrando.com/vpn.aspx - explains the process as well.

Great. Why are you telling me all this?
The article that was originally published last week and has since circulated in the community indicated that some privacy services (VPNs and Proxies) may be vulnerable to WebRTC leaks.  SumRando Web Proxy was identified on that list. 

Was my IP leaked when I used SumRando VPN?
No. SumRando is designed to encrypt ALL traffic including WebRTC offering you the most anonymity and security possible when using a VPN service.   

Was my IP leaked when I used SumRando Web Proxy?
Potentially, depending on the website(s) you visited. SumRando Web Proxy was released with the intention of circumventing geolocation blocking and for quick anonymous searches on the web.  It was not designed to serve as a complete privacy and security solution. (That's why we encourage you to download and use SumRando VPN).  Admittedly, we weren't clear on our website how the browser plays a big role in network communication and the risks related to WebRTC and other non-HTTP and HTTPS web traffic. 

I used SumRando Web Proxy.  Can you tell me if I was specifically impacted by the leak?

No.  SumRando does not track SumRando Web Proxy activity.  We have no insight into who visited what sites at any certain time.

Okay.  Now what?
We highly recommend that you download and use SumRando VPN - https://www.sumrando.com/download.aspx.  We have a free account option that provides you with 1GB of data per month.  If you need more, you can easily upgrade to SumRando VPN Platinum, which gives you unlimited data and access to all of our VPN servers around the world.

SumRando Web Proxy is temporarily unavailable while we work to determine is there are additional ways to reduce the impact of WebRTC.  If you are concerned with WebRTC, it is possible to disable it directly in your browsers - https://www.privacyend.com/disable-webrtc-in-various-browsers/.  This may degrade some performance of websites, but it will prevent other websites from obtaining more inforamation under the guise of WebRTC requests.

As always, if you have any feedback, questions, or concerns, please reach out to us at support@sumrando.com.