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posted by janrinok on Monday December 22 2014, @12:03PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the fear-of-freedom dept.

Shortly after a warning was posted on the Tor blog of potential attempts to disrupt the network, a node operator has reported that several servers running exit nodes were seized in an apparent government raid.

It is unclear whether the recent seizure has any relation to the warning posted on the Tor blog. The operator of the nodes recommends not to use any of his mirrors or relays until he has investigated and provides a signed message verifying their safety.

..and from another source...

Santa's elves seem to be busy this holiday season. A few days ago, the TOR project blog warned of upcoming attacks against the network, specifically that certain servers (directory authorities) crucial to the security of the TOR network's operations would be seized. Tonight, there are reports of exit nodes being compromised by opponents with physical access to a USB port. The servers in question seem to be on Dutch soil.

http://article.gmane.org/gmane.network.tor.user/34619

Related Stories

Tor Says Feds Paid Carnegie Mellon $1M to Help Unmask Users 28 comments

Wired and others are reporting on a Tor blog post claiming that Carnegie Mellon University researchers were paid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help attack Tor hidden services:

"Apparently these researchers were paid by the FBI to attack hidden services users in a broad sweep, and then sift through their data to find people whom they could accuse of crimes," Dingledine writes. "Such action is a violation of our trust and basic guidelines for ethical research. We strongly support independent research on our software and network, but this attack crosses the crucial line between research and endangering innocent users."

Tor's statement all but confirms that Carnegie Mellon's attack was used in the late 2014 law enforcement operation known as Operation Onymous, carried out by the FBI and Europol. That dark web purge took down dozens of Tor hidden services, including several of the most popular Tor-based black markets for drugs including the Silk Road 2, and led to at least 17 arrests. Tor, for its part, has made efforts to subsequently block the attack, which it says it first detected in July of 2014.

When WIRED contacted Carnegie Mellon, it didn't deny the Tor Project's accusations, but pointed to a lack of evidence. "I'd like to see the substantiation for their claim," said Ed Desautels, a staffer in the public relations department of the university's Software Engineering Institute. "I'm not aware of any payment," he added, declining to comment further.

Tor's Dingledine responded to that call for evidence by telling WIRED that it identified Carnegie Mellon as the origin of the attack by pinpointing servers running on Tor's network that were used in the de-anonymization technique. When it asked Carnegie Mellon if the servers were being run by its researchers—a suspicion based on the canceled Black Hat conference presentation—the anomalous servers disappeared from the network and the university offered no response. The $1 million payment, Dingledine says, was revealed to Tor by "friends in the security community."

Previously:

July 26, 2014: Russia Offers $111,000 to Break TOR Anonymity Network
September 30, 2014: Tor Executive Hints at Firefox Integration
November 8, 2014: Huge Raid to Shut Down 400-plus DarkNet Sites
November 10, 2014: Tor Project Mulls How Feds Took Down Hidden Websites
November 17, 2014: Is Tor a Honeypot?
December 22, 2014: Servers Seized After Tor Developers Warn of Potential Government Attempt To Take Down Network


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  • (Score: 1) by jbruchon on Monday December 22 2014, @12:42PM

    by jbruchon (4473) on Monday December 22 2014, @12:42PM (#128298) Homepage
    --
    I'm just here to listen to the latest song about butts.
  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @02:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @02:33PM (#128321)

    For all the bitching and whining about "the oligarchy" and the Stasi police state, it is funny how these server raids happen over in the Enlightened European Union and not in the US.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday December 22 2014, @02:53PM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday December 22 2014, @02:53PM (#128334)

      Why can't both be awful?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by morgauxo on Monday December 22 2014, @03:13PM

      by morgauxo (2082) on Monday December 22 2014, @03:13PM (#128339)

      I'm pretty sure that the US already has backdoors into Tor. Why would they want to kill it?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @04:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @04:15PM (#128368)

      Of course not, if you seize machines, Tor users will know something has gone awry. Instead they "control the narrative" and thus get everything they want while you think you are safe and secure.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @11:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @11:53PM (#128531)

      Thank trade agreements written by the US Chamber of Commerce.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:21PM (#128342)

    Forgive my naivety - but I thought the whole point of TOR is that it is decentralised and there is no central node? How can this be possible?

    • (Score: 3) by doublerot13 on Monday December 22 2014, @03:31PM

      by doublerot13 (4497) on Monday December 22 2014, @03:31PM (#128350)

      These were exit nodes. They have public IPs like everyone else.

      The authorities know that the exit nodes are just the last jump in the chain and aren't the bad guys. They just don't care because they want to send a message to the rest of the people running exit nodes.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:42PM (#128357)

        Euro peons don't have the second ammendment.
        Even if they did they wouldn't have the will to use it.
        They are jailed for years for expressing banned opinions.
        It is a new soviet state.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ikanreed on Monday December 22 2014, @03:46PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Monday December 22 2014, @03:46PM (#128360) Journal

          Americans have the second amendment and overwhelmingly use it to shoot their families and themselves, then proceed to vote for people who promise to protect it at the expense of less important virtues like "not torturing people" or "universal suffrage".

          • (Score: 1) by dcollins on Monday December 22 2014, @04:15PM

            by dcollins (1168) on Monday December 22 2014, @04:15PM (#128367) Homepage

            Nailed it.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @04:30PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @04:30PM (#128375)

            Hey, if a political party would crop up that would protect universal suffrage, "not torturing people" and right to bear arms, I'd be all over it.

            • (Score: 3) by ikanreed on Monday December 22 2014, @05:46PM

              by ikanreed (3164) on Monday December 22 2014, @05:46PM (#128404) Journal

              Yeah, what I'm saying, though, is that one has a clear, demonstrated history of actively attacking those relatively basic not-being-complete-shit features.

              Anyone who votes republican specifically for guns is an abject moron without exception.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @10:00PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @10:00PM (#128497)

              Find the candidate|party who most closely mirrors your positions (not words--ACTIONS) and vote for that entity.
              (You're unlikely to find 100 percent correlation with your all stances.)

              On the issues where you don't agree with the innate tendencies of your representative, organize a PAC|group|opposition.
              Letter writing campaigns from your neighborhood|SIG|club|organization can be very effective.
              (Don't -tell- him what you want; write QUESTIONS that require an effort to answer and you won't just get a form letter back.)
              Phone campaigns as an alternative|adjunct can also be very effective.

              An extremely effective way to get your way is to have your group visit|camp out in the local office of your representative.
              This can be especially effective if you do it at a time that the legislative body is on a break and the dude comes back home.

              N.B. Email is the -least- effective way to sway a politician.

              -- gewg_

        • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday December 22 2014, @04:08PM

          by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 22 2014, @04:08PM (#128365) Journal

          Here's one: supposing I expressed an unpopular opinion in public and agents of the state came to arrest me. Should I "defend myself" i.e. shoot the police? So if I did shoot the police, I'd now be guilty of a violent crime and they'd send more police to arrest me, and quite possibly shoot me to stop me getting any ideas about shooting any more police. So, tell me, how does that second amendment right work out? How would it help me here?

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @05:39PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @05:39PM (#128403)

            The second amendment was intended to obviate the necessity for s standing army. That battle had been lost, and as long as America has a permanent military, the intentions of the founders of the republic are dead. Freedom is not compatible with a standing army.

          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday December 22 2014, @07:41PM

            by hemocyanin (186) on Monday December 22 2014, @07:41PM (#128439) Journal

            The answer to this question depends on the maximum sentence you could receive for expressing an unpopular opinion. If the punishment is summary execution, then by all means, barricade yourself in a good shooting position for when the evil troopers show up and take out as many as you can before they get you. Consider it public service.

            If the punishment is execution after trial, or a sentence equivalent to life or a substantial fraction of it, take into consideration whether the trial system is actually fair, and even if fair, that the trier of fact (judge or jury) does a better job than chance. People tend to put a lot of faith in juries, but unless the case is brain dead obvious one way or the other, a trial is just a very expensive way to role dice. Depending on the analysis here, it may well make sense to take up a shooting position.

            If the punishment is a stern scolding by some official, shooting is beyond stupid. Look for some other way to change the system.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by dcollins on Monday December 22 2014, @04:20PM

          by dcollins (1168) on Monday December 22 2014, @04:20PM (#128371) Homepage

          Thought experiment: What happens when Muslims start open-carrying in large numbers in the U.S.? What about a large group of Hispanics lobbying at a state house to return land to Mexico? Because when the Black Panthers did it, suddenly people like Reagan where all signing gun-control laws. i.e.: We can see the true colors.

          http://www.alloutdoor.com/2014/12/16/question-open-carry-advocates-muslims-start-it/ [alloutdoor.com]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @07:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @07:37PM (#128438)

            Can we sell Texas to Mexico?? Please?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @09:01PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @09:01PM (#128475)

              Can we sell Texas to Mexico?? Please?

              No, but I suppose if you pay Mexico to take it for safe destruction/disposal (like any hazchem, e.g. dioxin), it might just happen; it all depend on the amount you are willing to pay; thinking of how big Texas is, I guess it won't come cheap.

              (large grin)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Monday December 22 2014, @08:20PM

      by HiThere (866) on Monday December 22 2014, @08:20PM (#128459) Journal

      The point of TOR was to allow secret US operatives on foreign soil communicate anonymously with home. That the US could control the system was not seen as a defect. If it had been noticed, it would have been considered an additional advantage.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @03:39PM (#128355)

    Well that's one way to fight Internet harasment.
    The tor devs should be happy!

  • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday December 22 2014, @08:54PM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday December 22 2014, @08:54PM (#128470)

    Missing info; what country did this apparent seizure take place in?

    kind of important to some readers.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday December 22 2014, @08:56PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday December 22 2014, @08:56PM (#128472)

      My bad. The info was there, in the LAST LINE. So my comment about the summary still holds.

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @09:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22 2014, @09:06PM (#128477)

        The info was there, in the LAST LINE. So my comment about the summary still holds.

        I guess it's hard for SN editors to cater for the ADHD sufferers. Did you try Ritalin?