A veteran contributor to the Tor Network has announced his intention to cut all ties with the software. In addition to his leaving, a crucial node within the network will be deactivated as well.
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Original Tor Contributor to Exit, Deactivate Node
The announcement was made on the Tor blog by an original Tor contributor, known as Lucky Green. The contributor simply thought the time was right to end his participation in the Tor community, or at least as far as his current role within the community is concerned.
According to the blog announcement, Lucky Green has been an instrumental part of Tor’s history — having been part of it since its very beginning, before it was even called Tor. He contributed before current software even existed.
He has also charitably given both his time and money to the project, and as part of that effort has helped to maintain core aspects of the network. He has maintained nodes within network including a particularly noteworthy node called the Tonga node.
The Tonga node is significant because of its function as a Bridge Authority. Bridge Authorities, like Tonga, help users connect to the Tor network and get passed ISP blocks on the network. Some internet service providers restrict access to certain websites for various reasons and Bridge Authorities prevent the ISP from intercepting requests to these sites.
Once Lucky leaves he will be discontinuing the Tonga node. This move leaves Tor vulnerable as Bridge authorities are hard coded into the software. So, not only will they have to look for a temporary substitute for the node, but developers will also have to push for an update as well.
However, his announcement also lets the community know the developers will have ample time to come up with a temporary solution or find a replacement node.
More Bad News For Tor
This news follows what has been a difficult last few months for the anonymity software ever since the FBI created a backdoor into the software, called “Torsploit,” which has been used to identify cyber criminals using the software to elude the authorities.
In fact, a court ruling found that the FBI and Carnegie Mellon University worked together breaching the Tor protocol to identify Internet criminals.
Since then, Tor developers — and even competing bands of developers — have been scrambling to defend against the vulnerability. There has been some good news for the anonymous browser when developers joined a team of security experts to help fend off future FBI attacks.
The product of their work came in the form of a new anti-hacking technique, coined Selfrando. This new technique, alongside a completely new anonymous network proposed by MIT researchers, has provided the public evidence that privacy advocates are now fighting back.
Still, at this point, Tor developers are probably just hoping that other contributors don’t follow suite. The last thing they would likely want is having an already bad situation become even worse.
What do you think about the “Tonga node” being taken down? How do you think it will affect the performance of Tor going forward? Let us know in the comments below!
Images Courtesy of dailydot.com, securityaffairs.co