One of the biggest issues that we as Patriots have is the need for secure communications. The way that we are used to communicating on the internet offers the federal government a full window into everything you do, say, buy, as well as everywhere you go and who you talk to. For those who are tired of that, there are options. The first is changing to an operating system that does not act as a data collection platform, like Windows does. Linux is the natural alternative for those looking to “clean up their act,” so to speak, and make a much smaller profile. Kali Linux is especially well-suited to security, having been built specifically for that purpose.
For those who are making the jump to Linux (and you SHOULD be), the next logical question is how to start operating a manner that’s more secure. Part of that discussion is setting up a VPN, or virtual private network. If you don’t understand how a VPN works, you can study up on that here. For now, we’ll assume that you’re familiar with what a VPN does, but perhaps you’re new to Linux and specifically Kali, and need a bit of guidance to get started. This guide is specifically for Private Internet Access, which I find to be one of the best ones on the market. Regardless of which VPN provider you use (TorGuard is another excellent one), this guide will work to get you the necessary setup for enabling VPN.
VPN is not actually enabled by default in Kali 2.0, and so we need to install some packages to make it all work.
First, you’ll need to ensure that your Kali install is up to date and has all the latest versions of installed packages. So open a Terminal window, and type the following:
[box] sudo apt-get update[/box]
It’ll ask you for your sudo password. Just type that in and it’ll update your packages. When you get a prompt back, then it’s time to install network manager and the packages it needs to run.
[box] sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn network-manager network-manager-gnome network-manager-openvpn-gnome[/box]
Next, let’s enable the interface management.
sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf[box] sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf[/box]
When that file opens in your terminal window, just arrow down to where it says “managed=false” and change that to “managed=true”
You can exit by hitting CTRL X, then Y and Enter to save the changes you just made.
Now restart your network manager.
[box] sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager restart[/box]
Next, you’ll make a directory to store your setup files, and download them into the directory.
[box] mkdir OpenVPN-setup-PIA [/box]
[box] cd OpenVPN-setup-PIA[/box]
[box] sudo wget http://www.privateinternetaccess.com/openvpn/openvpn.zip (This is where you would substitute the link for whatever OpenVPN provider you decided to go with.)[/box]
Now, extract the file you downloaded.
[box] sudo unzip openvpn.zip[/box]
Copy the certificate files to your new directory.
[box] sudo cp ca.crt /etc/openvpn[/box]
[box] sudo cp crl.pem /etc/openvpn[/box]
Confirm everything copied correctly and did what it was supposed to do:
[box] ls /etc/openvpn/ -altr[/box]
You should see those two files (among others)
Now, you can import the VPN configuration file. Go into your network manager, and add the VPN information. It’ll give you the option to import from file. Navigate to the /etc/openvpn folder and choose the server that you prefer to use. (Note: It’s been mentioned to me recently that it’s best to use a domestic server, as all foreign servers will be caught up in the NSA net when they come back over the border into the US. I suggest an out-of-state, but inside the US.) Put in your username and password. Go ahead and connect.
Now, it’s time to test your connection. Surf to http://ipleak.net and see what your IP comes up as. If you’ve done it correctly, your IP will show as coming from whatever server you chose.
In future articles, I’ll cover setting up the Tor browser and i2p, two more ways to anonymize your web traffic. For now, simply enjoy your VPN!