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A censorship circumvention tool to evade detection against state adversaries
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README.md

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Cloak

Cloak is a universal pluggable transport that cryptographically obfuscates proxy traffic as legitimate HTTPS traffic, disguises the proxy server as a normal web server, multiplexes traffic through a fixed amount of TCP connections and provides multi-user usage control.

Cloak works fundamentally by masquerading proxy traffic as normal web browsing traffic. This increases the collateral damage to censorship actions and therefore make it very difficult, if not impossible, for censors to selectively block censorship evasion tools and proxy servers without affecting services that the state may also heavily rely on.

Cloak eliminates any "fingerprints" exposed by traditional proxy protocol designs which can be identified by adversaries through deep packet inspection. If a non-Cloak program or an unauthorised Cloak user (such as an adversary's prober) attempts to connect to Cloak server, it will serve as a transparent proxy between said machine and an ordinary website, so that to any unauthorised third party, a host running Cloak server is indistinguishable from an innocent web server. This is achieved through the use a series of cryptographic stegnatography techniques.

Since Cloak is transparent, it can be used in conjunction with any proxy software that tunnels traffic through TCP, such as Shadowsocks, OpenVPN and Tor. Multiple proxy servers can be running on the same server host machine and Cloak server will act as a reverse proxy, bridging clients with their desired proxy end.

Cloak multiplexes traffic through multiple underlying TCP connections which reduces head-of-line blocking and eliminates TCP handshake overhead. This also makes the traffic pattern more similar to real websites.

Cloak provides multi-user support, allowing multiple clients to connect to the proxy server on the same port (443 by default). It also provides traffic management features such as usage credit and bandwidth control. This allows a proxy server to serve multiple users even if the underlying proxy software wasn't designed for multiple users

Cloak has two modes of Transport: direct and CDN. Clients can either connect to the host running Cloak server directly, or it can instead connect to a CDN edge server, which may be used by many legitimate websites as well, thus further increases the collateral damage to censorship.

Cloak 2.x is not compatible with legacy Cloak 1.x's protocol, configuration file or database file. Cloak 1.x protocol has critical cryptographic flaws regarding encrypting stream headers. Using Cloak 1.x is strongly discouraged

This project was evolved from GoQuiet. Through multiplexing, Cloak provides a significant reduction in webpage loading time compared to GoQuiet (from 10% to 50%+, depending on the amount of content on the webpage, see benchmarks).

Quick Start

To quickly deploy Cloak with Shadowsocks on a server, you can run this script written by @HirbodBehnam

Build

If you are not using the experimental go mod support, make sure you go get the following dependencies:

github.com/boltdb/bolt
github.com/juju/ratelimit
github.com/gorilla/mux
github.com/gorilla/websocket
github.com/sirupsen/logrus
golang.org/x/crypto
github.com/refraction-networking/utls

Then run make client or make server. Output binary will be in build folder.

Configuration

Server

RedirAddr is the redirection address when the incoming traffic is not from a Cloak client. It should either be the same as, or correspond to the IP record of the ServerName field set in ckclient.json.

BindAddr is a list of addresses Cloak will bind and listen to (e.g. [":443",":80"] to listen to port 443 and 80 on all interfaces)

ProxyBook is a nested JSON section which defines the address of different proxy server ends. For instance, if OpenVPN server is listening on 127.0.0.1:1194, the pair should be "openvpn":"127.0.0.1:1194". There can be multiple pairs. You can add any other proxy server in a similar fashion, as long as the name matches the ProxyMethod in the client config exactly (case-sensitive).

PrivateKey is the static curve25519 Diffie-Hellman private key encoded in base64.

AdminUID is the UID of the admin user in base64.

BypassUID is a list of UIDs that are authorised without any bandwidth or credit limit restrictions

DatabasePath is the path to userinfo.db. If userinfo.db doesn't exist in this directory, Cloak will create one automatically. If Cloak is started as a Shadowsocks plugin and Shadowsocks is started with its working directory as / (e.g. starting ss-server with systemctl), you need to set this field as an absolute path to a desired folder. If you leave it as default then Cloak will attempt to create userinfo.db under /, which it doesn't have the permission to do so and will raise an error. See Issue #13.

Client

UID is your UID in base64.

Transport can be either direct or CDN. If the server host wishes you to connect to it directly, use direct. If instead a CDN is used, use CDN.

PublicKey is the static curve25519 public key, given by the server admin.

ProxyMethod is the name of the proxy method you are using.

EncryptionMethod is the name of the encryption algorithm you want Cloak to use. Note: Cloak isn't intended to provide transport security. The point of encryption is to hide fingerprints of proxy protocols and render the payload statistically random-like. If the proxy protocol is already fingerprint-less, which is the case for Shadowsocks, this field can be left as plain. Options are plain, aes-gcm and chacha20-poly1305.

ServerName is the domain you want to make your ISP or firewall think you are visiting.

NumConn is the amount of underlying TCP connections you want to use. The default of 4 should be appropriate for most people. Setting it too high will hinder the performance.

BrowserSig is the browser you want to appear to be using. It's not relevant to the browser you are actually using. Currently, chrome and firefox are supported.

Setup

For the administrator of the server

  1. Set up the underlying proxy server. Note that if you are using OpenVPN, you must change the protocol to TCP as Cloak does not support UDP
  2. Download the latest release or clone and build this repo.
  3. Run ck-server -k. The base64 string before the comma is the public key to be given to users, the one after the comma is the private key to be kept secret
  4. Run ck-server -u. This will be used as the AdminUID
  5. Copy example_config/ckserver.json into a desired location. Change PrivateKey to the private key you just obtained; change AdminUID to the UID you just obtained.
  6. Configure your underlying proxy server so that they all listen on localhost. Edit ProxyBook in the configuration file accordingly
  7. Configure the proxy program. Run sudo ck-server -c <path to ckserver.json>. ck-server needs root privilege because it binds to a low numbered port (443). Alternatively you can follow https://superuser.com/a/892391 to avoid granting ck-server root privilege unnecessarily.

To add users

Unrestricted users

Run ck-server -u and add the UID into the BypassUID field in ckserver.json

Users subject to bandwidth and credit controls
  1. On your client, run ck-client -s <IP of the server> -l <A local port> -a <AdminUID> -c <path-to-ckclient.json> to enter admin mode
  2. Visit https://cbeuw.github.io/Cloak-panel (Note: this is a static site, there is no backend and all data entered into this site are processed between your browser and the Cloak API endpoint you specified. Alternatively you can download the repo at https://github.com/cbeuw/Cloak-panel and host it on your own web server).
  3. Type in 127.0.0.1:<the port you entered in step 1> as the API Base, and click List.
  4. You can add in more users by clicking the + panel

Note: the user database is persistent as it's in-disk. You don't need to add the users again each time you start ck-server.

Instructions for clients

Android client is available here: https://github.com/cbeuw/Cloak-android

  1. Install and configure the proxy client based on the server
  2. Download the latest release or clone and build this repo.
  3. Obtain the public key and your UID from the administrator of your server
  4. Copy example_config/ckclient.json into a location of your choice. Enter the UID and PublicKey you have obtained. Set ProxyMethod to match exactly the corresponding entry in ProxyBook on the server end
  5. Configure the proxy program. Run ck-client -c <path to ckclient.json> -s <ip of your server>

Support me

If you find this project useful, you can visit my merch store which sells some of my designed t-shirts, phone cases, mugs and other bits and bobs; alternatively you can donate directly to me

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