Tor network users may have been identified by hackers

The internet privacy protecting service said it doesn’t know how much information about its users was recorded

Tracking

The anonymous internet network Tor has been hacked, allowing an unknown person or persons to track user information.

Tor is designed to protect the identity of users by distributing commands around the globe, rather than in the user's location. People who need to protect their identity, such as human rights activists and criminals, commonly use the service to try and evade government tracking.

However, it has been revealed by German media the NSA has logged the identity of many of its users living outside of the United States in the past.

The network said in a blog post, alerting users to the issue: "While we don't know when they started doing the attack, users who operated or accessed hidden services from early February through July 4 should assume they were affected."

It also said it doesn't know how many users of the service were affected.

Amichai Shulman, CTO of Imperva says such services are often used and abused by pirates and hardened criminals who use it to hide child pornography, drug trafficking and terrorism activities.

He said: "This in turn makes the Tor network a target for all intelligence agencies as well as some domestic security organizations. I suspect the reported attack, targeted mostly at people who operate and access Tor hidden service, is of that origin."

Fred Touchette, manager of security research at AppRiver, explained the hacker may have seen the fact the service is trying to keep people anonymous as a challenge.

"Ever since its conception people have been trying to find a way to de-anonymize the users of Tor. Oftentimes this was done to make it a stronger network and repair its issues, but other times it was in order to out its users," he said.

"One such situation comes to mind and that's the take down of The Silk Road. The Feds spent plenty of time trying to crack the code before they were able to simply take control of the servers that hosted the site."

Tor has advised its users to download and install the latest version of the software, which includes a patch for a vulnerability discovered by Carnegie Mellon University.

Featured Resources

Seven steps to connect and empower your frontline workers

How business leaders can improve communication with a secure platform

Free download

Create what’s next

The future of collaboration and productivity

Free Download

Leveraging the cloud without relinquishing control

Your data. Their cloud.

Free download

Re-architecting for nonstop innovation

Unlocking productivity, scalability, and lower costs for cloud natives

Free Download

Recommended

Hackers use Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites with software skimmer
malware

Hackers use Linux backdoor on compromised e-commerce sites with software skimmer

19 Nov 2021
Iranian hackers ramp up attacks against IT services sector
hacking

Iranian hackers ramp up attacks against IT services sector

19 Nov 2021
TikTok phishing campaign tried to scam over 125 influencer accounts
social media

TikTok phishing campaign tried to scam over 125 influencer accounts

18 Nov 2021
Alibaba ECS instances targeted in new cryptojacking campaign
cryptocurrencies

Alibaba ECS instances targeted in new cryptojacking campaign

16 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to speed up Microsoft's Windows 11
Microsoft Windows

How to speed up Microsoft's Windows 11

9 Nov 2021
Nike to take customers into the metaverse with 'NIKELAND'
virtualisation

Nike to take customers into the metaverse with 'NIKELAND'

19 Nov 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

12 Nov 2021