1993-03-01 - Re: anon.penet.fi hacking

Header Data

From: edgar@spectrx.saigon.com (Edgar W. Swank)
To: Cypherpunks <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Message Hash: 075c55c0e3ab3aa7b0971541fea5a50b022a57e7b6881dbd1dd543417f473e3a
Message ID: <DR9LZB7w165w@spectrx.saigon.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-01 00:44:46 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 28 Feb 93 16:44:46 PST

Raw message

From: edgar@spectrx.saigon.com (Edgar W. Swank)
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 93 16:44:46 PST
To: Cypherpunks          <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: Re: anon.penet.fi hacking
Message-ID: <DR9LZB7w165w@spectrx.saigon.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Feb 23, Hal said:

    Unless Eli's suggestion works - having our remailers put out a
    random "From:"  line (perhaps just on mail to Penet?)  might cause
    Penet to issue a new pseudonym for that apparent new user.  This
    would be kind of wasteful from Penet's perspective - all those
    pseudonyms are never going to be re-used.  But it might allow this
    form of chaining, without compromising the pseudonym of the
    remailer operator.

I would be cautious about a random "From:" line.  I think penet will
probably reject input that at least has does not have a valid (but not
necessarily truthful) return address.

For a while, Miron Cuperman's wimsey remailer was generating a bogus
From address, something like "yeltsy@kremlin.vax.ru".  I tried
chaining this to penet to post to newsgroups, but my anonymous
messages never appeared in the newsgroups.  This was because,
I think, penet sends a confirmation back to the sender. Since
"kremlin.vax" is not in penet's net tables, this would cause
the confirmation send to fail; my hypothesis is that this also
causes the newsgroup post at penet to fail.

One good From address to generate, at least for wimsey, would be


but you would need to add some boilerplate explaining to the
recipient that "pool0" is a group address and a return message may
be seen by up to (number? 10-100?) persons unless it is encrypted.

Wimsey could also establish its own penet password and automatically
insert it whenever it detected a "to" address ending in penet.fi.

It could also substitute the penet anonxxxx address for "pool0" in the
above boilerplate. This would allow a penet return to pool0. Note that
I don't mind too much if people know that they can reach Edgar Swank
through pool0, because pool0 is also an address for many other people,
so I can "plausibly deny" that any particular message addressed to
pool0 is for me.

I'd like to point out that so far the wimsey remailer is the only
useful remailer from my point of view because it's the only one
which allows me to delete the automatic sig.  This is because it
only forwards encrypted text and discards any appended unencrypted

The other remailers were supposed to add a "kill line" to do the
same thing, but as far as I know this never happened.

edgar@spectrx.saigon.com (Edgar W. Swank)
SPECTROX SYSTEMS +1.408.252.1005  Silicon Valley, Ca