Privacy Network of Tor Attacked by Government-Funded Agencies

Privacy Network of Tor Attacked by Government-Funded Agencies

Tor, a tool designed to safeguard the identity of its users, was attacked, thus exposing the user security content for five months. The move apparently was aimed at knowing the net addresses of the people operating or visiting hidden sites.

Tor allows people to browse webpage and to publish sites whose contents do not show up in search engines. It hides a person's location and identity by sending data across the internet via circuitous route involving several "nodes" - which, in this context, means using volunteers' PCs and computer servers as connection points.

Encryption applied at each hop along this route makes it very hard to connect a person to any particular activity.

Roger Dingledine, one of the network's co-creators, on the Tor Project, wrote in his blog that they have invested a lot of time and months in order to obtain the information from Alexander Volynkin and Michael McCord, the two security experts who were going to present in Black Hat Talk in Las Vegas. However, the event was cancelled later.

Tor's team has remained on the receiving end lately as no mails were answered by these two researchers. This makes them believe that these security experts might be responsible for the attacks.

He believes that the attack on July 4 was handled by these two researchers who work at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. They are mainly funded by US Department of Defense, as per the views expressed by Tor developer.

Tor's users include the military, law enforcement officers and journalists - who use it for communicating with whistle-blowers as well as public members who look for secure communication via internet.

However, the illegal activities may also happen on these services, allowing people to visit sites offering illegal drugs for sale. It will also give an access to child abuse images, which do not show up in normal search engine results.

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