Feb 20, 2018

Has the NSA broken Tor, I2P and VPN's?

Many folks, including myself, use privacy tools to protect our anonymyity online. For me, I like to use a VPN service, while others use Tor or I2P.

Now, we've recently written about how the FBI has troubles breaking encryption, but apparently the NSA has had some success. Back in 2013, we reported that the NSA hadn't broken Tor yet... That may have changed. In fact, not only may have broken Tor, it looks like they've had success breaking I2P and private VPN's as well!

Via Bitcoin News:

A photograph posted on imageboard 4chan appears to show a leaked 21 August 2017 memorandum from the US Army Cyber Protection Brigade. The document alludes to the US Army teaming with the National Security Administration (NSA) in ongoing successful investigations against “Tor, I2P, and VPN,” with a request for additional funding for further projects against cryptocurrencies. 
“The success we have had with Tor, I2P, and VPN,” begins a reportedly leaked picture of a memorandum on imageboard 4chan, complete with Department of Defense letterhead, appearing to be from the United States Army’s Cyber Protection Brigade “cannot be replicated with those currencies that do not rely on nodes. There is a growing trend in the employment of Stealth address and ring signatures that will require additional R&D.” 
It has been long assumed government military and law enforcement infiltrated and compromised aspects of The Onion Router (Tor), Invisible Internet Project (I2P), Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and other ways of masking online activity, but confirmations were hard to come by.
As you can see above, they apparently have been able to crack privacy services, and they are now actively trying to crack privacy cryptocurrencies like Monero as well. Here is a screenshot of the memo:

The authenticity of the note has not been confirmed or necessarily denied at this point. If it is true, one thing this memo does not discuss is how exactly the NSA has had success breaking Tor, I2P and VPN. Have they actually been able to break the cryptography, or somehow circumvent it using some other exploits? I mean, in 2013 Tor learned that the NSA was using an exploit in Firefox to snoop on Tor traffic, but they hadn't actually broken the encryption.

Has that changed? The answer to this question may never be truly known.

What do you think about this? Does it make you worried a little? Do you think the document is legit? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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