FBI hacks Tor

FreedomWeb, an Irish company which provides hosting for “hidden services” over the Tor network, has been shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was accused of helping spread child abuse images.

Alarmingly, the FBI have managed to hack Tor. According to the Tor Open Watch blog, users of Tor hidden services report that their copies of  the browser were infected with malicious javascript that de-anonymised them.

The belief is that the FBI has hacked them. Tor Browser originally shipped with Javascript disabled but it was switched back on again recently to make the browser more useful.

Although this would be a victory for the FBI against child pornographers who use the Tor network, it means a serious security breach for international activists and internet users living in repressive states who use the services to practice free speech online.

In its attempts to bring down child abuse images, the FBI might have exposed countless activists to arrest and torture. But we guess as far as the untouchables are concerned, they are foreigners and very far away.

OpenWatch has been in the early stages of designing a new alternative to Freedom Hosting, called OnionCloud, to allow anonymous Heroku-like application hosting.