The average Internet user probably has no idea what "Tor" is. If you're one of those users, you've probably had no good reason to even investigate what it is, what it does, or how it hides. But if you're the NSA, you're acutely aware of Tor, and a new report suggests that both the NSA and GCHQ have had their sights on Tor. In simple terms, Tor is a network that protects anonymity of those who use it. What's interesting about Tor is that the software behind it is mostly funded by the U.S. government; despite all that, the U.S. National Security Agency has had no success in "developing attacks against people using Tor."
This is all part of the Edward Snowden fallout
, and the latest batch of intel shows that the NSA's only successful exploits on Tor rely on " identifying users and then attacking vulnerable software on their computers." Tor itself has proven a tough match to bring down, even by the NSA. According to internal documents, Tor is "the king of high-secure, low-latency internet anonymity." Tor basically bounces traffic around in an odd way so to conceal where the information is coming from and where it's truly headed.
The upside? At least Tor users have largely been able to maintain their cover. The downside? Agencies are working hard to try and change that, and it's likely only a matter of time before they win.