Tor Browsers Compromised by FBI Malware

Tor onionWhen word that the NSA was monitoring domestic web traffic and emails leaked many bloggers advised their readers to switch to “private” browsers like Tor and their encrypted “anonymized” email service Tormail.

I took the attitude that doing so would only send up a red flag.

Subsequent document leaks showed that I was right. While the feds might ignore normal web and email traffic and simply archive them, encrypted communications trigger closer analysis to find out what the user is trying to hide.

Furthermore, these ‘hidden services’ aka: DarkNet are infamously used by criminals. Freedom Hosting has been connected with child porn and Silkroad linked to drug and international weapons dealers. In both cases, bitcoin is the official currency to transact business through an exchange called OnionBank.

Well, the FBI has taken the first steps to put an end to these cyber shenanigans…

FreedomWeb, an Irish company known for providing hosting for Tor “hidden services” — services reached over the Tor anonymized/encrypted network — has shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was arrested over allegations that he had facilitated the spread of child pornography.

Users of Tor hidden services report that their copies of “Tor Browser” (a modified, locked-down version of Firefox that uses Tor by default) were infected with malicious Javascript that de-anonymized them, and speculate that this may have originated with with FBI.

Read more:

Basically, if you are a Tor user and you’ve visited any websites hosted by FreedomWeb in the last few days you got a “down for maintenance” screen. But what you really got was a zero day exploit payload that initially redirected users to an IP address belonging to an unidentified Verizon customer outside Washington, DC.

A number of programmers are examining the javascript but it looks like it creates a unique cookie that fingerprints the browser. It only seems to work on FireFox 17 that Tor browsers are based on. That’s all they’ve been able to discern at this point.

You can get more technical details here:

btw: If you got any bitcoins, better divest now before they crash and lose all their value. That’s another “bright idea” that I knew wouldn’t last. Sovereign nations will never tolerate currency competition. Especially one billed as being “untraceable.”

There is no such thing as online anonymity anymore, everything you do can tracked back to you if the authorities are willing to invest the resources to do it.

 

2 comments

    • Whoopie

      |Author

      They say half the Tor sites have been compromised by the feds, I guarantee there is much panic out there this morning by people who thought the Feds couldn’t ID them and what they were doing.

      But it also goes to show that when it comes to privacy, there is nowhere to hide. The authorities have the internet wired. The harder you try to remain anonymous, the more you stick out…and the nail that sticks out will be hammered down.

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