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Saturday, August 17, 2013

FBI Managed to Hack Tor

FreedomWeb, an Ireland-based company providing hosting for “hidden services” over the Tor network, was recently closed down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was alleged of helping spread kids abuse images.
Apparently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has managed to hack Tor. According to its Open Watch blog, users of Tor hidden services suddenly discovered that their copies of the browser were infected with malicious Javascript which de-anonymized them.

The experts suggest that the FBI has hacked them. The matter is that Tor Browser is originally shipped with Javascript disabled, but it seems to have been somehow switched back on again to make the browser more useful. Despite the fact that this move can be regarded as a victory for the FBI against kids pornographers using the Tor network, it also represents a serious security breach for international activists and online users living in repressive states which use the services with the only purpose to practice free speech on the Internet.

In its efforts to take down kids abuse images, the authorities might have exposed countless activists to arrest and torture. But the experts suggest that as far as the untouchables are concerned, those activists are foreigners and very far away. The affected service, OpenWatch, has been in the early stages of designing an alternative to Freedom Hosting, named OnionCloud, in order to allow anonymous Heroku-like app hosting.

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