Q1. What is Tor? or Explain TOR browser
Tor is a program which helps individual to keep safe on the internet and maintain anonymity. It helps the user to prevent tracking of location and hide access websites.
Now we try to understand how TOR network works. TOR network basically a group of volunteer-operated servers, where Tor’s user employ this network to create a virtual tunnel, instead of connecting directly.
Suppose a TOR’s user access http://www.abc.com, instead of making the direct connection with site’s server, browser use virtual tunnels and volunteer-operated servers to connect the site.
Q2. Who uses TOR and why?
1. Journalist and Activist in countries with restrictions on the Internet and expression.
2. For whistleblowers, Tor provides a safe avenue to leak information to journalists. Edward Snowden released information on the NSA’s PRISM program to news organizations via Tor.
3. Many academics and ordinary citizens use Tor as a tool to keep privacy and freedom of expression alive in the Information Age.
4. Tor also uses by criminals for illegal activities.
Q3. What is Deep web?
The deep web is a term used to signify web which cannot be searched by Google and other search engines. It is unindexed by search engines, that’s why it is also called the invisible web.
It is estimated that the size of the deep web is 500 times of surface web. Here, surface web refers to the internet which accesses by us and it is properly indexed by search engines.
Q4. How can we access the deep web? or Why we cannot access the deep web with normal search engines?
For accessing deep web, we need a dedicated browser. TOR is most commonly used, but we can also use I2P and Freenet.
When we use normal search engines, we access data directly from the source. But in case of the deep web, data is not held on any single page but rather in databases, which makes it difficult for search engines to index.
Q5. How is Tor different from other proxies?
Proxy provider sets up a server on the internet and hosts web application on same. When user access that web application, the user connects directly with the server. In this case, SSL used to encrypt traffic from client to server but still provider know who you are and what you browse on the internet.
Now, how Tor maintain anonymity. Tor passes your traffic through at least 3 different servers before sending it on to the destination. Because there’s a separate layer of encryption for each of the three relays, somebody watching your Internet connection can’t modify, or read, what you are sending into the Tor network. Your traffic is encrypted between the Tor client (on your computer) and where it pops out somewhere else in the world.
Q6. Why is Tor so slow?
As Tor passes your traffic through at least 3 different servers before sending it on to the destination and there’s a separate layer of encryption for each of the three relays. In simple words, Tor’s traffic pass through 3 different volunteer’s servers, to connect destination server, instead of connecting directly in case of the normal browser, the reason for Tor is slow.
Q7. What protections does Tor provide?
Internet communication is based on a store-and-forward model. Data is transmitted in blocks called IP datagrams or packets. Every packet includes a source IP address (of the sender) and a destination IP address (of the receiver), just as ordinary letters contain postal addresses of sender and receiver.
The aim of Tor is to improve your privacy by sending your traffic through a series of proxies. Your communication is encrypted in multiple layers and routed via multiple servers through the Tor network to the final receiver. Note that all your local ISP can observe now is that you are communicating with Tor nodes. Similarly, servers on the Internet just see that they are being contacted by Tor nodes.
Tor aims to solve three privacy problems:
First, Tor prevents websites and other services from learning your location.
Second, Tor prevents people watching your traffic locally.
Third, Tor routes your connection through more than one Tor relay so no single relay can learn what you’re up to.
Q8. Can exit nodes eavesdrop on communications? Isn’t that bad?
Exit nodes can only know about the destination if traffic is not using end to end encryption. This can be easily resolved by using SSL for securing sensitive internet connection.
Q9. Tor guarantee the total anonymity of user, is it true?
The answer is a BIG NO.
First, When you use TOR, you automatically come under a suspicion of enforcement agencies.
Second, TOR protects the network communication. If you access Gmail or Facebook by using TOR, ISP not know which application you are accessing, but still Gmail or Facebook know who you are although they not know your location.
Third, some technologies, such as Java and Adobe Flash, run in what is known as a virtual machine. This virtual machine may have the ability to ignore your configured proxy settings, and therefore bypass Tor and share information directly to other sites on the Internet. The virtual machine may be able to store data, such as cookies, separate from your browser or operating system data stores. Therefore, these technologies must be disabled in your browser to use Tor safely.
Q10. Explain all the keys which Tor uses.
Tor uses a variety of different keys, with three goals in mind:
encryption to ensure the privacy of data within the Tor network, it uses “circuit key” for TLS link encryption.
authentication so clients know they’re talking to the relays they meant to talk to, It uses “onion key” as a public decryption key and signatures to make sure all clients know the same set of relays, It uses long-term public signing key called the “identity key”.
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Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Individual is solely responsible for any illegal act.