Forum Thread: Is TOR No Longer Safe?

Hello there,
I was surfing the web a looking for scripts in PHP when I came across this:

FBI crack Tor and catch 1,500 visitors to biggest child pornography website on the dark web

They mention, and I quote "deployed a network investigative technique (NIT) – a hacking tool – and used a single warrant to uncover 1,300 IP addresses, tracing these addresses back to actual individuals." in a server that they seized and hosted for two more weeks in their own installations.

Can we say that ToR is no longer safe to use?

Full history here

In here you can read how the FBI acted to break those machines


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11 Responses

No, there's a rumor going around that NSA has figured out how to 'break' TOR. Of course if you think a little, no service no matter how many proxies or VPNs that are protecting you, anyone can easily reveal your real Ip. Keeping this in mind, I'm gonna assume to answer your question. No, it isn't safe. Hope that helps. :)

It's not a rumor. The key to breaking ToR is to have both the entry and exit node. If someone does, there is no anonymity. That''s why NSA has set up ToR nodes. You may be using one right now.

and how do we manage to know that?

Because anyone can set up nodes if they wish to do so, with the know how of course.

I wonder, following OTW line of thought, and if we put a ToR node of our own before all the others (acting like a sort of gateway just next to our machine)? The NSA, FBI or even NCSI wouldn't be able to deploy that "NIT" stuff but would it be able to get the info they want?

Or it doesn't matter, once you go trough one of those "tainted" nodes you're busted?


I agree with OTW. However I would not recommend Tor for anything more than basic anonymity, because of many corporations and what not now breaking into it, it should not be considered safe. However you have to keep in mind when i.e NSA breaks into Tor, they are most likely seeking something specific, and not just the average user using Tor for malicious intents.

It seems to me that with the end users able to set up relays for other users to proxy thru, then by default the logic should follow that the whole stream could be poisoned and or corrupted to suit the purpose of the host relay no? Tor was never intended to make anyone invisible to scrutiny...just alot more work than the reward would justify.

The author of this article didn't even read the source article. They didn't "break Tor", they seized the server running the child porn site, then had it install malware to report back IP address and machine information. Has nothing to do with Tor.

Good to know...thanx Nick...hopefully the answers still stand and give some more insight into just how relays work, and clear up confusion about 'anonymity' vs 'untraceability'...

" a server that they seized and hosted for two more weeks in their own installations."

the thing is, the fbi likely does own >60% of tor exit nodes these days. the agora farewell note alluded to this very clearly. i've been avoiding tor since agora shut down. i would like to see the real numbers behind it or a pr from onion themselves.

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