Homeland Security busts child porn ring on Tor network

The US Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it has arrested 14 men who were allegedly operating a child pornography Web site on the anonymous Tor network.

The arrests were the culmination of one of the agency's largest ever online child exploitation investigations -- dubbed "Operation Round Table." The authorities have identified 251 victims who were exploited on the site. The majority of the victims, 243, were male and their ages ranged from 3 to 17; they were identified as being from 39 US states and five foreign countries.

The underground subscription-based Web site was allegedly … Read more

Alleged Silk Road creator indicted on 'kingpin' charges

The alleged operator of the online drug bazaar Silk Road, which was seized last October, has been indicted on four charges.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced Tuesday that Ross Ulbricht, who allegedly went by the moniker "Dread Pirate Roberts," could now face a minimum of 30 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

The charges against Ulbricht include counts of narcotics conspiracy, continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and money laundering conspiracy. The "continuing criminal enterprise" charge, or "kingpin" … Read more

Review: Tor Browser utilizes proxy servers effectively, but lags in performance

Tor Browser is designed to provide an added layer of security when browsing the Internet on your mobile device. Using proxy technology to keep your IP address and location secure, the app taps into the Tor browsing interface that many journalists, hackers, and academics use to protect their privacy online. From our tests, the proxies appear to work well, but the actual browser has issues of its own.

While the browsing experience with Tor did protect privacy and ensure an anonymous browsing experience, the actual Web surfing experience was hurt because of it. The setup time is long, requiring about … Read more

The 404 1,402: Where we explore the Deep Web with Alex Winter (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Only six days to go to fund "Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road."

- Follow Alex Winter on Twitter.

- Head here to watch Downloaded, Alex's documentary about the rise and fall of Napster.

- Check out Alex's last appearance on the show.… Read more

Silk Road is resurrected with a new Dread Pirate Roberts

Buying illegal drugs on the Internet may be making a comeback. It's been a month since the FBI shuttered the online black market Silk Road, but it appears a clone has risen in its stead.

Silk Road 2.0 opened for business on Wednesday, according to dark-Web-focused site All Things Vice. Simultaneously, Twitter user Dread Pirate Roberts, which is allegedly the same moniker as the original Silk Road operator, tweeted the announcement of the new drug marketplace.

"#SilkRoad is back up. Deja vu anyone? #weriseagain," Dread Pirate Roberts tweeted.

#SilkRoad is back up. Deja vu anyone? #weriseagainRead more

Silk Road drug busts multiply, eight new people arrested

Authorities are not stopping with the takedown of Silk Road's alleged owner; they've also started going after supposed drug dealers who used the online black market Web site.

Since alleged owner Ross Ulbricht's indictment last week, eight people in three different countries have been arrested in association with Silk Road. Authorities claim all these people were dealing drugs on the site.

In the US, two people were arrested in Bellevue, Wash., for allegedly dealing cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to hundreds of buyers, according to journalist Brian Krebs. Steven Lloyd Sadler, 40, was allegedly a top seller on … Read more

NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users

Just because the National Security Agency hasn't cracked the anonymizing service Tor doesn't mean that people who use the service are free from surveillance.

The NSA has been able to use ad networks like Google's, and The Onion Router's own entry and exit nodes on the Internet, to follow some Tor users, according to a new report based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by security researcher Bruce Schneier with the Guardian. Tor is primarily funded by the US State Department and the Department of Defense, home of the NSA.

Tor promotes itselfRead more

The 404 1,356: Where we've come to the end of the Silk Road #boyzIImen (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The jig is up: FBI seizes online drug marketplace Silk Road, outs owner in indictment.

- The initial purpose for "#" is now completely dead.

- Post "revenge porn" in California and you may go to jail.

- New trend: People tweeting photos of themselves falling down stairs.… Read more

FBI seizes online drug marketplace Silk Road, outs owner in indictment

After years of surveying the site and even purchasing a number of illegal substances itself, the FBI has finally succeeded in closing the Silk Road, the online drug marketplace by which anonymous users employing the secure Tor browser could purchase and sell drugs with Bitcoin. The site is now replaced with an FBI seizure notice.

Ross Ulbricht, 29, alleged owner and operator of the Silk Road under the infamous online handle "Dread Pirate Roberts," has been indicted in the Southern District of New York after being reportedly arrested in San Francisco. He faces charges of computer hacking conspiracy, … Read more

Tortilla tool makes anonymizer Tor more digestible

LAS VEGAS -- The Onion Router's popularity as a Internet traffic anonymizing network that can be used just about anywhere belies some of its limitations. To combat those, one security researcher at Black Hat 2013 here figured out a way to make Tor more palatable.

And to the consternation of people who hate food names and metaphors, it's called Tortilla (download).

"People couldn't easily anonymize their Internet traffic," Jason Geffner, Tortilla's inventor, told CNET after his presentation. "This opens a whole realm of opportunities for them."

Geffner developed the free, open-source, and … Read more