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2014-11-10T14:53:01Z
Last week a joint operation between the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Department of Homeland Security, and Europol was announced. Named Operation Onymous, it led to the arrest of 17 people, the shutdown of over 400 hundred .onion sites, and Tor relays seized by government officials. As a result, the Tor Project is asking for help to determine how government officials were able to locate these services.

Tor is most interested in understanding how these services were located, and if this indicates a security weakness in Tor hidden services that could be exploited by criminals or secret police repressing dissents,” reads a statement on the Tor Project blog. “We are also interested in learning why the authorities seized Tor relays even though their operation was targeting hidden services. Were these two events related?”


The method, or methods, used by the joint task force to locate the dark websites are yet to be revealed. Government officials have been silent on that topic, leaving Tor Project to figure out how it was done. The first theory is that the operators of the hidden servers didn’t use adequate operational security. Other theories include common web bugs, such as SQL injections, being used or even the possibility of Bitcoin deanonymization. Finally, attacks on the Tor network itself in order to reveal the location of these services could have been the reason for the success of Operation Onymous.

Tor Project went on to offer advice to concerned hidden service operators in an attempt to secure their services but added, “The task of hiding the location of low-latency web services is a very hard problem and we still don't know how to do it correctly. It seems that there are various issues that none of the current anonymous publishing designs have really solved.”

To that affect, Tor Project then put out call for more people to help review the designs and code, provide feedback on its upcoming hidden service revamp, or even assist with the research to discover the methods use by the government agencies.
starwhite
2014-11-10T17:01:17Z

Thats your tax dollars at work in America, the NSA working overtime. Hopefully the operators can figure out how they breached the service. Probably much more difficult than spying on your emails or Facebook. Looks like they threw the US Constitution out the window. Americans have no right to privacy anymore.

rapid1
2014-11-10T17:39:58Z

I would bet that some of the logins or inquiries to TOR were done on a smartphone which the NSA and FBI etc etc have full access to and since it is an open connection that way they can just trace everything. Of course I would also bet that at least half of the desktop or laptop usage was done by people who were not the most deeply computer and or network literate individuals either heck I checked it out personally when I heard about it several months back and I was looking over some information about mining bitcoins and what had been happening with some well known server hacks etc (thats where I found out about it) and I wondered as from the description it sounded like an under the radar bitcoin ebay type concept. Then when I got on there about all I saw was drugs all of which or at least the greater part depending on the state you live in illegal. So my first thought was wow a lot of people who have no clue what there doing are going to enter this through unsecure connections and completely wide open and get busted for inquiring on here. Sounds like thats exactly what happened.

sevags
  •  sevags
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2014-11-10T19:30:06Z

Starwhite; you are correct ,there is no freedom or right to privacy, it is all an illusion. We are nothing more than sheep, a commodity used to fuel the economy, we are all hooked up to a virtual machine like in the Matrix where we live these lives we think are ours but the whole time it is the government using us as fuel. No one cares about us anymore, least of all he government.

CliffVincent
2014-11-11T06:57:34Z

billions of tax payer dollars... enough information?

AliRizvi
2014-11-11T06:57:35Z
IgorCarlier
2014-11-12T00:19:34Z

hidden trace route that's all you got ?