A new report published by security researchers Phillip Winter and Stefan Lindskog related to the Tor anonymity network revealed that someone in Russia is operating a series of spy nodes that collect information on Facebook users in the U.S.
We first saw this on Wired. Tor is a special software that lets people communicate anonymously online through a series of nodes that make your signal untraceable. Winter and Lindskog’s study lasted four months, and the purpose of it was to identify nodes that may have been tampered with.
This led to a discovery that 25 of them had been altered in some form. Six of them were damaged because of a faulty program; the rest were being used to decrypt and re-encrypt Web traffic.
It turns out that these corrupted nodes were listed under the certificate “Main Authority” and was rerouting traffic to Facebook. The researchers claimed this was not a government agency doing some snooping, but likely an anonymous individual overseas who just has an odd hobby.
Winter and Lindskog’s main rationale in thinking that it was an individual, not a government, is that the procedure to change the routing network was sloppy.
Although the FBI and NSA still target Tor users, the researchers are sure that it is still one of the best ways to protect your privacy online.
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