Monday, October 7, 2013

NSA: Tor is king of anonymity online

The Tor project aims to bring a free way of giving users full anonymity online through a technique known as onion routing. The technique is so robust that NSA in a report has expressed frustration over the fact that it cannot crack the networks and de-anonymize the users.

best anonymous anonymizer nsa secure
A recent report by the British Guardian shows that NSA has over the years for multiple of times attempted to crack the anonymizer service known as Tor. However, due to the onion routing technology utilized by Tor, NSA has had very little success and failed repeatedly to directly crack the network with the purpose of un-anonymize individuals or groups of users on the Tor network. This is apparently becoming exceedingly frustrating for the NSA as the Tor project gains more and more traction with more and more participants and in a report by the NSA, the NSA claims that they will never succeed in de-anonymize all individuals on Tor, but they may through manual means identify a small portion of users on the Tor network, but not down to one specific individual. 

It is important to point out here that NSA refers to direct cracking of the Tor network and as has been recently discovered, through indirect means, it is still possible to de-anonymize and identify individuals. For example, through the recent events which involved the use of exploits in the Firefox web browser to install trojans on Tor users.

The Tor network uses a technology which bounces the traffic around through multiple nodes before it is allowed to exit at a randomly chosen node. The nodes are run by people who want to participate in the project and anyone can set up a Tor node to be used by others to anonymize the traffic. 

The Tor network has been used and is used by reporters and journalists in an attempt to escape from censorship filters in certain parts of the world, and it has also been used to leak extremely sensitive information. Therefore, as most things in our world, there are two sides of the coin. But the fundamental idea to allow normal people access to a service to anonymize their traffic, however, must at least be considered to be benevolent.

No comments:

Post a Comment