Tor’s Upgrade Astoria Won’t Allow NSA And Others To Compromise Your Privacy Anymore

Ramish Zafar
Posted May 23, 2015
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For online anonymity, Tor has been the go to for users all around the world. The browser allowed users to keep their identity private while browsing the internet through a voluntary user relay network that doesn’t allow websites or service providers to locate a user’s physical location or IP address. But, given its increasing popularity, security agencies such as the NSA developed Timing Attack methodologies that allow user identification simply through gaining control of entry and exit relays on the network and subsequent statistical analysis, leaving a substantial amount of Tor circuits vulnerable to compromise. Well, researchers from US and Israel have developed an all new solution that dramatically decreases the amount of Tor circuits vulnerable to compromise.

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Research Develop Astoria Client To Prevent NSA And Other Agencies From Compromising Privacy

Given Tor’s increasing vulnerabilities at the hand of government agencies, looks like researchers have finally come up with a solution that should allow users to maintain anonymity just like old times. While Timing attacks will always continue to be a threat to users browsing on the Tor network, folks behind Astoria claim that it brings down chances of using malicious Tor circuits to 5.8 percent – from 58 percent before. What Astoria for Tor does is simply predict routes most vulnerable to attacks and then proceed to use the most secure route to prevent these attacks. According to researchers:

“In addition to providing high-levels of security against [timing] attacks, Astoria also has performance that is within a reasonable distance from the current available Tor client. Unlike other AS-aware [autonomous system aware] Tor clients, Astoria also considers how circuits should be built in the worst case,” when no safe relays are available. “Further, Astoria is a good network citizen and works to ensure that all the circuits created by it are load-balanced across the volunteer-driven Tor network.”
So there you have it folks. There’s no download link yet for Astoria, so hold your anonymous browsing horses for now. We’ll keep you updated as this develops. Cheers and let us know what you think in the comments section.

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