Feeds

Tor software updated after hackers crack into systems

Miscreants remain anonymous

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Privacy-conscious users of the Tor anonymiser network have been urged to upgrade their software, following the discovery of a security breach.

Two of seven directory authorities and a metrics data server were compromised in a hack discovered earlier this month, Tor developer Roger Dingledine explains. The three servers were taken offline and refurbished following the hack.

Fresh identity keys for the two directory authorities hit by the hack were created during the refurbishment process. Users should therefore update to either Tor version 0.2.1.22 or 0.2.2.7-alpha, so that they can use the refurbished servers as conduits for sensitive traffic.

Project volunteers have taken steps to harden systems and prevent a repetition of the hack, the significance of which has been downplayed. Attackers reportedly used Tor's systems solely as a launchpad for other attacks, without realising that the same servers also hosted Tor code depositories. These were left unaffected by the breach.

"It appears the attackers didn't realize what they broke into - just that they had found some servers with lots of bandwidth," Dingledine explains. "The attackers set up some ssh keys and proceeded to use the three servers for launching other attacks."

Neither was the attack severe enough for the unidentified attackers to match up users to their destinations. Nor did it affect the Tor source code.

More details on the attack can be found in an FAQ posted by Dingledine here.

Previous security flaps around Tor have involved eavesdropping at exit nodes, an inherent limitation of the system. The latest security problems is less serious but sill merits attention. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
You dirty RAT! Hong Kong protesters infected by iOS, Android spyware
Did China fling remote access Trojan at Occupy Central?
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.