The TOR network is under attack from hackers – and finding a fix is proving problematic.
If you read our online privacy guide, you’ll know that we rate TOR, both as a way of accessing the Deep Web, and keeping your wider Web activity private.
But now Bitcoin scammers have found vulnerabilities in the protocol which they’re exploiting, and that’s bad news for everyone using it.
Without getting bogged down by the technical explanation, the hackers found a way to add their own rogue servers to the network, which the system then mistakes for genuine ones.
TOR has been battling the problem throughout 2020 – one point earlier in the year, you had a 1 in 4 chance of winding up on a fake server. Now it’s down to 1 in 10, but so far, engineers have failed to find a full fix.
The hackers, who are yet to have their identities speculated about, let alone identified, aren’t really interested in your adult habits – they’re going after Bitcoin sites in the hope of a fast buck, but the chinks in the armour affect everyone, Bitcoin user or not.
In normal times, TOR would have gone about the fix with all guns blazing, but having recently laid off a third of its workforce, blaming COVID-19, there are fewer engineers to work on the problem of fake servers.
TOR has said that it fully intends to restaff the teams dealing with this matter as its ability to raise funds improves, but right now, there is no workaround, apart from ensuring that the sites you visit are HTTPS encrypted.
The good news is that there are lots of other ways to mitigate the threat of hackers and other privacy threats. and when you’ve read your way through that, there’s a guide to the best VPNs to dive into as well..
The bottom line? As always, don’t assume any one security measure will keep your privacy secure online.