We all like to think that when we use the internet that we are total anonymous. But most of the time when we are online that is not the case. When we use the internet there is always a point where someone knows who is sending the data over the lines and where. You will see a lot of people post items on the internet that they think are private but in reality are not. Someone who knows how to look in the right places is probably able to get to your data if you are not careful. That is why you must always be careful when you are placing data on the internet.
But normal people are not the only ones who place their data in the wrong places on the internet. Some people who should know better do so also. There have been many leaks in government when it comes to sending data over the internet. They assume the method that they are using is safe but meanwhile there is some black hat hacker being paid by a foreign government to trick the government official and steal his data. This happens more often than people think and it is just covered up (I believe) so that normal people do not lose faith in the competency of their government officials.
One of the methods that is used to send data securely by governments is a technology that is called Tor. This technology was first created by the United States Navy but then was decommissioned and made open source. While the open source version of the technology was originally intended to be a program to protect the data of normal people from government interference, it has turned into a technology that some governments rely on as well. They have heard the stories of how the data is transmitted in an anonymous fashion and they want to try it for themselves. But maybe they are trying it too much. Now that people know that governments are using Tor to send data they are now trying to exploit the technology. In this article I will take a look at what Tor is, how it can be exploited, and why governments should not rely on it as much.
What is Tor?
Tor is a technology that allows you to send data in an anonymous manner. How it works is that people all over the world have special Tor nodes that data is transferred through. So by the time the data gets to its destination there is no telling where it came from. In the usual method of data transfer there are signs in the packets that will tell which hops the data has been sent through. When it comes to Tor, the IP address where you get the data from is not the same IP address of who sent it.
And that is the problem with Tor as well. While the technology was underground, there was less worries about someone trying to steal the data that went over the Tor network. But now there is valuable data that is going through the system. That makes people who have the technical know how want to intercept that data and either sell it or just be nosy and look at it for themselves.
Most people who use Tor think that there is one hundred percent protection. But they do not realize that the data going over Tor is not encrypted. To encrypt the data means that you would have to have steady encryption from the initial sending point to the end. Instead you must use third party software to encrypt the contents and have the person that you are sending the data to have the same software installed. This is so they will be able to unencrypt the data. If the bad guys know that a government official is sending data then they can easily run their own Tor node and take the data from it. If the data is not encrypted then they will have it and be able to read it. That is why it is not a good idea for government officials to rely too much on Tor.
If you are someone who needs to hide their identity but also send important data then you should make sure that whatever you send over the network is encrypted. If you do not then the data can fall into the wrongs hands like I said earlier in the article.
People must realize that the internet is not as anonymous as they think it is. Even if you are using special software there are ways people can track you. All you can do is to make it harder for that tracking to happen.