(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Despite its initial claims to the contrary, a team of security researchers is now backing off its contention that the NSA is responsible for an exploit affecting the online anonymity network known as TOR.
The group known as Cryptocloud pulled its stance reversal following criticisms from groups including the American Registry for Internet Numbers, according to a report from ARS Technica.
Cryptocloud, working with Baneki Privacy Labs, admitted that it hadn’t been “subject matter experts” on “custody and control” for IP addresses and had since been educated on the matter by “several genuine subject matter experts.”
“We know that those ARIN records that appeared to show the torsploit IP addresses (188.8.131.52 & 184.108.40.206) as being directly allocated to SAIC are inaccurate. Or, rather, the popular analytics resource domaintools.com uses an old (ca. 1993) method for interpolating individual IP ownership (“assignment” is a better term, really, but it’s a bit clunky). That old method, all evidence suggests, doesn’t give accurate information about the 2 torsploit IPs in question,” explained Cryptocloud via its forums.
TOR has also recently received new attention after 28-year-old Eric Eoin Marques, former owner of “Freedom Hosting” on the TOR network, was arrested in his native country of Ireland for charges related to child pornography. U.S. authorities are seeking Marques’s extradition to the United States.
While some TOR users have been criticized for carrying out such illegal activities, there remain many others who rely on its services for freedom of speech in parts of the world where common online activities are heavily sensored.