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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Tor Browser
Posted: October 27, 2019 at 3:35 pm
BBC News has made a version of its website available on the Tor network, allowing it to be more securely accessed via the anonymising browser. The news organisation is putting its international edition on the network, with coverage available in a variety of languages including Arabic, Persian, and Russian. The Tor network is frequently associated with the dark web, but its also a vital tool for anyone looking to preserve their anonymity while accessing regular websites.
The move is aimed at making the BBCs news coverage available more securely in countries that attempt to restrict access to it such as China, Iran, and Vietnam. Although the BBCs typical bbc.com/news URL already loads when visited via the browser, BBC News reports that using the .onion top level domain prevents spoofing and preserves end-to-end encryption, making it a more secure way to access the news site. Facebook launched a similar mirror back in 2014.
If youd like to give the service a go, you can download the Tor browser and head over to Bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion. Alternatively, the Brave browser also includes a Tor browsing mode similar to the Incognito modes offered on other browsers.
The rest is here:
BBC News heads to the dark web with new Tor mirror - The Verge
Posted: at 3:35 pm
The Tor Project has announced the release of Tor Browser 9.0, the new update brings several updates to the user experience, integrating more features into the browser directly and scrapping the onion button. Additionally, localisation has been improved with support added for the Macedonian and Romanian languages, bringing the total amount of supported languages to 27.
With Tor Browser 9.0, Firefox 68.2.0 is used as the foundation. In order to scrap the onion button that came with old releases, the Tor Project has altered the actual interface of Firefox adding circuit information to the i button in the address bar, adding more Tor settings into about:preferences, and including a new identity button in the toolbar and in the menu.
One of the ways that Tor users can be identified by websites is by the size of the browser window. For several releases now, when the user maximises the Tor Browser window a notification would appear warning users not to do that. In order to make things simpler for users, a new feature called letterboxing has been added, this essentially restricts the amount of space a webpage can use; even if the browser is maximised, the user will just see a grey border around the webpage.
In order to get the new update, either download a fresh copy of the browser from the official website or if you have Tor already installed just continue using the browser and it should update automatically.
Read the original post:
The Tor Project releases Tor Browser 9.0 with several UX improvements - Neowin
Posted: at 3:35 pm
The researchers from the IT cybersecurity firm ESET have discovered a fraudulent version of the Tor browser that has a Trojan that steals Bitcoins from users in darknet.
The website was targeting Russian users. The fake browser was distributed on two sites, and it stole the cryptocurrencies by switching the original cryptocurrency addresses from the year 2017, as mentioned in the ESNETs editorials, as reported on October 18. According to the report, these malicious programs are distributed for Windows users, and there are no signs of having circulated in macOS, Linux, and other mobile phone versions. And these were able to steal around $40,000 worth of Bitcoins.
These were created back in the year 2014, tor-browser[.]org and torproect[.]org are the two browser websites that have been mimicking the real site of the unknown browser, torproject.org. And the scammers usually redirect the users version of Tor is out of date, and when the user clicks to update, they are redirected to a different page to get it updated.
Once installed, the malware-laden browser enables its creators to know what websites a user visits, to change the data on visited pages, and grab the content of data forms. While the hackers could potentially display false information to users, the browser has only been observed to change the wallet addresses to steal bitcoin, the senior malware researcher of ESET, Anton Cherepanov said. He further said, Each such wallet contains relatively large numbers of small transactions; we consider this a confirmation that these wallets indeed were used by the trojanized Tor Browser, The report also said, Their goal was to lure language-specific targets to a pair of malicious yet legitimate-looking websites,
The browser, however, has informed the users about the happenings with regards to the monetary losses in the meantime because of the malware.
Posted: October 16, 2019 at 5:44 pm
A new version of the OnionShare programnow allows you to easily create basic anonymous dark web sites on Tor so that they cannot be censored. This is particularlyuseful for those who wish to publish information anonymously, but do not want to deal with the mechanics of setting up their own dark web server.
OnionShare is a program for Windows, Mac, and Linux that was originally designed to let you easily and anonymously share and receivefiles on the dark web. It does this by bundling the Tor client and turning your computer into a web server that is accessible only via Tor.
When sharing or receiving files, OnionShare will create arandom .onion address that can be shared with other users in order to share files or turn your computer into an anonymous dropbox that users can send files.
For example, in the screen below you can what it looks like when OnionShare is configured as an anonymous dropbox and someone else connects to it to send a file.
This enables you to publish an anonymous site that cannot be censored and for your visitors to remain anonymous asthey access the site.
"This website is only accessible from the Tor network, so people will need Tor Browser to visit it," states the OnionShare announcement for this new version."People who visit your website will have no idea who you are they wont have access to your IP address, and they wont know your identity or your location. And, so long as your website visitors are able to access the Tor network, the website cant be censored."
Once published, OnionShare will display a random onion URL you can share with users. You can also configure the programs settings to use a "persistent address" and place it in "public mode" to make the site use a normal onion address as shown below.
Now when a user visits the site in the Tor Browser, they will be shown the website from your computer through OnionShare.
It should be noted, though, that once you use OnionShare to publish a web site, OnionShare and your computer must continue to run for the site to be accessible to others users on the Tor network. Once you shutdown your computer or close OnionShare, the site will be shutdown as well.
Posted: at 5:43 pm
There is a privacy threat lurking on perhaps hundreds of millions of devices, that could enable potential attackers to track and profile users, by using information leaked via the Tor network, even if the users never intentionally installed Tor in the first place.
In a session at the SecTor security conference in Toronto, Canada on October 10, researchers Adam Podgorski and Milind Bhargava from Deloitte Canada outlined and demonstrated previously undisclosed research into how they were able to determine that personally identifiable information (PII) is being leaked by millions of mobile users every day over Tor.
The irony of the issue is that Tor is a technology and a network that is intended to help provide and enable anonymity for users. With Tor, traffic travels through a number of different network hops to an eventual exit point in the hope of masking where the traffic originated from. Podgorski said that there are some users that choose to install a Tor browser on their mobile devices, but thats not the problem. The problem is that Tor is being installed by mobile applications without user knowledge and potentially putting users at risk.
The researchers explained that they set up several Tor exit nodes, just to see what they could find, and the results were surprising. The researchers found that approximately 30% of all Android devices are transmitting data over Tor.
Youre probably scratching your head now, like we were a couple of months ago, because that doesnt make any sense, Podgorski said. There's no way a third of Android users know what Tor is and are actually using it.
What the researchers determined is that Tor is being bundled, embedded and installed in other applications and users are not aware of its existence. It was not entirely clear to the researchers why Tor was being bundled with so many applications. Podgorski said that it could be due to a misunderstanding of the technology and how it can be used. Tor was also found on Apple IOS devices, but the numbers were smaller with only approximately 5% of devices sending data.
In a series of demonstrations, including live dashboards shown by Bhargava, the researchers showed what data they had collected from mobile users that were inadvertently using Tor. The data included GPS coordinates, web addresses, phone numbers, keystrokes and other PII.
This data can be used to build a robust profile of an individual, Podgorski said.
Bhargava explained that the exit nodes the researchers set up intentionally attempted to force browsers to not use encrypted versions of websites, forcing the devices to regular HTTP when possible. With data coming to the exit node without encryption, it was possible for the researchers to see the user data. Bhargava noted that for sites that force HTTPS encryption and do not offer any fallback option to regular un-encrypted HTTP, they wouldnt be able to see the users data.
Also of note, Bhargava admitted that he found his own phone number in the data, which was a surprise to him, as he had not installed Tor on his device. The only applications on his phone were applications installed by the carrier.
There are several things that need to happen to fix the issue. Podgorski said that the first is awareness that there is a problem, which is what the research is intended to highlight for legislators, government and organizations. For users, Podgorski emphasized that good operational security practices need to be employed, by using encryption everywhere.
In Podgorski's view, there is already a legal compliance risk that the mobile application PII data leaks expose.
Were pretty sure what we found breaches GDPR on multiple levels, he said, but the issue is that governments cant enforce the law if theyre not aware.
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:45 am
Last year, a 16-year-old Mexican schoolboy received an unsolicited text message making crude sexual taunts. The text attempted to lure him into clicking on a link at the bottom of the message. Had he clicked on the link, his smartphone would have been secretly compromised, allowing those targeting him to monitor everything he did, steal login details, upload his contacts list and even spy on him through his phones own microphone and camera.
Whoever sent the message was using an incredibly sophisticated piece of spyware created by an Israeli company called NSO Group, which says it only sells its tools to governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. It is designed to track and monitor terrorists and other high-profile criminals.
The researchers say they have no conclusive evidence attributing these messages to specific government agencies in Mexico. However, circumstantial evidence suggests that one or more of NSOs government customers in Mexico are the likely operators.
Many people on this side of the Atlantic reading this report may be shocked to hear of a government using spying tools to hack the smartphones belonging to activists and journalists. At the same time, most people will likely shrug their shoulders and say: Sure why would anyone want to spy on me, Ive got nothing to hide?
But this is not about having something to hide, it is about privacy. There are many things we all do everyday which we dont want most people knowing about: How often did you go to the toilet today? Did you have sex today? Did you look up something online you wouldnt tell your family or friends about?
We are all entitled to a private life, and that goes for our digital lives as well as our offline lives. And so, we should all be concerned about the use of hyper-sophisticated tools like those from the NSO Group being used against a 16-year-old boy.
The simple fact of the matter is that is you have enough resources, then you can pretty much hack into anything as long as it is connected to the internet. The problem for you and me is the cost of compromising our lives is dropping precipitously and the barrier which criminals have to hurdle to find out the most intimate details of our lives is getting lower and lower.
With such powerful tools available, the question arises, is there anything I can do to protect myself? The short answer is not really. If a committed adversary really wants to hack into your smartphone, then they will likely be able to succeed.
However, that doesnt mean you should just give up completely and surrender your digital life to anyone who wants to to take a look.
Here are some basic ways to harden your online security to make what you do more private:
Stop telling them everything:Every online service that doesnt charge you to use it (Google, Facebook, Twitter) is using your data as payment. When you sign up they require a minimum level of information, but ask for a whole lot more. If you dont want Facebook knowing when your birthday is, then dont tell it. If you dont want Google to know what your favorite pet it, dont tell it. Oversharing of information is rife today on social media, and while we may blame Facebook and Snapchat, the real culprit is ourselves. If you dont want anyone to know about it, just dont share it.
Use the Tor browser:Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a modified version of the Firefox browser which anonymizes your identity by routing your IP address through multiple nodes until no one knows where the traffic is coming from or going to. Often associated with the dark web, it is not just a tool for criminals, but one that can be used by anyone who values their privacy.
Dont eat the cookies:Third-party cookies are the little bits of code websites use to track your movements online. They are the reason why Facebook will show you adverts for the nappies you were just looking at on Amazon. Now through every major browser offers the ability to turn off tracking cookies. It wont stop the more determined companies tracking you, but it does shut down the most common vector used by advertisers to build usage profiles.
Patch, patch, patch:Keep your software up to date. One of the easiest ways for any hacker to compromise your system is to use vulnerabilities in older versions of software. So whether its iOS, Android or Windows, always make sure you have installed the latest version available to you.
Free Wi-Fi may not be your friend:We all love connecting to free Wi-Fi, particularly when were travelling. But this is one of the easiest methods for hackers to compromise a lot of peoples data in a very short space of time. Make sure the network you are connecting to is safe, particularly in locations like airports and train stations.
See the original post:
Is there anything we can do to stop someone spying on us? - Newstalk 106-108 fm
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm
Quick question: What do you do when you want to browse the internet securely? Do you click on your browser menu and select your browser's privacy mode and go about your merry way, assuming your data is safe and your history not saved. I've got news for you; chances are that private or incognito mode isn't exactly what it's cracked up to be.
I've tested both Chrome and Firefox and have witnessed both of them retaining browser history. What does this mean for you, the user? It means if you need serious privacy for your web browsing, or if you need to safeguard data while working on company sites, you might have to turn to a speciality browser, such as Tor Browser or Epic Browser. Tor Browser is available for all platforms, and Epic Browser is only available for Mac and Windows. Both browsers not only ensure your history will not be retained, but they also work with the help of a proxy system to keep your browsing encrypted and private.
So, if you're looking for the highest level of security in a browser, look away from the the likes of Edge, Chrome, and Firefox and turn your sites on Tor and Epic. Both of these browsers are surprisingly easy to use and will go a long way to keep your data safe. Are they perfect? Are the superior than what you're using now? Chances are, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.
Image: Jack Wallen
Posted: at 5:54 pm
Infamous neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer is no longer accessible online via a conventional web browser. But a Monday essay seems to have caught the eye of President Trump.
Instead, site visitors need to download the Tor browser and use that to access the notorious neo-Nazi website at dstormer6em3i4km.onion. The Tor browser facilitates anonymous browsing.
On Sunday 13 August, the site published a crude and highly criticized article attacking Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the Charlottesville melee.
Monday Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin authored an essay (pdf) condemning protestors who topped a Confederate statue in Durham, NC.
And I guarantee you, [the protesters] are going to go to Washington, and they are going to demand that the Washington Monument be torn down. They might even try to pull it down. Because George Washington owned slaves. More importantly, he was a white man who built something.
Also on Monday, former Congressman Newt Gingrich (whose wife is in the Administration) and Fox host Martha MacCallum were discussing the announcement that the Lexington, KY, mayor intends to remove two Confederate statues from a public building.
Where are you going to stop it? Gingrich said. What if you werent sensitive enough to the Holocaust we should take down all the statues of Franklin Delano Roosevelt? You could make an argument for that.
You could make an argument for Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, MacCallum interjected. Are you going to change the name of the Washington Monument?
Gingrich then noted that both were slave owners.
Absolutely, thats my point, MacCallum responds.
Its not a surprise that these points from FOX and The Daily Stormer were reprised in President Trumps press conference on Tuesday:
many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. So this week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?
Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down excuse me are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?
Trumps comments were widely criticized:
That wasnt the only eyebrow-raising act of the day:
Trump RT'd this pic showing a CNN journalist hit by a train days after a white nationalist ran his car into activists, killed Heather Heyer. pic.twitter.com/tWjdoE70AS
Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 15, 2017
Aug 16, 2017KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
Posted: August 18, 2017 at 4:53 am
The Tor Project says it can't build open source tools for circumventing censorship if it also controls who uses those tools.
A day after The Daily Stormer retreated to the darknet, the organization that helped make that move possible is condemning the neo-Nazi site while grudgingly acknowledging its technology allows the site to continue to spew messages of hate.
A version of the site, dubbed the "top hate site in America," appeared Wednesday on a part of the web that can only be accessed through the Tor Project's browser, which hides users' online identities. The Daily Stormer moved to a Tor onion service after GoDaddy and then Googlepulled its domain following an offensive story it published about Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday while counter-protesting against white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"We are disgusted, angered, and appalled by everything these racists stand for and do," Tor member Steph wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Ironically, the Tor software has been designed and written by a diverse team including people of many religions, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and points on the (legitimate, non-Nazi) political spectrum.
"We are everything they claim to despise," Steph wrote. "And we work every day to defend the human rights they oppose."
With the move, the Tor Project joins a slew of companies and organizations seeking to distance themselves from white supremacist activity on the web. Apple and PayPal have disabled support of their services at websites that sell merchandise glorifying white nationalists and support hate groups, while Reddit and Facebook have each banned entire hate groups.
Click to see our in-depth coverage of online hatred.
On Wednesday, internet security provider Cloudflare dropped its support for the website, essentially allowing it to be taken down with a denial-of-service attack. Twitter also joined the campaign by suspending the accounts linked to the the website.
Steph pointed out the Tor browser is designed to defeat censorship, and the organization can't and shouldn't decide who benefits from that freedom.
"We can't build free and open source tools that protect journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary people around the world if we also control who uses those tools," Steph wrote. "Tor is designed to defend human rights and privacy by preventing anyone from censoring things, even us."
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Special Reports: All of CNET's most in-depth features in one easy spot.
Posted: August 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm
After being refused service by two domain registrars and a hosting provider, a notorious neo-Nazi site has apparently fled to a Russian domain and a new server host, with a backup on the dark web.
The Daily Stormer came under fire following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. The neo-Nazi website had its account terminated with domain registrar GoDaddy on Sunday after Twitter users complained about a post lobbing insults and slurs at Heather Heyer, the anti-racism demonstrator who was killed in Charlottesville. The website also quietly had its server hosting disabled by hosting company Scaleway. And even though the website quickly moved to another domain registration company, Google, Google promptly terminated its account.
Thus, heading into Tuesday, the site founded by prominent neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin in 2013 was essentially bouncing around looking for places to land. It briefly attempted to gain hosting through a Chinese service provider at the URL DailyStormer.wang, only to quickly be taken offline.
Next, the site attempted to set up shop on the dark web, using a .onion domain. Websites on the dark web are hidden from search engines and can only be accessed by special browsers such as a Tor browser. But the sites move underground didnt last long. Currently its home on the dark web is a parked announcement that it has relocated to DailyStormer.Ru:
The .ru domain in the URL isnt exactly proof that the website is now hosted in Russia, because anyone can register a .ru domain. A Whois lookup for the .ru site reveals that the controversial hosting proxy CloudFlare, which has refused to terminate its business relationship with the neo-Nazi forum, continues to mask the identity of the sites true server host.
On the website, Anglin celebrated the sites return with a litany of anti-Semitism and criticism of GoDaddy and Google, calling the latter an anti-speech site. He also took the opportunity to deliver more insults against Heyer, whose memorial is today.
Update: The Dailystormer.ru domain now appears to be offline as well; the .onion domain accessible via Tor browser has not updated. We are following developments and will update this article as new iterations of the site appear.