Because VPNs aren't the only way to stay anonymous online

If you're looking to keep your online activities to yourself then Tor is a great option for your privacy toolkit.

Tor is a custom browser with clever open-source technology which uses some very smart tricks to protect your web anonymity.

It accesses both regular websites and the dark web, the hidden area of the internet which you won't find indexed on Google. Oh, and it's also free, with no registration required, no data limits, no ads, and no constant demands to upgrade to a paid product.

Is Tor the perfect web anonymity tool? Not quite, but it can work very well in some situations. In this article, we'll explain how Tor works, when to use it, and how you can combine Tor with a VPN to get the best possible protection.

  • Get more free security with today's best free VPNs

How does Tor work?

Tor is an open-source package based around a principle called Onion Routing. 

This involves encrypting your data multiple times, then passing it through a network of volunteer-run servers (or 'relays') from around the world. 

The first (or 'guard') relay receives your data and peels off the first layer of encryption, like the layer of an onion. In fact, Tor stands for 'The Onion Router', and takes its name from this layering idea.

The guard relay knows your IP address but has no other clues to your identity. It can't see which site you're trying to access, either, so there's no way to log what you're doing. The only information it has is the address of the next relay.

The subsequent relays don't have your IP address or know which site you're trying to visit. All they do is remove a layer of encryption and pass the data to the next relay.

When your data reaches the last relay, also called the exit node, it removes the final layer of encryption and routes your web request to its real destination. 

Your target website sees the IP address of the Tor exit node rather than yours, so has even less idea of who you are. It passes its response back to the exit node, which routes it through the Tor network and back to you.

vpn

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

 

Is Tor a VPN?

Tor uses the same core principle as a VPN service: it hides your IP address from websites by routing your traffic through another server. But there are several differences in how the process works. 

For example, while VPNs typically use a single server, Tor routes your data through at least three. 

VPNs have a single layer of encryption that protects you from end-to-end; Tor uses multiple layers, but these are peeled off as you travel from server to server.

And VPNs require you to log into a server, which then sees every website you visit (and could log that data, theoretically). Tor separates the knowledge of who you are (your incoming IP address) and the website you're visiting, making it much more difficult to record your activities.

How can I use Tor?

Despite Tor's powerful tech and many privacy-protecting features, it's very easy to use.

Visit the official Tor website and download the right version of Tor for your platform. There's no iOS version, but the site does have downloads for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Running the installer sets your device up with Tor Browser, a special version of Firefox. This includes the extra software necessary to make Tor work and also bundles the excellent NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere extensions for even more protection.

Launch Tor Browser and it asks if you'd like to connect to Tor. Click Connect, Tor Browser connects to a Tor guard relay, and that's it, you can get on with running searches, browsing to websites, and generally using the web as normal. The only difference is your traffic is now routed via the Tor network, rather than your regular connection.

(Beware, unlike a VPN, Tor Browser only protects its own traffic. Other apps and your system still use your standard internet connection.)

explore.privatel

(Image credit: The Tor Project)

 

How can I use Tor to browse the dark web?

Tor Browser doesn't just support accessing regular websites. It also allows you to browse .onion sites, part of the hidden area of the internet often known as the dark web. There's no extra work involved, you just type the site URL into the address bar.

The dark web is often linked to sites selling guns, drugs, stolen data, and all kinds of horrifying content, but although there's some truth in that, it's only a tiny part of the story.

youtube

It's not always easy to find .onion sites, but there are plenty of resources that can help. Reddit has plenty of chat and recommendations about the latest .onion discoveries.

Is Tor illegal?

Tor has a similar legal status to VPNs across much of the world.

The technology won't cause you any legal problems in most countries. (As long as you don't use it to order illicit items from deep websites, anyway.)

Countries that ban VPNs, like China, Belarus, and the UAE, also disapprove of Tor. That doesn't mean you'll be arrested for downloading it - China is more interested in blocking the technology, so it just won't work - but it does mean you should be more careful. If you're using a VPN anyway, combining it with Tor might prevent the authorities from seeing what you're doing (more on that, later.)

What are the disadvantages of Tor?

Encrypting your traffic and routing it through multiple servers does a lot to protect your privacy, but there's a price to pay. It really, really, really slows you down.

How slow? We ran a speed test on a mobile device connected via Wi-Fi. This managed downloads of 50Mbps using our regular connection, and 2Mbps with Tor. Like we said... slow.

There's another potential problem, too. Many hackers abuse Tor as a way to protect their identity when they launch attacks. Platforms understand this very well, and many display warnings or block access entirely if they detect you're using Tor.

PayPal gave us a couple of extra security checks and still blocked our login attempts, for instance. Amazon let us in, but only after we'd approved a notification sent to our mobile. And Google blocked us out of YouTube entirely because 'our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network', it complained. Tor probably isn't going to be a good choice for your regular browsing.

Is Tor really secure?

Tor's big anonymity advantage is that it's decentralized. The Tor network isn't run by a single company that gets to see every connection and data path: relays are run by thousands of volunteers from around the world. There's no one point anyone can use to watch your logins, record your traffic or otherwise monitor what you're doing online.

Your own network can see you're accessing Tor, though, which might be a problem in a country that doesn't like web privacy. And although the first Tor relay doesn't need any login credentials, it has a little knowledge about you in the shape of your IP address. 

There is a potential vulnerability in the Tor exit node, too, the server which both removes the final layer of encryption and gets to see the URL you're trying to visit. If you're using an unencrypted HTTP, rather than an HTTPS connection, the node may be able to log sensitive information about your activities.

Exit nodes can also use an exploit called SSL stripping to access unencrypted HTTP communications on what you think is an encrypted site. In August 2020, security researcher nusenu unveiled research suggesting up to 23% of all Tor exit nodes were engaged in a malicious campaign targeting accesses to cryptocurrency sites, altering traffic, and redirecting transactions into their own virtual wallets.

What's the safest way to use Tor?

Tor goes a long way to preserving your web privacy, but it has some issues. If you're looking for maximum protection, the best approach is to combine Tor with a VPN.

The simplest route is to connect to your VPN, then Tor (a technique called 'Onion over VPN'.) Now your home network only sees your VPN IP, so it doesn't know you're accessing Tor. The first Tor relay only sees your VPN IP address, giving it no information on who you are. And your VPN can't see which sites you're browsing as they're handled by Tor, so even if a server is breached by hackers, there's no way to access your browsing history.

Tor over VPN can't protect you from malicious exit nodes, which is why some users prefer connecting to Tor first, then the VPN ('VPN over Onion'.) But that allows the VPN to see your traffic again, giving you little privacy benefit overall.

You can use Tor with most VPNs, but some have better support than others.

ExpressVPN has its own .onion site at Tor guide, too.) 

And NordVPN has built-in Onion over VPN support, so you don't even need the Tor browser. Just choose Onion Over VPN in the NordVPN app and it connects you to the Tor network: web privacy doesn't get much easier than that.

[Source: This article was published in techradar.com By Mike Williams - Uploaded by the Association Member: Edna Thomas]
Published in Search Engine

Most web browsers access your geographic location via your IP address to serve local search results. Your browser may also have permission to use your device’s built-in camera and microphone. It’s certainly convenient, but it’s a huge security risk.

Here is a list of browser security settings you need to check now.

Browser cookies, extensions, and software bugs can slow your internet connection speeds to a crawl. Use these proven tricks to speed up Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

A browser is your gateway to the web and the cybercriminals looking to take advantage of you. If you’re ready to make a move to a more privacy-focused browser or see if yours makes my list, keep reading.

Best overall browser for privacy: Brave

If you’re fed up with trackers, ads, and data-hungry bits of code that follow you across the internet, Brave is the browser for you. Brave’s servers don’t see or store your browsing data, so it stays private until you delete it. That means your info is never packaged up and sold to advertisers.

The browser’s default settings block harmful junk like malware, phishing, and malicious advertising and plug-ins that could harm your computer.

Advertising and trackers are blocked by default. Because of all it stops, Brave says it is three times faster than Chrome overall and loads major sites up to six times faster than its competitors. 

Brave is free to use, but you can turn on Brave Rewards to give back to the sites you visit most.  Once enabled,  "privacy-respecting" ads will show to support the content you see. Your browsing history remains private.

What about user experience? It runs on the Chromium source code, which powers Google Chrome, so it will likely feel familiar.

Download Brave for free here. It’s also available as an app on Apple and Android devices.

Best browser for customizable privacy: Firefox

Mozilla’s Firefox bills itself as a fast browser that “doesn’t sell you out.” Detecting a theme here? Firefox collects very little data, and you don’t even need to give your email address to download it.

It also blocks trackers by default, so you don't have any settings to change.

The customization features make Firefox stand out. You can use global protection levels, such as "Strict" or "Standard" or go the custom route. You can choose precisely which trackers and scripts Firefox blocks to get the experience you want.

When it comes to privacy, it’s got many bells and whistles: a built-in password manager, breached website alerts, Private Browsing mode, and secure form autofill.

Firefox is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and smartphones to make it easy to sync across all your devices. Take Firefox for a test drive on your computer by clicking here. Or click to download it for Apple or Android.

Best browser for maximum security: Tor

If you’re super security-focused, you probably already use a virtual private network or VPN. Want even more anonymity? Turn to Tor. This name started as an acronym for "The Onion Router," and it's popular among computer-savvy circles.

Tor runs your connection through multiple servers across the globe before you reach your destination. Your data is encrypted between each “node,” adding layers of protection – hence the onion logo.

Tor has been used for illegal activity online, but the software itself is perfectly legal and shouldn’t pose any problems. It’s often the route into the Dark Web.

Tor runs on a modified version of the Firefox browser. You can download Tor here.

Best browser for privacy on Mac: Safari

Many people use the browser that came with their computer as a matter of convenience. If you've got a Mac, this is a good thing. Safari blocks cross-site tracking that lets you enjoy the sites you use most without worrying about being followed.

Safari uses Google as its default search browser, which blocks malicious websites and protects you from malware and phishing scams. It blocks pop-ups, too.

Safari’s built-in password manager (Keychain) lets you know if a site you saved was involved in a data breach and helps you change your password. Download Safari here, directly from Apple.

Alternative option: Microsoft Edge

Microsoft said so long to Internet Explorer, and the new Edge is a robust browser with lots of built-in privacy features. It, too, runs on Chromium and feels a lot like Google Chrome.

Edge offers protection from trackers and blocks ad providers from monitoring your activity and learning more about you.

Choose the level of restriction you prefer from three settings, and you can decide which sites to block or not on a case-by-case basis. Want to know what Edge is blocking for a particular site? Click the lock icon to the left of the URL, then click Trackers for a list.

Edge’s built-in Password Monitor will alert you if you visit a compromised website and prompt you to change your password to a stronger one. You can make your own or use a suggested password.

[Source: This article was published in usatoday.com By Kim Komando - Uploaded by the Association Member: Issac Avila] 
Published in Search Engine

The BBC has made its international news website available via the Tor network, in a bid to thwart censorship attempts.

The Tor browser is privacy-focused software used to access the dark web.

The browser can obscure who is using it and what data is being accessed, which can help people avoid government surveillance and censorship.

Countries including China, Iran and Vietnam are among those who have tried to block access to the BBC News website or programmes.

Instead of visiting bbc.co.uk/news or bbc.com/news, users of the Tor browser can visit the new bbcnewsv2vjtpsuy.onion web address. Clicking this web address will not work in a regular web browser.

The dark web copy of the BBC News website will be the international edition, as seen from outside the UK.

It will include foreign language services such as BBC Arabic, BBC Persian and BBC Russian.

But UK-only content and services such as BBC iPlayer will not be accessible, due to broadcast rights.


What is Tor?

Tor is a way to access the internet that requires software, known as the Tor browser, to use it.

The name is an acronym for The Onion Router. Just as there are many layers to the vegetable, there are many layers of encryption on the network.

It was originally designed by the US Naval Research Laboratory, and continues to receive funding from the US State Department.

It attempts to hide a person's location and identity by sending data across the internet via a very circuitous route involving several "nodes" - which, in this context, means using volunteers' PCs and computer servers as connection points.

Encryption applied at each hop along this route makes it very hard to connect a person to any particular activity.

To the website that ultimately receives the request, it appears as if the data traffic comes from the last computer in the chain - known as an "exit node" - rather than the person responsible.

dark web

Image captionTor hides a user's identity by routing their traffic through a series of other computers.

 As well as allowing users to visit normal websites anonymously, it can also be used as part of a process to host hidden sites, which use the .onion suffix.

Tor's users include the military, law enforcement officers and journalists, as well as members of the public who wish to keep their browser activity secret.

But it has also been associated with illegal activity, allowing people to visit sites offering illegal drugs for sale and access to child abuse images, which do not show up in normal search engine results and would not be available to those who did not know where to look.


While the Tor browser can be used to access the regular version of the BBC News website, using the .onion site has additional benefits.

"Onion services take load off scarce exit nodes, preserve end-to-end encryption [and] the self-authenticating domain name resists spoofing," explained Prof Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security expert from University College London.

In a statement, the BBC said: "The BBC World Service's news content is now available on the Tor network to audiences who live in countries where BBC News is being blocked or restricted. This is in line with the BBC World Service mission to provide trusted news around the world."

On Wednesday, the BBC also announced the UK's first interactive voice news service for smart speakers.

People using an Amazon Alexa-powered device will be able to skip ahead and get more information about the stories they are most interested in.

[Source: This article was published in bbc.com - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore]

Published in Deep Web

[Source: This article was Published in ibvpn.com By IBVPN TEAM - Uploaded by the Association Member: Alex Gray] 

Since when are you an Internet user? For quite a while, right?

How many times have you asked yourself which are the dangers that might hide at the other side of your connection and how a VPN software can help you? You’re about to read this article which means you’ve asked yourself this question at least once.

This article will give you all the information you need to know about the advantages of VPN plus a list of tips and tricks that will make your life easier.

Are you ready?

By the way, if you are aware of the benefits a VPN brings, it’s time to start using it!

Get ibVPN!

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology came as an answer to individuals’ request to protect their online activities and to maintain their online confidentiality.

Besides this functionality, the technology helps internet users access restricted content from anywhere in the world, with just a click of a mouse.

Therefore, we can say that a VPN is a secure solution that allows its users to send and receive data via the internet while maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of their data, based on its encryption level. The cherry on top is that a VPN will unblock the internet, by providing you the most-wanted Internet freedom that you deserve.

It’s obvious that because of people’s security need and especially because of the need for sending encrypted data over a network, the VPN technology has been developed. But besides the role of creating a “private scope of computer communications,” VPN technology has many other advantages:

  1. Enhanced security. When you connect to the network through a VPN, the data is kept secured and encrypted. In this way, the information is away from the hackers’ eyes.

  2. Remote control. In the case of a company, the great advantage of having a VPN is that the information can be accessed remotely even from home or from any other place. That’s why a VPN can increase productivity within a company.

  3. Share files. A VPN service can be used if you have a group that needs to share data for an extended period.

  4. Online anonymity. Through a VPN you can browse the web in complete anonymity. Compared to hide IP software or web proxies, the advantage of a VPN service is that it allows you to access both web applications and websites in complete anonymity.

  5. Unblock websites & bypass filters. VPNs are great for accessing blocked websites or for bypassing Internet filters. This is why there is an increased number of VPN services used in countries where Internet censorship is applied.

  6. Change IP address. If you need an IP address from another country, then a VPN can provide you this.

  7. Better performance. Bandwidth and efficiency of the network can generally be increased once a VPN solution is implemented.

  8. Reduce costs. Once a VPN network is created, the maintenance cost is very low. More than that, if you opt for a service provider, the network setup and surveillance is no more a concern.

Here is how your connection looks while using a VPN!

Advantages of VPN_your connection

Other things you need to know:

The advantages and benefits of a VPN are clear, let’s find out how to choose your VPN service and your new VPN service provider.

As a future VPN user, keep something in mind: the process of choosing and buying a VPN service should work the same as the process of doing a regular purchase.

Public networks are a real threat. The private networks are not very safe either because your internet service provider can throw an eye on anything you do. You can never be sure if you’re about to connect to a secured network unless you keep your internet activity safe.

So, no matter if you are looking for a VPN to encrypt your traffic while browsing the internet, to bypass geo-restrictions or you’re just the kind of person who likes to save some bucks while buying plane tickets, here’s what you future VPN should provide:

  • Free VPN Trial. Yes, maybe you’ve done some research on your own and saw those Five Best VPN articles all around the web. These articles are useful because are providing you information about VPN services at affordable prices, their performance, and features. When you can test these services by yourself, the experience is even better. That’s why is important to choose a VPN that provides you with a Free VPN Trial.

  • Speed. Do you have the patience to wait tons of seconds for your page to load while using a VPN? No, who has? Always look for the VPN that improves your internet connectivity, not slows it down!

  • Connectivity and reliability. Before buying a VPN service, you have to make sure that it assures you a safe/without drops connection.

  • The number of servers. The number of servers is an important thing for you to look into a VPN service. Before subscribing to a VPN provider, make sure it provides you a large number of servers around the globe.

  • Apps is compatible with various operating systems. I’m sure about one thing – you have more than one device you use to surf the web. There’s a significant probability for your devices do have different operating systems. An important thing that you should keep in mind is that your VPN provider should be able to meet your need by providing you with apps compatible with as many operating systems as possible.

  • The number of simultaneous connections. We are (almost) always online from more than one device, that’s why the number of concurrent connection is important.

  • Customer support. Not all of us are tech-savvy and, from time to time, even the experienced ones need help and guidance. Choosing a VPN provider with outstanding customer support is mandatory. Look for a VPN that allows you to contact the support via e-mail, support ticket systems and live chat. You will thank us later for this tip! ?

  • Privacy policy. One of the primary purposes of a VPN is to keep your online activities away from the curious eyes of any third party. If you don’t allow your ISP to spy on you, why would you let your VPN service provider do it? Choose a VPN service that has a transparent way of saying and doing things and make sure it won’t keep any connection logs. So, always check their Privacy Policy first, before subscribing!

  • Check their reviews page. We were mentioning above some things about the VPN reviews websites. Those websites are doing their reviews based on some tests. Wouldn’t be awesome to be able to find out what the actual customers of a VPN provider have to say about the service and its performance? Here’s a tip: if your future VPN service provider has its own reviews page, throw an eye on it.

Are you ready for some action?

Now that you know which are the advantages of a VPN, their value, and how you should choose one, it’s time for some action.

If you’re curious to test on your own the benefits of a VPN, you can do it for free, right now.
ibVPN is the perfect choice for those who care about their online privacy and freedom.

What do you have to do? It’s easy:

  1. Create a trial account – no credit card required

  2. Download a suitable app for your device(s)

  3. Enjoy a secure and open internet by connecting to one of the 180+ servers we are providing.

If you’re happy with the performance of our service, you can always subscribe to one of our premium plans.

Go Premium!

Keep in mind that a VPN has its limitations too!

Just like any other thing in this world, a VPN service has its advantages and disadvantages.

So, if you’re not an experienced technician or if you’re trying a security solution aka a VPN for the very first time, make sure you won’t dig that deep into the VPN’s settings. Before doing advanced settings into your app, please make sure you know what you’re doing otherwise, you might risk having leaks or your activity exposed.

Another thing that you should know if that, from time to time, a VPN can have connection drops. These drops are perfectly normal, that’s why you should make sure you’re connecting to a server that’s not overloaded.

Tips and tricks.

We want to make sure you make the most out of your VPN service, that’s why we have a list of tips and tricks which will help you a lot.

We have over 15 years of experience in providing our customers with security solutions so, listen to the old ones this time. ?

  1. KillSwitch. To assure the safety of your network connection, a VPN offers (or it should provide) features that enhance your level of security. One of these features is the KillSwitch. If you have never heard about it before, this feature assures your safety in case of connection drops. There are two kinds of KillSwitches: The Internet KillSwitch which will block your internet traffic in case of VPN drops and the Application Killswitch which ensures you that a list of selected apps will be closed, in case your VPN connection drops. So, for a secure connection, always use the KillSwitch!

  2. Use P2P servers. Some of you might use a VPN service to download torrents safely. To avoid any problems with your ISP, use only the P2P server for such activities!

  3. Use Double VPN. If you’re lucky enough to have Double VPN servers in your list, make sure you use them. Double VPN technology allows you to browse anonymously by connecting to a chain of VPN servers. In simple words: VPN on top of VPN (or VPN tunnel inside another VPN tunnel). Double VPN is all about VPN tunnels and levels of security and encryption. Isn’t it awesome?

  4. Use Stealth VPN or SSTP protocols. If you’re living in a country with a high censorship level and your connection gets blocked even if you use a VPN, make sure you change the protocol and try to use Stealth VPN or SSTP. These two VPN protocols are high-speed and secure and, for example, Stealth VPNwill mask your VPN traffic and will make it look like regular web traffic. In this way, you can bypass any restriction or firewall.

  5. Use VPN + Tor. Since Tor is used to mask very sensitive information, the frequent use of this browser might light the bulb of your ISP and mark you for surveillance. That’s why the safe way is to connect to a VPN server while using the Tor browser.

  6. Leak protection. Check your VPN app’s settings and, if it allows you, make sure you check all the options that keep you away from any leak (DNS leaks, IPv6 leak protection, etc.).

  7. Use the VPN on your mobile devices too. It’s not enough to keep it safe only when you use a laptop. Public wifis are real threats that’s why you should always be connected to a VPN.

  8. Test the server network before connecting. Why are we saying this? Well, this practice assures you that you will connect to the fastest server for you. And who doesn’t love a fast server?

  9. Use browser extensions. A browser extension is a super useful tool. There are cases when you need to change your IP fast and easy and to open your app, entering your details and choosing the desired server is somehow complicated, and it takes time. If your VPN provider provides you not only VPN clients compatible with different operating systems but browser extensions too, make sure you use them…

  10. Smart DNS. This neat and useful technology allows you to access blocked streaming channels, regardless of your region. If your VPN provider has such an option, make sure you use it to watch your favorite media content while you’re far away from home.

  11. Save money by using a VPN. Who doesn’t like traveling? Here’s a piece of advice: search online for a flight, compare the prices and then go back to the page you have initially accessed. There are 80% chances that the rates have been increased. If you’re wondering how this is even possible, let us explain. Some online ticket agencies have preferential prices for different countries. Save some extra bucks using a VPN!

Are you still here?

As you can see, the discussion about VPN technology and its advantages is so complicated. We could talk about it for days.

What you should keep in mind after reading this article is that no matter if you’re looking for the best option to browse anonymously, to unblock your favorite online content, to download torrents or to watch for the cheapest plane tickets, a VPN can always help you.

Besides its disadvantages, a VPN has tons of advantages, and it allows you to keep your personal information safe in the first place.

There are lots of fishes in the sea, make sure you choose the one that meets your needs.

Always browse safely!

Published in Internet Privacy

[This article is originally published in news.bitcoin.com written by Kai Sedgwick - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Robert Hensonw]

In this latest edition of our periodic deep web series, we bring news of Tor 8 – the most feature-rich onion browser yet. We also take a first look at a clearnet web browser that trawls the darknet, and cover the fallout from the Alphabay shutdown, whose repercussions rumble on to this day.

Tor 8 Looks Great

The Tor Project has released its latest and greatest browser yet. Tor 8 is a slick looking beast compared to the Tor browsers of yore, partially thanks to its incorporation of Firefox Quantum, which allows for better page rendering and other subtle tweaks. With Tor 8, there’s a new welcome screen to guide first-time users through the process of connecting to the deep web, and there are additional security protections built in. A Tor Circuit button can now be used to switch servers at random, further obfuscating users’ connection route.

The Tor Project

The Tor Circuit button in action

Tor 8 comes with HTTPS Everywhere and Noscript, and it is recommended that users enable these add-ons, as they’re critical in maximizing anonymity while browsing the web. While the Tor browser is best known as a tool for navigating the dark web, it can also be deployed as a privacy-friendly clearnet browser which minimizes cookies and other web trackers. Finally, the new improved Tor makes it easier to circumvent firewalls in countries where internet censorship is rife. Its development team explains:

For users where Tor is blocked, we have previously offered a handful of bridges in the browser to bypass censorship. But to receive additional bridges, you had to send an email or visit a website, which posed a set of problems. To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP. We hope this simplification will allow more people to bypass censorship and browse the internet freely and privately.

Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine

Searching the deep web has traditionally been harder than with its clearnet counterpart. The absence of a darknet Google is arguably part of its appeal, making onion sites accessible only to those who know what they’re looking for. It was this barrier to entry that ensured sites like Silk Road were accessible solely to technically adept users in bitcoin’s early days. The deep web has opened up significantly since then, giving up its secrets, and in the same week that Tor released its most user-friendly browser yet, it’s perhaps fitting that a clearnet search engine for the deep web should launch. Onionlandsearchengine.com is a simple but effective tool for generating deep web search results without needing to first connect to the deep web.

Deep Web Gets a Clearnet Search Engine

Onionland deep web search engine

US Government Authorized to Seize Alphabay Suspect’s Assets

Long after deep web marketplaces have been shut down, the fallout continues to make its mark in US courtrooms. Silk Road, Hansa, and Alphabay’s legal wranglings periodically make the news, despite the years elapsed since the sites were first seized. As evidence of this, consider the ruling by a recent US magistrate judge granting the federal government permission to seize and sell millions of dollars worth of assets associated with Alexandre Cazes. The reputed Alphabay ringleader had $8 million of assets on his driveway alone at the time of this arrest in a string of high performance sports cars. Including cryptocurrencies, his total net worth was eventually calculated at $23 million.

US Government Authorized to Seize Alphabay Suspects Assets

The US government’s application for Alphabay asset seizure

Among the showier items in Cazes’ collection was a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 worth almost $1 million with a license plate that read “Tor”. The late Alphabay boss certainly wasn’t subtle, but for all his sins, it is hard not to feel sorry for the 25-year-old who wound up dead in a Bangkok cell from suicide, another needless victim of the war on drugs.

Published in Deep Web

Source: This article was Published cnbc.com By Arjun Kharpal - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

  • The dark web is a hidden portion of the internet that can only be accessed using special software.
  • TOR, or The Onion Router, is a popular anonymous browsing network used to connect to the dark web.
  • While the dark web offers anonymity and a way to bypass internet censorship, it is commonly associated with illegal activities such as the buying and selling of drugs and other contraband.

The so-called dark web, a portion of the hidden internet, is usually associated with a host of illegal activities including the buying and selling of drugs, firearms, stolen financial data and other types of valuable information. The selling point? Total anonymity.

That may sound nefarious, but some experts argue that the dark web is also useful in circumventing internet censorship.

While most people spend their time online on what is known as the surface web — the portion of the World Wide Web that can be accessed with standard browsers and search engines — it has become relatively easy for anyone to access the dark web.

The dark web is a small subset of the deep web, which is part of the internet that is not found using search engines. That includes many websites that require users to log in with a username and password, and the deep web is estimated to be about 400 to 500 times larger than the common internet. The dark web is relatively smaller — it is made up of a series of encrypted networks that is able to hide users' identities and locations and can only be accessed with special software.

The most popular of those networks is called TOR, or The Onion Router, which was developed initially for government use before it was made available to the general public.

"When people typically refer to the dark web, a lot of the time they're referring to a portion of the internet that's accessible using an anonymous browsing network called TOR," Charles Carmakal, a vice president at cybersecurity firm FireEye, told CNBC's "Beyond the Valley" podcast.

One of the primary functions of the TOR network is that it allows users to access ".onion" pages, which are specially encrypted for maximum privacy.

Carmakal explained that TOR also lets users connect to normal websites anonymously so that their internet service providers cannot tell what they're browsing. Similarly, the websites will not be able to pinpoint the location of the users browsing their pages.

On the TOR browser, the connection requests are re-routed several times before reaching their destination. For example, if a user in Singapore is trying to connect to a website in London, that request on a TOR browser could be routed from Singapore to New York to Sydney to Capetown to, finally, London.

According to Carmakal, a service like TOR is a useful tool for many users to bypass state censorship and crackdowns on the internet. With it, he said, they can communicate with the free world without any repercussions. The service is also used by journalists and law enforcement, he said.

Still, the term dark web today is commonly associated with illegal activities. In recent years, a number of high-profile marketplaces on the dark web were taken down for selling drugs and other contraband, including Silk Road, AlphaBay and Hansa.

Law enforcement agencies around the world have been working hard to take down communities on the dark web that criminals use, according to James Chappell, co-founder of a London-based threat intelligence company Digital Shadows.

104494403-dark_web_thumbnail.600x337 tor - AOFIRS

Hansa, for instance, was taken down by the Dutch national police last year after authorities seized control of the marketplace. In a press release, the officials said they had collected around 10,000 addresses of buyers on the marketplace and passed them onto Europol, the European Union's law enforcement body.

"It was very interesting to see the effect this had. Initially, we thought that lots of websites would come back online, just replacing Hansa as soon as it was taken down," Chappell told, "Beyond the Valley." Instead, a lot of the users moved away from TOR and onto message-based services like Discord and Telegram, he said.

Published in Deep Web

Installing Tor on Android and iOS devices is not as difficult as you may think.

You can safeguard your online privacy when you are using an Android or iOS device to browse the internet by using TOR. TOR hides and occasionally changes your IP address when you are online. Thus, when you are using TOR on either of these devices, your privacy and identity will be safe when you visit social media sites or any other sites on the internet. Here is a detailed guide on how you can successfully install TOR on your Android or IOS device.

How to install TOR on an Android Device

1: Download Orbot

You will have to download Orbot from any the credible app stores available. You can download it from Google PlayAmazon App Store or even from the website of the developer, which is the Guardian Project.

2: Install Orbot on your device

It is easy to install Orbot on your Android device, thanks to its highly intuitive installation wizard. Here is how the setup wizard looks like at first glance when you are just about to start the actual process of installing Orbot on your Android device

TOR Install (1)

3: Select the features you would like to run via Orbot

how-to-install-tor-on-android-and-ios-devices tor - AOFIRS

If your device is rooted, you will have to choose the particular applications you would like to access via Orbot. The process of selecting the apps that you would like to use via Orbot is simple and straightforward. However, if your device is not rooted, you may skip this step of the process by choosing the option that lets you proxy all the apps on your device through TOR.

4: Give Orbot Superuser access for rooted devices

If your Android device is rooted, you will have to give Orbot super user access for you to proceed with the installation process. Granting the app superuser access at all times ensures that you will be able to use Orbot when you are opening any app on your rooted Android device at any time.

This is how the screenshot for the stage when you have to grant Orbot superuser status to the apps on your Android device looks like.

5: Reboot your device

You will have to reboot your device at this stage of the installation process to allow Orbot to access all the apps on your device. If you attempt to open your mobile browser at this stage, it is likely that the browser may not function as desired. Therefore you may have to restart your device at this stage of the installation process.

6: Check your IP address

TOR Install (3)

Once you have reset your device, you will have to visit any website that checks your IP address. The purpose of this activity is to confirm that your traffic is getting re-routed via a proxy server and that you have a different IP address from your original one. If the Orbot installation process has been successful, you will get a different IP address. Here is a screenshot of how things should appear at this stage of the process.

6: Make configuration for some applications

You may have to configure some apps on your mobile device for you to use Orbot successfully. In this case, you may have to go to the ‘settings’ section of every particular app you would like to configure and make the necessary changes.

For some apps, you may have to download and install particular add-ons for you to use the apps on Orbot successfully.

7: Start using your device

Once you have successfully gone through the five steps that have been outlined above, you will be able to use TOR for your Android device. One important thing you need to note is that TOR will change your IP address at times. The occasional changes to your IP address are essential in making you anonymous online. Here is a screenshot of how things look like when you check your IP address once you complete the process of installing TOR on your Android device.

How to install TOR on an IOS Device

The procedure of installing TOR on your IOS device is similar to that of when you are installing the app on your Android device. However, there are slight variations that you have to keep in mind when installing TOR on your iOS device. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can set up TOR on your iOS device so you may enjoy the level of anonymity and online privacy that TOR offers to its users.

1: Download the TOR browser from Apple App Store

You will have to visit the App Store on your iOS device as the first step of the process. Once you access the app store, you may have to search for the TOR browser. You will see a list of alternatives. Choose the TOR-enabled browser that suits your needs. Here is a screenshot of what you should have when you are just about to tap on the ‘Get it’ button on the app store.

Remember that you may have to buy some apps from the Apple App store.

2: Install the app on your device

Once you successfully download the TOR app, you will see a button asking you to install it on your device. You will have to tap on the button to allow the installation process to commence. Remember that it is at this stage that the highly technical aspects of setting up TOR on your iOS device begin.

The installation process takes a few minutes. Here is a screenshot of what you are supposed to have on your device just before you tap the ‘install’ button.

3: Connect to TOR

Once you have successfully downloaded and installed TOR on your iOS device, the device will prompt you to connect to the TOR network. You will have to select this option to enable the TOR browser to start working on your device.

Remember that this stage is similar to that of installing TOR on your Android device during which you have to reconfigure some apps so that they work on TOR. Similarly, you may have to select to use the TOR app on particular apps on your iPhone device. However, the good news is that the process is straightforward.

4: Start using TOR to browse

Once you have successfully gone through the steps that have been outlined here, you will be ready to use TOR when browsing the internet on your iOS device. TOR helps to safeguard your online privacy by changing your IP address. As it is the case with installing TOR on your Android device, you may find it necessary to check if the installation has been successful by testing your IP address. If the installation has been successful, you will realize that you have an IP address that is different from the previous one.

In conclusion, it is easy to install the TOR app on your Android as well as an iOS device. The most important things you need to keep in mind are that you may have to reconfigure some apps on your device to make them compatible with TOR. Also, in the case of Android devices, the level of complexity of the process largely depends on whether your device is rooted or not.

Source : This article was published hackread.com By Ali Raza

Published in How to

Achieving internet privacy is possible but often requires overlapping services

It’s one of the internet’s oft-mentioned 'creepy' moments. A user is served a banner ad in their browser promoting products on a site they visited hours, days or months in the past. It’s as if the ads are following them around from site to site. Most people know that the issue of ad stalking – termed 'remarketing' or 'retargeting' - has something to do with cookies but that’s barely the half of it.

The underlying tracking for all this is provided by the search engine provider, be that Google, Microsoft or Yahoo, or one of a number of programmatic ad platforms most people have never heard of. The ad system notices which sites people are visiting, choosing an opportune moment to 're-market' products from a site they visited at some point based on how receptive it thinks they will be. The promoted site has paid for this privilege of course. Unless that cookie is cleared, the user will every now and then be served the same ad for days or weeks on end.

Is this creepy? Only if you don’t understand what is really going on when you use the internet. As far as advertisers are concerned, if the user has a negative feeling about it then the remarketing has probably not worked.

If it was only advertisers, privacy would be challenging enough but almost every popular free service, including search engines, social media, cloud storage and webmail, now gathers intrusive amounts of personal data as a fundamental part of its business model. User data is simply too valuable to advertisers and profilers not to. The service is free precisely because the user has 'become the product' whose habits and behaviour can be sold on to third parties. Broadband providers, meanwhile, are increasingly required by governments to store the internet usage history of subscribers for reasons justified by national security and policing.

The cost of privacy - dynamic pricing

Disturbingly, this personal tracking can also cost surfers money through a marketing technique called 'dynamic pricing' whereby websites mysteriously offer two users a different bill for an identical product or service. How this is done is never clear but everything from the browser used, the search engine in question the time of day, the buying history of the user or the profile of data suggesting their affluence may come into play. Even the number of searches could raise the price.

This seems to be most common when buying commodity services such as flights, hotel rooms and car rental, all of which are sold through a network of middlemen providers who get to decide the rules without having to tell anyone what these are. Privacy in this context becomes about being treated fairly, something internet providers don't always seem keen to do.

How to browse privately

Achieving privacy requires finding a way to minimise the oversight of internet service providers (IPS) as well as the profiling built into browsers, search engines and websites. It is also important to watch out for DNS name servers used to resolve IP addresses because these are increasingly used as data capture systems.

At any one of these stages, data unique to each user is being logged. This is especially true when using search engines while logged into services such as Google or Facebook. You might not mind that a particular search is logged by the search provider but most people don’t realise how this is connected directly to personal data such as IP address, browser and computer ID not to mention the name and email address for those services.

Put bluntly, the fact that an individual searched for health, job or legal advice is stored indefinitely as part of their personal online profile whether they like it or not.

VPNs

In theory, the traditional way of shielding internet use from ISPs can be achieved using a VPN provider.

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel from the user’s device and the service provider’s servers which means that any websites visited after that become invisible to the user’s primary ISP. In turn, the user’s IP address is also hidden from those websites. Notice, however, that the VPN provider can still see which sites are being visited and will also know the user’s ISP IP.

Why are some VPNs free? Good question but one answer is that they can perform precisely the same sort of profiling of user behaviour that the ISP does but for commercial rather than legal reasons. In effect, the user has simply swapped the spying of one company, the ISP, for another, the VPN.

Post-Snowden, a growing number advertise themselves as 'no logging' providers, but how far the user is willing to go in this respect needs to be thought about. Wanting to dodge tracking and profiling is one thing, trying to avoid intelligence services quite another because it assumes that there are no weaknesses in the VPN software or even the underlying encryption that have not been publicly exposed.

IPVanish

IPVanish is a well-regarded US-based service offering an unusually wide range of software clients, including for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu Linux, as well as mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There is also a setup routine for DD-WRT and Tomato for those who use open source router firmware. Promoted on the back of speed (useful when in a coffee shop) and global reach as well as security. On that topic, it requires no personal data other than for payment and states that it does not collect or log any user traffic.

Cyberghost

Another multi-platform VPN, Romanian-based Cyberghost goes to some lengths to advertise its security features, its main USP. These include multi-protocol support (OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP and PPTP), DNS leak prevention, IP sharing (essentially subnetting multiple users on one virtual IP) and IPv6 protection. Provisions around 50 servers for UK users. It also says it doesn’t store user data.

Privacy browsers

All browsers claim to be ‘privacy browsers’ if the services around them are used in specific ways, for example in incognito or privacy mode. As wonderful as Google’s Chrome or Microsoft’s Edge might be their primary purpose, isn't security. The companies that offer them simply have too much to gain from

The companies that offer them simply have too much to gain from a world in which users are tagged, tracked and profiled no matter what their makers say. To Google’s credit, the company doesn’t really hide this fact and does a reasonable job of explaining its privacy settings.

Firefox, by contrast, is by some distance the best of the browser makers simply because it does not depend on the user tracking that helps to fund others. But this becomes moot the minute you log into third-party services, which is why most of the privacy action in the browser space now centres around add-ons.

Epic Privacy Browser

Epic is a Chromium-based browser that takes a minimalistic approach to browsing in order to maximise privacy. It claims that both cookies and trackers are deleted after each session and that all browser searches are proxied through their own servers, meaning that there is no way to connect an IP address to a search. This means your identity is hidden. Epic also provides a fully encrypted connection and users can use its one-button proxying feature that makes quick private browsing easy, although it could slow down your browser.

Tor

This Firefox-based browser that runs on the Tor network can be used with Windows, Mac or Linux PCs. This browser is built on an entire infrastructure of ‘hidden’ relay servers, which means that you can use the internet with your IP and digital identity hidden. Unlike other browsers, Tor is built for privacy only, so it does lack certain security features such as built-in antivirus and anti-malware software.

Dooble

This stripped back Chromium-based browser offers great privacy potential but it may not be the first choice for everyone. Able to run on Windows, Linux and OS X, Dooble offers strict privacy features. It will disable insecure web-based interfaces such as Flash and Javascript, which will make some web pages harder to read. In addition, user content such as bookmarks and browsing history can be encrypted using various passphrases.

See here for a full list of our best secure browsers. 

Privacy search engines

It might seem a bit pointless to worry about a privacy search engine given that this is an inherent quality of the VPN services already discussed but a couple are worth looking out for. The advantage of this approach is that it is free and incredibly simple. Users simply start using a different search engine and aren’t required to buy or install anything.

DuckDuckGo

The best-known example of this is DuckDuckGo. What we like about DuckDuckGo is it protects searches by stopping 'search leakage' by default. This means visited sites will not know what other terms a user searched for and will not be sent a user’s IP address or browser user agent. It also offers an encrypted version that connects to the encrypted versions of major websites, preserving some privacy between the user and the site.

In addition, DuckDuckGo offers a neat password-protected 'cloud save' setting that makes it possible to create search policies and sync these across devices using the search engine.

Oscobo UK search

Launched in late 2015, Oscobo returns UK-specific search results by default (which DuckDuckGo will require a manual setting for). As with DuckDuckGo, the search results are based on Yahoo and Bing although the US outfit also has some of its own spidering. Beyond that, Oscobo does not record IP address or any other user data. According to its founders, no trace of searches made from a computer is left behind. It makes its money from sponsored search returns.

DNS nameservers

Techworld's sister title Computerworld UK recently covered the issue of alternative DNS nameservers, including Norton ConnecSafe, OpenDNS, Comodo Secure DNS, DNS.Watch, VeriSign and, of course, Google.

However, as with any DNS nameserver, there are also privacy concerns because the growing number of free services are really being driven by data gathering. The only way to bypass nameservers completely is to use a VPN provider’s infrastructure. The point of even mentioning them is that using an alternative might be faster than the ISP but come at the expense of less privacy.

DNS.Watch

Available on 84.200.69.80 and 84.200.70.40, DNS.Watch is unique in offering an alternative DNS service without the website logging found on almost every rival. We quote: “We're not interested in shady deals with your data. You own it. We're not a big corporation and don't have to participate in shady deals. We're not running any ad network or anything else where your DNS queries could be of interest for us.”

OpenDNS

Now part of Cisco, the primary is 208.67.220.220 with a backup on 208.67.222.222. Home users can simply adjust their DNS to point at one of the above but OpenDNS also offers the service wrapped up in three further tiers of service, Family Shield, Home, and VIP Home. Each comes with varying levels of filtering and security, parental control and anti-phishing protection.

Privacy utilities

Abine Blur

Blur is an all-in-one desktop and mobile privacy tool that offers a range of privacy features with some adblocking thrown in for good measure. Available in free and Premium versions ($39 a year) on Firefox and Chrome only, principle features include:

- Masked cards: a way of entering a real credit card into the Blur database which then pays merchants without revealing those details. 

- Passwords: similar in operation to password managers such as LastPass and Dashlane without some of the layers of security and sophistication that come with those platforms. When signing up for or encountering a new site Blur offers to save or create a new strong password.

Masked email addresses are another feature, identical in principle to the aliases that can be used with webmail systems such as Gmail.  Bur’s management of these is a bit more involved and we’d question whether it’s worth it to be honest were it not for the single advantage of completely hiding the destination address, including the domain. Some will value this masking as well as the ease of turning addresses on and off and creating new ones. On a Premium subscription, it is also possible to set up more than one destination address.

- Adblocking: with the browser extension installed, Blur will block ad tracking systems without the conflict of interest are inherent in the Acceptable Ads program used by AdBlock Plus and a number of others.  We didn’t test this feature across many sites but it can be easily turned on and off from the toolbar.

- Two-factor authentication: Given the amount of data users are storing in Blur, using two-factor authentication (2FA) is an absolute must. This can be set up using a mobile app such as Google Authenticator, Authy or FreeOTP.

- Backup and Sync:  Another premium feature, this will sync account data across multiple devices in an encrypted state.

- Masked phone: probably only useful in the US where intrusive telemarketing is a problem, this gives users a second phone number to hand to marketers.  Only works in named countries including the UK. Only on Premium.

Overall, Blur represents a lot of features in one desktop/mobile browser extension. Limitations? Not terribly well explained in places and getting the best out of it requires a Premium subscription. Although the tools are well integrated and thought out most of them can be found for less (e.g. LastPass) or free (e.g. adblocking) elsewhere.  The features that can’t are masked phone and masked card numbers/addresses.

Source : This article was published in techworld.com By John E Dunn

Published in Internet Privacy

According to reports, the Guardian Project, Tor Project, and Home Assistant have come together to create a new security system that can protect IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

The new system works based on the principle of funneling all of the data traffic from IoT devices to the master update servers or end users through a Tor connection, eliminating the use of the public Internet.

The new security system is the Home Assistant platform which would run on a new Tor Onion Service Configuration to provide secure as well as remote access to IoT devices of users.

Though it is in the experimental stage at the moment, the new security system is also scalable.

The IoT refers to the remote control as well as networking of devices like the baby cam or the lawn sprinkler used at homes to an entire HVAC system installed by corporations.

New System Runs On Raspberry Pi Board

raspberry_pi

For users to run Home Assistant’s software, all they are required to have is a device or other similar devices.

In turn, the devices would run a special Tor configuration. In simple terms, it amounts to setting up a special Onion site on the IoT device.

This is to say that the remote users wanting to access an IoT device will have to have the Onion link that connects them to the Home Assistant’s software.

This, in turn, will transfer the connection to the IoT device, operating as a proxy.

There are tangible benefits to using the new security system as far as both IoT vendors and users are concerned, especially those who are interested in embedding this kind of technology into devices on a default basis.

Shodan Scanning Not Required for IoT Devices That Are Exposed

First of all, the need to develop complicated software by setting up complex SSL/TLS certificates in order to support HTTPS connections can be eliminated.

This is because all of the Tor connections get encrypted by default.

The Onion protocol would ensure that there are many different layers of encryption.

Moreover, the need to either use a VPN service or unnecessarily open firewall ports can be done away with by the users of the new security system.

The reason behind this is that all connections go through the Tor network.

This ensures that nobody knows as to which devices users are connecting to.

Technically speaking, it is just not possible to scan IoT devices that are protected by Tor.

This means that users don’t have to determine as to which of the IoT devices are vulnerable using Shodan.

As a result, users would also not accidentally stumble upon exposed equipment.

Top Priority Is to Secure IoT devices

Nathan Freitas reportedly said that there are too many things in peoples’ homes, at the hospitals, in business establishments that are often exposed to the public Internet throughout their lives and protecting their communication is not an easy job at all.

He added that Tor ensures protection for free with the help of real-world hard ended as well as open-source software and through strong as well as modern cryptography.

The executive director of Tor, Shari Steele, said that Tor Project aims to integrate Tor privacy technology into everyday life so that logging on to it is not necessary because of the built-in security and privacy.

She added that Tor Project contributor and Guardian Project Executive Director Nathan Freitas’ work with Home Assistant could be considered as an important milestone in this direction.

Source : darkwebnews

Published in Deep Web

People who want to browse the web with anonymity using the Tor network are having problems with too many CAPTCHAs that they encounter before gaining access to a site.

CAPTCHAs are the simple security tests or puzzles that are set to prove that the user is indeed a human being and not a robot or software. CloudFlare is the content delivery company behind these restrictive CAPTCHAs.

Your TOR usage is being watched
However, there is a good news for Tor users, this experience may soon be a thing of the past.

CloudFlare announced that they are formulating a way for anonymous Tor users to gain access to websites without in inconvenience of solving CAPTCHAs.

HISTORY OF TOR AND CLOUDFLAREtor-visitor-challenged


The Tor network was developed and is operated by the Tor Project. This is a non-profit organization that deals with the development and distribution of free software to help people tackle online surveillance.

The idea behind the Tor network is definitely a noble one that serves human right defenders, diplomats, government officials, and other people who seek freedom from surveillance.

However, the network has always often been used to facilitate malicious and illegal activities.

As such, most content delivery firms including CloudFlare and Akamai block Tor users from accessing important websites.

This is of course, unfair to a percentage of Tor users who is using the network for perfectly lawful activities.

Tor users have been complaining about CloudFlare’s CAPTCHA system that treats each IP address as a single user.

They have also voiced their concern on CloudFlare’s failure to address the interest of the community to have a dialogue with regard to the issue.

Therefore, this recent announcement is a step that is favorable to Tor users.

THE CAPTCHA SYSTEM’S IMPACT ON USABILITY

These are the reasons why Tor users are annoyed by the seemingly simple CAPTCHAs, in many cases the system presents Tor users with a lengthy series of CAPTCHAs that often are very slow, or it seems like it’s on an endless loop. This is intentionally done so that a user may give up.

Sometimes, it will push the user to opt for unsafe browser, thus revealing their location and IP address.

This can be a big risk to some Tor users who need anonymity including human rights activists or those victims of domestic violence.

The ones that are affected the most are those users leaving in a country with a slow internet, that leads to a very negative experience.

This new reform that will be implemented by CloudFlare is a response to the widespread backlash that the firm has received on social media and other online platforms.

This CAPTCHA system has been called a discriminative censorship system on numerous occasions.

David Kaye, UN Special Reporter detailed this internet discrimination in a 2015 report where he affirmed that the Tor network is necessary for the freedom of expression despite its negative aspects.

It is important to note that this CAPTCHA system also affects mobile phone users. Android users with the Android version of Tor browser and Orfox, have also complained about CloudFlare’s endless CAPTCHAs.

THE PROPOSED SOLUTION

CloudFlare has always been aware of this problem for at least three years already. Tor Project Developers claimed that they have discussed the matter with CloudFlare developers both online and in person for more than a year.

However, CloudFlare CEO Mathew Price stated that the firm has always been open to finding an amicable solution without compromising the security of their clients.

This announcement has been long overdue and could be just another strategy to delay the matter. According to CloudFlare authors, the firm aims to solve this issue by employing a system called the Challenge Bypass Specification.

Through this system, authentication tokens called nonces offered via a Tor browser plugin will eliminate the CAPTCHA problem while still protecting other sites from malicious users.

Malicious traffic that has always been automated will be unable to earn these tokens.

Provision of nonces by authentic users will enable anonymous access to important websites. Users will be able to earn a number of tokens for solving a single CAPTCHA.

CloudFlare claims that this feature is not unique to them. Other content delivery firms will be able to implement this with their own policies.

The single CAPTCHA for token option, is not a guarantee that you ca access all websites.

While this feature is still in the works, it will definitely reduce the inconvenience caused by the current security measures.

Source : darkwebnews

Published in Others
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