How does Mysterium’s whitelisting policy protect you?

By August 21, 2019 November 18th, 2019 Uncategorized

At Mysterium Network, some of our core values are freedom and privacy. We want to make sure that people all over the world can use the internet freely and safely, unburdened by censorship or surveillance. 

However, in a decentralised P2P system like ours, we need to make sure that everyone who contributes to and takes part in our ecosystem have only good intentions. 

That’s why we have a whitelist which ensures that no malicious traffic can pass through your personal node. 

We do this to protect you, ourselves and the entire network from bad actors. We want Mysterium Network to always be a space that is supportive, collaborative and free from shady business. 

 

This is our balance between privacy and safety. While we’d like to afford everyone some level of freedom through anonymity, the reality is that we can’t guarantee the behaviour of every user. 

Currently all whitelisted traffic is test traffic that comes directly from the Mysterium team. 

Have you heard about our node pilot program? Find out how you can earn in our network.

What is whitelisting and how does Mysterium Network use it?

A whitelist is a list of items which is given permission to access certain systems or protocols. Programs, computers and companies use these lists to know who their trusted users or sources are. When a whitelist is used, every other participant is denied access until the network approves them.

Whitelisting has been around for decades and plays a big role in your everyday internet practices, such as email. 

Some examples of different whitelisting applications:

  • Email: your email will likely scan messages to detect phishing scams, virus threats and spam, filtering these before they enter your inbox. These email systems are configured to accept messages only from known addresses on their programmed whitelist, which is why sometimes your mail ends up in the junk folder.
  • Firewalls: a network administrator can create a firewall which only allows specific IP addresses from their whitelist to access that network. This is often used by businesses and organisations to prevent outsiders from entering their internal systems, such as their intranet.
  • A website can be configured to only allow traffic from certain (or entire ranges of) whitelisted IP addresses. This is commonly used in geoblocking. If the website doesn’t approve your IP location, it can instantly deny you access. 

 

In the case of Mysterium Network, we have a whitelist that we use to protect our nodes from malicious incoming traffic. It’s an in-built security feature that allows us to protect node runners like you so that you  only receive “clean” traffic. This is the default setting of our node runner software. In the future, this whitelist will include partners who have met our KYC rules. Right now, the only traffic that passes through your node is the test traffic sent from Mysterium Team.

How does running a node work in Mysterium Network?

Our decentralised VPN was the first of its kind. It is an application which allows you to become a node and share both your IP address and unused bandwidth with anyone in the world who needs it. 

For example, when using the app, you can provide a VPN service so that people can select your IP address to start routing their traffic through. You are paid for providing this service. Users with more popular IP address locations, such as the United States, are in higher demand and typically provide their service to people in countries with severe web censorship cultures.

To test our node software in home environments, we are sending whitelisted (test) traffic as a starting point. Our decentralised architecture distributes all traffic across the network using an advanced sharding technique. It scrambles and encrypts all data, so that no single node will ever have the full picture of what you’re doing. Our layered protection protocols are designed to preserve your privacy – both as a user and a node.

Mysterium IDs

We will identify and block bad actors from our network through the use of registered identities (Mysterium ID) and a network-wide reputation system. This will be an automated system where new users can register their Mysterium ID using a smart contract, generating a new Ethereum address. Users sign messages with their ID, which proves their ownership. 

Users provide some MYST tokens to validate that contract, so that that every registered identity will have a stake. This makes registering an identity unappealing to fake or abandon. Because it would be expensive to forge or make identities in large quantities, this is designed to limit exploitation of the network. 

These registered identities can also be used when making payments in the network. Your payment history and balances are public, so your proven track record makes you more trustworthy to other network participants and service providers.

Any person with a Mysterium ID can offer their unique VPN service (compatible with our network’s VPN service protocols) along with their costs and payment terms. 

Other registered network users can find your service which matches their specific needs (such as location and price) and connect to your individual IP addresses. 

Join the Mysterium Node Pilot Program

By running a Mysterium node in the US, UK, Germany and Italy you can earn up to $50 worth of ETH per month and $600 per year!

Find out more about how you can earn through Mysterium Network.

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