MP cyber police’s new headache: Tor Browser, the underworld of internet | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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MP cyber police’s new headache: Tor Browser, the underworld of internet

bhopal Updated: Jul 10, 2016 16:17 IST
Kalyan Das, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
MP Cyber Cell

Tor Browser poses many challenges before the police and investigative agencies due to its unique features. (Representational image )

Do you know that internet has its underworld? It’s known as ‘Tor Browser’.

The cyber police of Madhya Pradesh came to know about this underworld while probing a case of a deadly malware Ransomware. The case was registered with the cyber police in March, 2016.

“We came to know about Tor Browser during the investigation of the Ransomware case. The accused in that case had asked the victim to come to Tor Browser and to log into a website with a given identification number to make the payment so as to free the data encrypted with the Ransomware,” special director general of police, Cyber, Rajendra Kumar told HT.

He said Tor Browser was very dangerous as it poses many challenges before the police and investigative agencies due to its unique features.

“The word Tor Browser is a modified Mozilla Firefox web browser which can be run from removable media and operated on Windows, Mac operating system and LINUX operating system. It is freely available on the internet to be downloaded on mobile phones or computer systems.

“What makes it dangerous is the fact that it enables users to surf the internet, chat or send instant messages with complete anonymity and practically no internet surveillance over it, he said.

“During the investigation of the Ransomware case, we also took utmost care while operating the Tor Browser on a computer system which was completely wrapped with concrete security features,” said Kumar.

The concept of Tor which stands The Onion Router was developed by employees of United States Naval Research Laboratory to provide a secured platform with the aim to protect the communication lines of US intelligence agencies.

“The browser is mainly used by criminals for all illicit activities. As it enables users to surf the internet without any network surveillance or traffic analysis, it makes it almost impossible to trace the IP address of the sender and the receiver of a message for conducting criminal activities. It is mainly used by criminals worldwide to do activities like selling illegal sexual content, selling controlled substances, weapons, stolen credit card numbers, money laundering, exchange of counterfeit currency and many more,” said Kumar.

“Tor Browser is so secretive that it was used by whistle-blower Edward Snowden in June 2013 to send information about PRISM, a surveillance programme conducted by the National Security Agency to Washington Post and The Guardian. It is great boon to the criminals as it hides users’ identities and their online activity from surveillance and traffic analysis by separating identification and routing. It also secures the communication lines by bouncing the messages through a network of relays run by volunteers sitting in different places of the world,” said Kumar.

Cautioning the internet users from downloading the Tor Browser, he said downloading it can give rise to many security problems to their computer systems.

Threat to cyber security

The word Tor Browser is a modified Mozilla Firefox web browser, which can be run from removable media and operated on Windows, Mac operating system and LINUX operating system, says special director general of police (Cyber) Rajendra Kumar

It is freely available on the internet to be downloaded on mobile phones or computer systems

What makes it dangerous is the fact that it enables users to surf the internet, chat or send instant messages with complete anonymity and practically no internet surveillance over it

The concept of Tor, which stands The Onion Router, was developed by employees of United States Naval Research Laboratory to provide a secured platform with the aim to protect the communication lines of US intelligence agencies.