I’m always flattered when I get the chance to correspond with my readers and subscribers. One reader asked me recently, regarding my earlier post ChaosVPN: Making Friends with Hackers!, how to connect to it – or at least about one of the steps in doing so.
I must confess that I’m only minimally experienced with it myself, but it seems that using it is somewhat similar to using other private networks. Specifically, the part that he seemed stuck on was this: ChaosVPN:Howto – Mail us your infos [sic].
The wiki has very specific instructions as to what to do next, but the specifics they ask for are:
a. A sponsor – in other words, someone who’s already on ChaosVPN who can vouch for you. If you don’t know someone, I’m sure you can find one with a little digging.
b. gatewayhost=<clienthost> – the external hostname or IP address of the client host. This should not be an address from within the VPN; it’s the name of your machine. So if your machine were named “Ciphas,” for example, then that would be your hostname.
c. network=<ipv4 subnet in the vpn>
network=<ipv6 subnet in the vpn>
What they mean is that they need to know an IP address for a subnet in their VPN which you would like to use. On the wiki, they have a list of IP ranges to choose from: ChaosVPN:IPRanges. Pick an IP from the list and insert it here.
Here you would put the name of the admin of the VPN gateway which you would like to use – it’s so that there’s someone to contact in case of possible issues.
The port you will use for your connection. According to the wiki, it’s better to use a random port for this, but 4712 is one possible option. TCP/UDP port 655 works as well.
Use this only if you cannot accept inbound tunnel connections.
Use this only if you cannot connect out.
When you first start using tinc, you have to generate a public key via its command line, using the command “init [name],” with [name] being your node name.
For a full list of tinc commands, go here: tinc commands.
So, that being said, you do all that stuff, and then send a contact email with this info to firstname.lastname@example.org. The tricky part may be finding a contact person within the network, but you may be able to find that on the wiki too.
You don’t have to use tinc to connect to ChaosVPN, by the way – it’s also accessible via dn42, which is a VPN designed for experimental purposes. Click the link there to find out more about it.
Just remember – these guys won’t help you find The Shadow Web or anything like that – so don’t ask.