Mozilla Wants to Know How the FBI Hacked Tor
Gareth Andrews / 5 years ago
After it was revealed that the FBI had managed to take control of a site hosting illegal material, people were quickly asking how they had managed to use it identify a person amongst the thousands of users connecting to the site. Now it would seem that Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, wants to know more about the hack that let the FBI do the tracking and installation of malware remotely.
The reason Mozilla is interested in this case is because the flaw that let the FBI perform this operation was found in the Tor browser, a piece of software used to browse the web in secret. The Tor browser is actually based on Firefox’s source code, so a security flaw in one tends to mean that the other is also open to the same tricks.
The security flaw allowed the FBI to install malware into users systems, which they then used to help track down the physical locations of people from their site interactions. Mozilla wants to get the code and an idea of how the security flaw worked so they can patch it before it gets revealed, with a Judge demanding that the FBI hand over their code to the defendants lawyers to prove that it could actually identify people.
Alongside the fact that the warrant the FBI used didn’t have permission to infect someone’s computer two states over, now having to reveal their bag of tricks so that it could be fixed will mean that if the FBI wants to keep using these techniques, they’ll have to work with organisations or find new ways to get through to users.