Is the Tor Network about to be knocked offline? Insiders certainly seem to think so as intelligence of a credible threat against the network’s relays has been received. Is this a genuine threat to the Tor Network’s ability to function?
According to a blog post, the Tor project has learned of an upcoming attempt to compromise the anonymous network by knocking out specific key servers called directory authorities. As these servers manage the series of relays that make up the Tor Network, if enough of them were knocked offline the network could fail. However, Project leader Roger Dingledine – or “arma” as he is known – said: “We are taking steps now to ensure the safety of our users, and our system is already built to be redundant so that users maintain anonymity even if the network is attacked.”
As reported by Maximum PC, all remains quiet at the moment, which “seems like good news for the banks, diplomatic officials, law enforcement officials, bloggers, and everyone else who uses the Tor network. Attempts to disable the Tor network would interfere with all Tor users, not just the ones that hackers are trying to target.”
However, all may not be as it seems – InfoSecurity Magazine reports that one Thomas White, responsible for running a large exit node cluster and several mirrors for the Tor network has “lost control of all servers.”
In a warning post to Tor users, White claims that the chassis of the servers appeared to have been opened and an unknown USB device plugged in, but only for 30-60 seconds before the connection was broken.
“From experience I know this trend of activity is similar to the protocol of sophisticated law enforcement who carry out a search and seizure of running servers,” he said, and warned Tor users to “exercise extreme caution” if accessing his mirrors until a full investigation can be completed.