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Attacking and Defending the Tor Network 132

Trailrunner7 writes "In a talk at the USENIX LEET workshop Tuesday, Nick Mathewson of the Tor Project discussed the group's recent challenges in responding to suppression efforts by governments in Egypt, China and elsewhere. What the Tor members have learned in these recent incidents is that while governments are becoming more up front about their willingness to shut off Internet access altogether or censor content, users are also becoming more resourceful. Mathewson said that the group is working on methods for alleviating the problems that national-level restrictions cause for Tor users. One method involves moving to a modular transport method in order to get around some of the throttling that ISPs perform on encrypted traffic in order to make Tor usage more difficult. In a separate talk at LEET, Stevens LeBlond of INRIA in France presented research on methods for tracing Tor users back to their IP address. One of the attacks, which LeBlond and his co-authors titled 'Bad Apple,' used an exit node that the researchers controlled in order to trace the streams of data sent by users of BitTorrent over Tor back to their IP addresses."
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Attacking and Defending the Tor Network

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  • Never 100% safe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tigger's Pet ( 130655 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @03:37PM (#35657242) Homepage

    I guess that the research demonstrated by Stevens LeBlond just goes to prove what most of us have known for a long time - even using TOR (and the same will go for any other type of encryption, IP masking etc) you are not 100% safe if somebody wants to work out who you are. The governments may not care too much if you are just sharing a few pirated movies around, although some companies may, but I can guarantee that those carrying out the real illegal activity, such as sharing child-pr0n, will be tracked down one way or another.
    All that TOR does is provides people who aren't really that switched-on with a false sense of security about their activities.

  • Re:Never 100% safe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeadboltX ( 751907 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:02PM (#35658498)

    The problem with anonymity, of course, is that it can be used for good or for bad.

    Then the solution is clear! We must only allow things that can only be used for good!

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