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At long last, WireGuard VPN is on its way into Linux

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Extraordinary surge in download of mobile VPN apps worldwide
Countries with the most mobile VPN app downloads: Indonesia, the US, India.

How much are people looking forward to WireGuard, the new in-kernel Linux virtual private network (VPN)? Well, Linus Torvalds said, “Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.” 

If that sounds like damning with faint praise, you don’t know Torvalds. For him, this is high praise. Now, WireGuard has been committed to the Linux kernel’s netdev tree. While there are still tests to be made and hoops to be jumped through, it should be released in the next major Linux kernel release, 5.6, in the first or second quarter of 2020. 

WireGuard has been in development for some time. It is a layer 3 secure VPN. Unlike its older rivals, which it’s meant to replace, its code is much cleaner and simple. The result is a fast, easy-to-deploy VPN. While it started as a Linux project, WireGuard code is now cross-platform, and its code is now available on Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, and Android.

It took longer to arrive than many wished because WireGuard’s principal designer, Jason Donenfeld, disliked Linux’s built-in cryptographic subsystem on the grounds its application programming interface (API) was too complex and difficult. He suggested it be supplemented with a new cryptographic subsystem: His own Zinc library. Many developers didn’t like this. They saw this as wasting time reinventing the cryptographic well. 

But Donenfeld had an important ally. 

Torvalds wrote, “I’m 1000% with Jason on this. The crypto/ model is hard to use, inefficient, and completely pointless when you know what your cipher or hash algorithm is, and your CPU just does it well directly.”

In the end, Donenfeld compromised. “WireGuard will get ported to the existing crypto API. So it’s probably better that we just fully embrace it, and afterward work evolutionarily to get Zinc into Linux piecemeal.” That’s exactly what happened. Some Zine elements have been imported into the legacy crypto code in the forthcoming Linux 5.5 kernel. This laid the foundation for WireGuard to finally ship in Linux early next year.

WireGuard works by securely encapsulates IP packets over UDP. It’s authentication and interface design has more to do with Secure Shell (SSH) than other VPNs. You simply configure the WireGuard interface with your private key and your peers’ public keys, and you’re ready to securely talk. 

When it arrives, I expect WireGuard to quickly become the new standard for Linux VPNs. With its tiny code-size, high-speed cryptographic primitives, and in-kernel design, it should be faster than all other existing VPN technologies. WireGuard’s not just fast, it’s secure as well, with its support of state-of-the-art cryptography technologies such as the Noise protocol framework, Curve25519, ChaCha20, Poly1305, BLAKE2, SipHash24, and HKD. 

All this is why some companies — like Mullvad VPN — adopted WireGuard long before it was incorporated into Linux. As Mullvad co-founder Fredrik Strömberg wrote two-years ago, “We find WireGuard beneficial for a number of reasons. Its simplistic design in few lines of code makes it easier for sysadmins and developers to integrate it correctly — and harder for them to get it wrong.” Thus, “WireGuard will move the world one step closer to our own vision — of making mass surveillance ineffective.”

So, say hi to the future of the VPN. Its name is WireGuard.

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The Bizarre Porsche Cayenne That Was Never Actually Made

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Porsche’s engineers eventually came up with two designs for the Cayenne-PMF, both of which varied predominantly over the tail light. But ultimately, the entire idea was canned. With the Cayenne-PFM convertible idea, Porsche originally set to answer four key questions:

  1. If the windscreen and A-pillars are reduced, and the roof tapers over the rear half, would the car still offer a comfortable seating experience?
  2. If the Cayenne’s doors are elongated by 20 centimeters and it is offered as a two-door model, does it make sense from a practical standpoint?
  3. Is it possible to accommodate a quick-folding soft-top roof that also meets Porsche’s standards for quality and design?
  4. And the most important question of them all: How the rear should look?

Michael Mauer, Chief Designer at Porsche, remarked that “an SUV as a convertible is a challenge both aesthetically and formally.” Mauer, who wasn’t a part of Porsche back then, added that “very strange shapes” emerge when an SUV’s bulky body is amalgamated with a convertible’s smaller, open-roof looks (per Porshe). However, it was not the just aesthetic and practical failures that put the Cayenne convertible plans on cold ice. 

“Forecasts regarding profitability were not particularly promising and doubts remained as to whether the car would look as appealing as a Porsche should,” says the official blog marking the 20th anniversary of Porsche’s venture into the SUV segment. As for the one-off Cayenne-PMF convertible unit, it lives on at the Porsche Museum in Germany’s Stuttgart.

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Tesla Body Damage Repairs Cost Way More Than You Might Expect

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In a YouTube video, Ryan Shaw, a creator who specializes in Tesla and Tech content, described just how much it might cost to repair a Tesla after an accident. According to him, the repair cost of his Tesla Model Y after a rear-end collision was almost $20,000! Some of the most expensive parts that were replaced included the lift gate at $1,200, the quarter panel at $1,150, and the rear bumper at $680. Ryan Shaw’s Tesla Model Y was also involved in another rear-end collision with a repair bill that cost around $10,000. Lucky for him, the repair costs of both accidents were covered by insurance.

It’s not the first time that Tesla vehicles have proven to have expensive repair bills — a windshield replacement for a Tesla Model X could cost you as much as $1,311 without labor. Another YouTuber, Rich Rebuilds, claims he fixed a Tesla Model 3 at his garage for $700 after Tesla estimated the repair cost at $16,000. Also, a Tesla owner based in Finland decided to blow up his Model S after Tesla estimated a cost of $22,600 to replace the battery (via Gizmodo).

Similar stories are all over the internet, and even though the can’t all be verified, it’s a concern that most Tesla owners complain that repair costs are too expensive without a warranty or insurance cover. At the moment, Tesla discourages its customers from taking their cars to third-party repair services.  

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Supercar Brands You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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In 1990, an unnamed businessman from the UAE contacted German racing car manufacturer Lotec and asked for the fastest car in the world. With the promise of a blank check, Lotec began developing the car in 1991, and by 1995, the C1000 was finished. It featured a 5.6L Mercedes twin-turbocharged V8 engine that made over 1,000 horsepower. According to Motor1, Lotec claimed the car had a 0-62 mph time of just 3.2 seconds, and a top speed of 268 mph. The C1000 was strictly a one-off, but at a development cost of $3.4 million, it’s not like many other buyers could have afforded one anyway.

Creating the C1000 gave Lotec owner Kurt Lotterschmid the supercar bug, and shortly after development finished, he set about building a follow-up. By 2001, the brand’s next car, the Sirius, was unveiled. It was planned that five units a year would be created, each car selling for $462,000. The Sirius featured a mid-mounted Mercedes V12 making 850 horsepower, with many of the car’s internals derived from Lotec’s racing parts bin. It was a similar recipe to the Pagani Zonda, which launched just a few years prior, and shared the same engine. However, unlike Pagani, Lotec couldn’t drum up much interest in its ultra-expensive supercar, and only one example of the Sirius ended up being built.

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