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posted by janrinok on Monday November 10 2014, @06:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the your-help-is-needed dept.

Little is known about how U.S. and European law enforcement shut down more than 400 websites, including Silk Road 2.0, which used technology that hides their true IP addresses. The websites were set up using a special feature of the Tor network, which is designed to mask people’s Internet use using special software that routes encrypted browsing traffic through a network of worldwide servers.

The Tor Project, is a nonprofit that relies in part on donations. The project “currently doesn’t have funding for improving the security of hidden services,” wrote Andrew Lewman, the project’s executive director, in a blog post on Sunday. ( )

It is possible that a remote-code execution vulnerability has been found in Tor’s software, or that the individual sites had flaws such as SQL injection vulnerabilities. But Lewman wrote The Tor Project had little information on the methods used by law enforcement in the latest action.

“Tor is most interested in understanding how these services were located and if this indicates a security weakness in Tor hidden services that could be exploited by criminals or secret police repressing dissents,” he wrote.


Can anybody help Andrew Lewman understand what happened ?

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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday November 12 2014, @04:52PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday November 12 2014, @04:52PM (#115261) Journal

    They might be able to use power supply, too. Running servers and routers requires some juice. Assuming these guys hosted their own stuff (probably), it's not an infinitely small thing. Lots of marijuana growers are spotted using heat signatures and electric bills. Might be the same kind of thing.

    Highly doubtful. You can do that for marijuana because the guys are trying to replicate *the sun*. Those grow lights are probably hundred watt bulbs, and the operations they bust would have dozens or even hundreds of lights. We're talking several kilowatts of power usage.

    How much power do you really think Silk Road servers used? A cheap VPS solution (Digital Ocean, $5/month) gives half a gig of RAM, one CPU core, and 20GB space. My laptop has 12GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, and 1.25TB of space. My laptop uses under 100W. The increased draw from running Silk Road 2.0 would probably be about equal to the increased draw from leaving a single lightbulb running. There are infinitely many things that could cause that kind of increase. New laptop, new TV, a guest staying over, replacing a lightbulb that burnt out months ago, cooking a few extra meals at home (electric stove or oven.) Hell, try that this month where I live (Rhode Island) and you'd probably bust a few dozen people who have started pulling space heaters out of the closet for the winter. Those things can draw a couple kilowatts each.

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