Is TOR still safe

Hacking, bugs and fixes. Is TOR still safe to use?!

Each month you will be able to read on new bugs and fixes that are related to the TOR project. A lot of people have been asking me, is TOR still safe? The answer depends on what you are searching for in TOR. The TOR browser allows you to stay anonymous when used right.

If you have ever attented or watched a talk from the TOR project founders or developers you will know that their main priority is to provide the TOR users a safe environment which they can use in distressed environments.

Top-secret NSA documents on TOR

Earlier it was revealed that the NSA and GCHQ have been trying to penetrate the TOR environments.

They did succeed in exploiting TOR users, but they did this by using vulnerable FireFox browsers. They did not hack the underlying TOR networks.

Top-secret NSA documents, disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, reveal that the agency’s current successes against Tor rely on identifying users and then attacking vulnerable software on their computers. One technique developed by the agency targeted the Firefox web browser used with Tor, giving the agency full control over targets’ computers, including access to files, all keystrokes and all online activity.

The report also concludes the following:

Presentation titled ‘Tor Stinks’

We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time.

How to stay safe on TOR

On LifeHacker a tutorial has been published titled ‘How can i stay Anonymous with Tor‘. If you use the LifeHacker guide on using TOR you will be able to navigate the .ONION networks more secured. The CEO of Errata Security published a report on how the NSA is still capable to crack 76 percent of the network traffic on TOR.

The metrics portal shows graphs of network growth over time and estimates of users derived from directory activity.
The metrics portal shows graphs of network growth over time and estimates of users derived from directory activity.

10 years of TOR

One the TOR blog you will see that on May 15, 2014 the TOR network holds 4600 relays and 3300 bridges. 10 years ago the TOR network started with only 32 nodes. So, is TOR still safe? In my personal experience, everything can be safe or dangerous. It depends on the way you use the technology. If you want to use the TOR network in a safe way then I urge you to read various tutorials on how TOR works and how you need to secure yourself.