Censorship circumvention (UltraSurf and Freegate)

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JohnW
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Censorship circumvention (UltraSurf and Freegate)

#1 Post by JohnW » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:08 am

No use to me but could be useful to some PFC users.

UltraSurf enables users inside countries with heavy Internet censorship to visit any public web sites in the world safely and freely.

Essentially it is a browser which has implemented a complex proxy with complete transparency and a high level of encryption.

Download links and basic info is given on ...

Code: Select all

http://www.ultrareach.com/company/download.htm
The actual download is ...

Code: Select all

http://www.wujie.net/downloads/ultrasurf/u.zip
The Home Site (wujie) is completely unintelligible to me (Chinese I believe)

The ' ultrareach' site states that "UltraSurf is a green software, which means no installation process is needed nor system setting is required to change when using the software."

A User Guide is available via that site.
Last edited by JohnW on Mon May 26, 2014 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmmehl
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#2 Post by cmmehl » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:07 pm

I have used this prog successfully in a country blocking several websites. If I recall correctly, the program functions by connecting immediately after startup to a pool of servers to which it establishes ssl connections. The IP-addresses of these servers seemed to change quite frequently.

While the program did well what it promised, what made me hesitate to use it on a regular basis was the "political" aspect of it. It was never really clear who is actually the altruistic person or institution running (and paying for) at least two dozen ssl-proxy servers. Supposedly, the data transmitted during ssl-sessions is safe, but for sure the one running the server can see the the addresses you are surfing to.

I always suspected the collection of such data to be the main purpose of the program, whatever the usefulness of that may be. I finally preferred to set up my own ssl-proxy on a server in a free country which worked as well, but this is admittedly not a solution for everyone, and certainly not the Chinese masses targeted by ultra-surf.

However, the program is admirable because it is extremely small, fast and efficient, and can certainly help you out when trapped in a censoring environment. It seemed perfectly portable to me, although I haven't run extensive registry checks. It shouldn't miss on the stick of the frequent traveler, and is also small enough to be sent out by email to a person in need.

Cheers
Chris

freakazoid
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UltraSurf

#3 Post by freakazoid » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:20 pm

[Moderator note: this post was the beginning of a separate thread that has been merged with the posts above it, so some information below is repeated.]

---

Description: Protect Internet privacy with anonymous surfing and browsing -- hide IP addresses and locations, clean browsing history, cookies & more

URL: http://www.ultrareach.com

---

Uses some type of proxy switching protocol to do this.

Seems to run portably.
My question... is this stealth?

justsky
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#4 Post by justsky » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:40 pm

This seems interesting on the surface. It is very IE centric but if those items are turned off it seems to be polite (stealth) but I am far from an expert. It is quite a bit faster than Tor. I'm interested to learn what some of the smart guys here like Queue, m^(2), garbanzo, etc. (you know who you are), think of it.

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#5 Post by freakazoid » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:32 am

justsky wrote:This seems interesting on the surface. It is very IE centric but if those items are turned off it seems to be polite (stealth) but I am far from an expert. It is quite a bit faster than Tor. I'm interested to learn what some of the smart guys here like Queue, m^(2), garbanzo, etc. (you know who you are), think of it.
you can use the UltraSurf proxy on any browser... although default use is for IE. they have an add-on for firefox as well.

i use HotSpot Shield primarily, but the banner ads are annoying.

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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#6 Post by guinness » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:08 am

Ghacks has posted a review on this software, looks interesting but I haven't tested it.

Source: http://www.ghacks.net/2012/02/28/bypass ... ultrasurf/
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Midas
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#7 Post by Midas » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:50 am

:!: Users BEWARE! :!:

Several reports linked from the GHacks article stress the probability of this being in fact malware, producing exactly the effects it's supposed to cure...

In French, @ http://reflets.info/qui-es-tu-ultrareach/
What kind of business:
- publishes a spyware and updates it regularly with new malware and a complex routing layer;
- broadcasts it freely on a massive scale since the early 2000s;
- has only one known contact, a name attached to a Gmail address;
- has a ghost physical address, where we find a Best Buy Auto shop;
- gets money from the U.S. Congress?
See Wikipedia, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasurf

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guinness
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#8 Post by guinness » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:20 am

Thanks Midas, I thought it might have been UPX but it appears it's a lot more than that.
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Napiophelios
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#9 Post by Napiophelios » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:44 pm

Jotti's malware scanner says its clean

VirusTotal had one hit

Avast says its clean.

VirScan.org results
Is Ultrasurf a Trojan or virus?

ANSWER: Neither. Some anti-virus software companies misclassify Ultrasurf as a malware or Trojan because Ultrasurf encrypts the communications and circumvents internet censorship. We are in the process of resolving this issue with these anti-virus companies. It is our mission to protect users' privacy when browsing the internet.
The article you point too is refering to a hacked version of the software that had been circulated via email.

http://reflets.info/syrie-ultrasurf-ou- ... n-malware/

On another note its not stealth either,it leaves a file in the user's profile.
and it doesnt work that well unless you are using IE...at least not for me.

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Midas
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#10 Post by Midas » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:23 am

Napiophelios wrote:Jotti's malware scanner says its clean

VirusTotal had one hit

Avast says its clean.

VirScan.org results
Is Ultrasurf a Trojan or virus?[...]
The article you point too is refering to a hacked version of the software that had been circulated via email.

http://reflets.info/syrie-ultrasurf-ou- ... n-malware/

On another note its not stealth either,it leaves a file in the user's profile. and it doesnt work that well unless you are using IE...at least not for me.

:!: My motive for the alert isn't any of those concerns, but the fact that if you need to surf the Net anonymously, then you might want better assurance that what is given by this software, which doesn't seem to rank very high on trustworthiness... browse the links provided, do your own research. My recommendation: if you need something like this, look elsewhere.

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Napiophelios
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#11 Post by Napiophelios » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:57 pm

I did.
Thats why I responded.

The article about the Syrians circulating an altered copy of the program seems to be what started the "investigation" after it planted a trojan on users' computers allowing them to be tracked down.

I am not taking sides I just take publications of that calibre with a minute grain of salt.

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Midas
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#12 Post by Midas » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:01 am

Napiophelios wrote:[...]I just take publications of that calibre with a minute grain of salt.
Fair enough. I'd just hate to be one of those Syrians. Or anyone else ratted on after deciding to trust this soft... :|

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Napiophelios
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#13 Post by Napiophelios » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:34 am

OKay,I really dont get where you are coming from.

If someone hacks a copy of WinRAR and I get a virus from it,
I dont blame WinRAR.
Especially if I obtained the software from a "friend" via eMail.

Virtually any program can be hacked or altered.
But I digress, cuz.

maybe ultrasurf is really a syrian operation doing buisiness behind an American based fasade
what do I know.

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Midas
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Re: UltraSurf v 8.9

#14 Post by Midas » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:15 am

I won't engage in flaming, so this will be my end rebuttal... :roll:

Let me ask again if you have really read my warning post? (viewtopic.php?p=48517#p48517)

It looks to me you're deliberately misconceiving the issue here, it is not the hacked Syrian UltraSurf version I'm warning of, it is of UltraSurf itself -- I mentioned above the scant warranties offered by developers that this application is really up to what it (IMHO) feigns...

Finally, a few quotes from the Wikipedia article I also mentioned:
In December 2011, Jacob Appelbaum and Roger Dingledine of the Tor Project described the fallibility of Ultrasurf in protecting the anonymity of users, in their presentation at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (28c3). As part of their presentation on developments in online anonymity technologies they demonstrated how Ultrasurf clearly leaves the user's IP trail exposed.[3]
In a 2007 study, Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society found Ultrasurf to be the "best performing" of all tested circumvention tools during in-country tests, and recommended it for widespread use. The report noted, however, that Ultrareach is designed primarily as a circumvention product, rather than as an anonymity tool, and suggested that users concerned about anonymity should disable browser support for active content when using Ultrasurf.[1]
According to unconfirmed speculation on the French computer security-related website Reflets, Ultrasurf contains spyware and several trojan horses, which may actually enable government surveillance.[5][6] McAfee and many other antivirus programs also report Ultrasurf as a backdoor trojan.[7]
EDIT: While reading the work I alluded to here, I found a further noteworthy mention of UltraSurf...
In 'Consent of the Networked' {Chapter 12, Washington Squabbles, p. 309}, MacKinnon wrote: One set of people in Washington understand Internet freedom to mean that the US needs to help political and religious activists in undemocratic countries access an uncensored Internet and evade surveillance [...] A subset of the first camp, which lobbied hard for Congress to allocate funds for circumvention technologies, was the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC), run by practitioners of the Falun Gong, a religious sect banned in China. The GIFC produced a suite of circumvention tools (Freegate, Dynaweb, Ultrasurf, and Ultrareach) that are effective at bypassing Internet blocking, as long as the user does not mind that Falun Gong-affiliated engineers can view and log their unencrypted communications or that the software’s security -- and thus its vulnerability to attack, infiltration, and data theft -- has not been audited by independent experts.
You can check this @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/81449467/Cons ... d#page=309

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webfork
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Re: UltraSurf

#15 Post by webfork » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:13 am

FWG just covered this program as "portable" so we'll probably see some more interest. The Wikipedia article on it is interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasurf .

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