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Tor network victim of botnet attack


Derek891

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Does anyone on the forum use the Tor browser for Windows or use Tails OS(Linux)? I came across several articles that described a recent surge of activity on the network was not the result of new (human) users but was a planned attack using botnets to flood the network. The prime suspect: the U.S. government. (Don't you just love seeing your tax dollars used for such a noble cause?)

 

http://www.dslreport...o-BotNet-125676

 

http://threatpost.co...-communications

 

https://www.eff.org/...are-immediately

 

The third article mentions this:

 

If you are using software based on Firefox major version 21 or earlier, Thunderbird 17.06 or earlier, or SeaMonkey 2.18 or earlier, please update your software immediately. Tor Browser Bundle users who have not updated to the most recent version are also at risk, and so we've provided a screenshot tutorial for how to update the Tor Browser Bundle below.

 

I also came across a good article on wired.com concerning our friends at the NSA:

 

http://www.wired.com...and-stole-keys/

 

"These methods, part of a highly secret program codenamed Bullrun, have included pressuring vendors to install backdoors in their products to allow intelligence agencies to access data, and obtaining encryption keys by pressuring vendors to hand them over or hacking into systems and stealing them."

 

At the bottom of that story is a link to a good article with advice for more secure internet use and communications:

 

http://www.theguardi...re-surveillance

 

I think people in our country, and all over the world, are becoming more and more suspicious of corporate giants like Microsoft and Google, as well as our own government. The article in wired.com implies that backdoors into operating systems and networks don't occur by accident. They are deliberately designed into the system under pressure from or at the request of the U.S. government. Perhaps it's time to throw the fear of God into them: Switch to Linux and stop paying your taxes. ;)

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We have to be careful on this subject here Derek and not slip into political subjects and remarks about them..

 

However if we stick tightly to the security angle aspect we'll be on safer ground :)

 

You mention Microsoft and Google, perhaps a read here may give you a few thoughts

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/06/yahoo-nsa-gchq-decryption-abuse

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We have to be careful on this subject here Derek and not slip into political subjects and remarks about them..

 

However if we stick tightly to the security angle aspect we'll be on safer ground :)

 

 

I apologize hazelnut. But the last sentence was meant as a joke. :D

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Joke or not what the taxes need spent on instead of endless wars is fixing the crumbling infrastructure like streets/roadways, water supply and lines, sewers, electrical grid, bridges, etc., because so much of the U.S. is effectively deteriorating into being like a 3rd world country - one only needs take a short walk or drive to see allot of it.

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As far as I am concerned there are 2 kinds of things that come under the umbrella of Windows Security.

 

Needing to secure it against malware/viruses etc.

 

And needing to secure it against outside bodies who think they have the right to intrude on your personal space.

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. . . taxes need spent on . . . fixing the crumbling infrastructure . . .

Yep, and I would include toughening up the cyber defenses in that infrastructure. Which goes along with Hazelnut.

It shouldn't be awfully expensive to do that.

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Andavari, don't know if you are kidding or not, but either way I have no idea how to do it.

 

There is software hacking, there is hardware sabotage at the point of manufacture, there is the backdooring mentioned by Derek891, there are human leaks, there is message snooping, etc, etc.

 

So it would be a big effort, but maybe not too expensive. Most of the stuff I have read about could be fixed by strict procedures. Yes, working in such an environment would be a pain in the neck, but worth it.

 

Edit:

 

@ Derek891, I have used TOR and Tails, found them slow but OK. Might just because this 'net hookup is slow.

 

Anyway, i would never trust TOR for anything too important, as there have been instances reported where the endpoint operator was not trustworthy. Don't know for sure that is true, but it is plausible.

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The problem is you can protect users info all you like at server level, but if you are asked to disclose it by a 'higher power' you really have no option but to hand it over.

 

Most users info is monitored in one way or another. At the moment the best hope you have apart from VPN'ing your messages and emails to death via re-routing them and using encryption, is just to blend in with the masses I guess.

 

 

Most people are unaware of how much about them is monitored, and think it's quite cute the way google reads their gmails to make sure the ads around it when they read their mail is of some interest to them. Now Google is upset because they are being monitored.

 

There seems to be a growing feeling of unease that enough is enough.

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"Joke or not what the taxes need spent on instead of endless wars is fixing the crumbling infrastructure like streets/roadways, water supply and lines, sewers, electrical grid, bridges, etc., because so much of the U.S. is effectively deteriorating into being like a 3rd world country - one only needs take a short walk or drive to see allot of it". - Andavari

 

Believe me Andavari, I was only joking about using Linux and not paying taxes. After all, if all of us adopted Linux, the good people at Piriform would be out of a job. And I wouldn't wish that on anybody. And if we all stopped paying taxes, this country would be going down the toilet even faster than it is already. I'm retired now, but for 33 years I was in construction and built a lot of what you refer to as infrastructure. As a matter of fact, depending on where you live, you might be using a road that I helped build on your way to and from work every day. Imagine how I feel watching it all crumble and turn to s***.

 

"Derek891, I have used TOR and Tails, found them slow but OK. Might just because this 'net hookup is slow.

 

Anyway, i would never trust TOR for anything too important, as there have been instances reported where the endpoint operator was not trustworthy. Don't know for sure that is true, but it is plausible." - ISO-later

 

I absolutely agree. Tor is far from perfect, and I myself would wary of sending any sort of confidential information using it. I also agree that the problem is the exit nodes and whether the people running those particular servers are trustworthy or not. But the upside of using it does not lie in data security: it lies in anonymity. Here's an example:

 

Let's say you open your browser (Firefox, Chrome, I.E., or whatever) and access the main page of this forum. Then you select to go to the Lounge. Someone who intercepts the string of data packets you sent at that point in time could learn the following: The webpage you're currently on, the webpage you're asking to see, your I.P. address, and the I.P. address of Piriform's server.

 

Now do the same thing with either the Tor browser or Tails using a path through the Tor network. And someone intercepts the data packets at the exit node (intercepting packets inside the network is useless because they are encrypted upon entry and decrypted leaving the exit node). Three items would remain the same and one important item changes: Instead of seeing your I.P. address, they see the I.P. address of the Tor server used as the exit node. So they know the information you've asked for, and they know who you're asking, but they don't know who you are. The very definition of anonymity.

 

Nowadays Tor can be scrutinized by using traffic analysis combined with powerful computers. If someone has the capability of monitoring every way in and out of the Tor network, they can correlate who sent "x" amount of packets into the network and who received "x" amount of packets from the network, giving them a pretty good idea of who the sender and receiver are. And that is the reason you have the Tor button in the browser: every time you push it, you're restarting the browser, establishing a different path through Tor, and most importantly, a different exit point. This makes traffic analysis very, very difficult. Think of it as the game "whack-a-mole"; if the mole pops out of the same hole every time, he gets whacked in short order. But if he pops out of a different hole every time, the chances of getting whacked are reduced dramatically.

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