Feeds

Tor software updated after hackers crack into systems

Miscreants remain anonymous

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.