"Privacy is like an endangered species; every day we hear of another headline demoralizing its sanctity. Less often do we hear of attempts to breed it back into the wild and proliferate it. Anonabox is one such project." - Unknown
About Sochule Inc
My name is Marc, and I am the new CEO of Anonabox. Recently, we (Sochule Inc) acquired Anonabox as a strategic addition to our portfolio. Sochule Inc is the recently-formed parent company of Social Media 180, HelloTel App, Sweepify, ProximiTel and now Anonabox LLC. Over the last seven years, our subsidiaries have partnered with numerous Fortune 500s, celebrities, and movie studios to meet and exceed internal goals through brilliant digital campaigns.
Our most well-known, wholly-owned subsidiary, Social Media 180, is a mobile application and web development agency that hyper-focuses on incentives for social engagement and measurable ROI. Past and present clients include Taylor Made Golf, Rob Zombie's latest movie The Lords of Salem, Adidas Golf, Pitbull and Fergie's Voli Vodka, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Robert Rodriguez, director of Sin City, Kendall Jackson Wineries, and Smart Shelters Inc., to name just a few.
Through Social Media 180, key market opportunities became apparent, resulting in additional businesses and products such as:
- Sweepify | Our instant WIN social gaming platform that rewards users with discounts, beta keys, coupons or even prizes.
- HelloTel | A mobile app that turns any hotel check-in into a rich social network. This app went viral five days after going live and was featured on Huffington Post, Fox News, TUAW, Hotel Chatter and even received recognition on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
- ProximiTel | ProximiTel offers a new way for consumers and businesses to interact with each other in real-time. Through our iBeacon network, businesses can utilize non-personally-identifiable information to understand their aggregate consumer base and ever-changing market trends.
- In early 2014, we formed Sochule Inc to accommodate investor interest and scale to the next level. To the dismay of our competitors, Sochule Inc is now establishing its corner of the "big boys’ sandbox" and is only days away from a national marketing campaign to raise brand awareness and maximize ROI for its latest acquisition, Anonabox.
Why Did We Acquire Anonabox?
This question leeways perfectly into the title of this blog "When there is blood in the streets...buy." This is a tactic I learned very early on in my college days when I use to supplement my income with day trading. The premise of this strategy is to buy when everyone else is selling.
I will be the first person to tell you that Anonabox has NOT done everything right along the way. I am not here to highlight past successes nor am I here to defend the criticism of past transgressions. So why am I here? It’s easy to move Anonabox forward as a privacy product for the masses that benefit the most advanced IT user down to the most novice soccer mom.
Now that we have spelled out who we are and what we are going to accomplish, let me respond to some frequently-asked questions, emails, and comments from our consumer base about our Tor hardware router.
What is the Tor Network?
Here is the definition of the Tor network straight from the Tor Wiki:
"Tor is free software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is an acronym derived from the original software project name, The Onion Router. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than six thousand relays to conceal a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult for Internet activity to be traced back to the user. This includes ‘visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms.".
"Tor's use is intended to protect the personal privacy of users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored. An extract of a Top Secret appraisal by the National Security Agency (NSA) characterized Tor as ‘the King of high-secure, low-latency Internet anonymity’ with ‘no contenders for the throne in waiting,’ and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology deemed it with approximately 2.5 million users daily ‘by far the most popular anonymous internet communication system."
The Tor Project has also recently made an informative video about these processes to educate the most novice user:
How Does the Anonabox Work?
The Anonabox Tor hardware router is simply a device that comes pre-embedded with the Tor network, minus the installation process and necessary skills to anonymize oneself properly. Our plug-and-play Tor router offers the most simplistic path to the Tor network that I am personally aware of.
What the Anonabox Is Not?
"Tor is about hiding your location, not about encrypting your communication." -The Tor Project
Anonabox, and even the Tor software as a stand-alone solution, comes with caveats that ALL individuals should understand to protect their identity and privacy online. Anonabox is NOT an exit node encryption device. What do I mean by this? Here is an applicable quote from the Tor Wiki:
"Onion routing is implemented by encryption in the application layer of a communication protocol stack, nested like the layers of an onion, used to anonymize communication. Tor encrypts the original data, including the destination IP address, multiple times and sends it through a virtual circuit comprising successive, randomly-selected Tor relays. Each relay decrypts a layer of encryption to reveal only the next relay in the circuit in order to pass the remaining encrypted data on to it. The final relay decrypts the innermost layer of encryption and sends the original data to its destination without revealing, or even knowing, the source IP address. Because the routing of the communication is partly concealed at every hop in the Tor circuit, this method eliminates any single point at which the communication can be de-anonymized through network surveillance that relies upon knowing its source and destination."
Further research MUST be done by Anonabox users to understand how the Tor network operates whether using our device or the stand-alone Tor software. A great place to start is on this link from the Tor project:
Does the Anonabox Device Offer a Competitive Advantage Over Installing the Stand-alone Tor Software on Your Own
Yes!!! There are numerous advantages to purchasing an Anonabox device versus setting up the software on your own. Competitive advantages include:
- The Anonabox device routes everything over Tor and is not restricted by the stand-alone Tor software that can potentially leak and fingerprint cross browser cookies or other applications. Again, this topic does come with some caveats that must be addressed to understand how your identity could be exposed when opening other applications like Skype while running through Tor or the Anonabox device. For example, if you open Skype while connected to the Anonabox device your traffic will route through Tor but potential exposure of your identity could be possible if you are using your real name and other personally-identifiable information you used in the past to set up your Skype account. Alternatively to avoid this issue, one could create a Skype account while connected to the Anonabox device with non-personally-identifiable information and chat privately with another user who has taken these same steps to conceal their identity. This process becomes invaluable when a journalist in one country wants to speak with another coworker back home about a sensitive story.
- Anonabox runs Tor on a dedicated device instead of consuming your computer's system resources. The advantage of running Tor on a dedicated Anonabox device is that your computer's CPU and RAM are not operating under additional load requirements that one may experience with the stand-alone Tor software installed to their computer.
- The Anonabox device is easily concealable and discreet while traveling to countries that may have censorship restrictions that block individuals from specific websites. This becomes particularly valuable for journalists who are trying to publish a story but are being blocked through censorship restrictions.
- Anonabox allows you to easily connect to the Tor network on any computer without installing the Tor software. This is monumental when using a public or friend’s computer. Instead of going through the time-consuming process of setting it up correctly on each computer you use, simply plug in an Anonabox device and be up and running in under 90 seconds.
- Our device is plug-and-play. It offers the easiest direct connection to Tor with no software to install, registration process, or learning curves that come with installing the Tor network correctly.
- WiFi enabled. The Anonabox also comes with the ability to connect your mobile device directly to the Tor network for additional privacy. Again, this topic requires additional research by our consumers to understand how mobile devices route over Tor. Additional steps must be taken to properly secure your anonymity and identity when using a mobile device in this manner. In the coming days, we will be writing follow-up blogs and dedicating one specifically to this topic.
Prior to Sochule Inc's acquisition of Anonabox and completely out of our control, a number of the first batches of Anonaboxes were shipped without a password for the WiFi. Over the last week, we have received numerous emails about this issue and are in the process of responding to each person individually and via an email blast to inform them about this issue. Additionally, there has been concern about the terminology used when describing the now-instated WiFi password that also comes with each device.
To clear the air with the proper terminology, the Anonabox device now comes with WPA2- PSK encryption with TKIP and CCMP (AES) forced. The password is a minimum of 24 characters long and brings the possibility of brute forcing it to almost non-existent levels. To these 24-character passwords, go to the link below and generate a 24-character string password such as: n4c52O42K67c874P47HEDkbr
From there take the password over to:
This will allow you to test the strength of a 24-character password, now implemented on all shipped Anonabox devices. These passwords are as powerful as the current hardware supports and as secure as most hospitals, legal offices, or government networks.
My Anonabox Is Part of the Batch That Went Out Without a Password, What Are My Options?
Anyone who has received an Anonabox without a password may ship their device back in working order for a new Anonabox device with WPA2-PSK encryption with TKIP and CCMP (AES) forced security.
Sochule Inc will also cover up to and cap at $10 USD for the shipping cost incurred by customers who would like a new device with the 24-character-enabled WiFi password. In your returned package:
- Please include a copy of your "return shipping" receipt contained inside your package.
- Also, inside your returned package, please include a simple piece of paper with your name, address, and Paypal account email for us to cover up to $10 in return shipping costs. Within 24 hours of your device being confirmed to be in good working order, we will credit the Paypal account via the email address you provide. If you used Paypal's credit card option, please include a piece of paper with the full name you would like a check made out to which we will send back with your new Anonabox.
Please ship all returned devices to our United States headquarters at:
3259 Esplanade, Suite #104
Chico, CA 95973
Finally, we will immediately escalate your order to the front of the line for processing, return shipment and a new Anonabox device with the WiFi-enabled WPA2-PSK encryption.
Part 2...Coming Soon
In the coming days, we will publish Part 2 and 3 of this blog as time permits. Currently, we are inundated with orders from our new website and are only a handful of days away from opening international sales. We have already scaled out our domestic sales strategy and are now working with International distributors to scale out their requests. Once implemented, our current consumer base will be first to know via our newsletter, followed by website updates, blogs, and social media.
In Part 2 & 3 of this blog series, we will discuss:
- Anonabox's Hardware
- Anonabox's Firmware
- Open Source vs. Closed Source
- The Blackhole
- Product Roadmap (New products coming Q3...maybe sooner)
- Third Party Hardware & Firmware Review
- Black Duck Software | Open Source Code Audit