Tor has pushed out a new version of its privacy enhancing Tor Browser Bundle. We are up to 5.5 now and, according to the Tor Project it is a full stable release. The update fixes a laundry list of bugs and also covers some usability issues that have been plaguing the software for some time. One interesting note is that they are finally working on blocking ways of fingerprinting users through different mechanisms (resolution, keyboard type etc.).
Over the weekend a story broke that alleged that the NSA (National Security Agency) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) might actually be helping the Tor network to find and fix bugs in their systems. The news that this might be going on appeared to come as a shock to most people and new agencies reporting on rumor. Of course if you look at the Tor project’s history and the way it is still used today you will find that it is actually in the best interest of the governments in question to keep TOR alive and healthy.
Following on the heels of the removal of a talk about unmasking users of the TOR network we are now hearing that someone has been attacking the anonymity service for the last 5-6 months in an attempt to ind out who is using the service. The TOR Project has just warned its users about an attack that is trying to expose users.
There is a pretty interesting story about how the NSA has been targeting the TOR Network for the last couple of days. The news is just another piece of the much larger tapestry of US government surveillance being performed by the National Security Agency. Some of this surveillance appears to be at the behest of the administration while others pieces seem to be generated from within the agency and possibly outside their charter and license. It seems that the NSA is determined to bring all forms of communication under their domain. This is why we were not surprised to hear that the NSA has been working on being able to identify people using the TOR Network since at least 2007 (possibly before that).