using silc and tor on ubuntu 7.04 feisty

Silc is a secure chat network, much like an IRC network, only the communication channels are actually encrypted. However, you can still leak out your normal host, which steals away any shot at anonymity. But if you use Silc with Tor, you achieve not only privacy in the channel, but privacy in the connection as well. Nice! As I’ve seen it said, silc+tor may be the most secure way to communicate with someone on the net. (Yes, I guess you can add an exchange of keys to verify identities…)

First, install Silky. I am doing this work in an updated but newly installed Ubuntu system. Make sure the repositories are unlocked, which should be the first thing done with any Ubuntu install.

sudo apt-get install silky

This will actually also flag and get any dependencies like libsilc.

Start Silky either by typing “silky” into the shell or Applications->Internet->Silky. Being the first time run, it will want to generate keys. Automatic is sufficient. Close out, and let’s look into Tor.

sudo apt-get install tor privoxy tsocks

Again, the needed dependencies will be installed. We can then start Tor and call Silky.

torify silky

Click Server, and select a server or supply one you know under Preferences->Edit Preferences. Nothing special needs to be submitted, just use whatever address and port used normally. Connect, and check out the hostmask. That’s it! Other programs can start this way as well, such as “torify firefox” and then go to and verify the external IP (there is a Tor extension which works beautifully, though).

Keep in mind that Tor is not the fastest of connections, and while IRC is pretty resilient, I’ve found SILC to be a bit more picky about some slowness. I’ve found Silky can stay up for a few days, but Torify (tsocks) eventually dumps out, so it is not something I’d expect to always leave on.

Now, if someone knows how to implement irssi+silc_plugin (or any silc plugin)+tor, I’d love to hear how! That way I could possibly stay connected on a server using screen to attach whenever I want. Granted, I think I’d need two irssi’s since Freenode only wants Tor users to use their special private entrance.

More stuff to Torify can be found on the web.