Thursday, July 7, 2011

TorJump

REACT! 
Seeing more and more sites disappearing whether because some government took down their DNS records or arrested their owners only made me wonder why don't people use Tor's hidden services for objectionable websites (or even Freenet when possible). And the answer is obvious: they don't use them because most people don't even know about Tor (I'll start capitalizing that correctly from now on. I even started using KiB instead of KB) and very few people are actually willing to install Tor just to visit a website. So how do we make hidden services more accessible to everyone? By making TorJump, a one-click wrapper for Tor of course!

But first of all, what is Tor? Tor is an anonymity network. It allows people to make TCP connections (that's the most common protocol in the Internet, you use it when visiting any page) to any destination IP anonymously, hiding their true IP address from the websites they visit and not allowing their ISP to spy on their connections. So Tor is primarily meant to protect those that access publicly available information, from governments, mostly.

Secondly, what are hidden services? Tor, in an attempt to protect not only those accessing the information but also those that want to provide information, created a protocol to make hidden services (hidden websites in most cases) possible. Anyone, can now host a website (while hiding the server's IP address) that is not visible on the clearnet (the clearnet is the normal World Wide Web) and is only accessible via the Tor network. The hostnames of those sites aren't like what you've got used to. They are composed of 16 random alphanumerical characters (unique for each service/website) and have a .onion suffix. (like this: http://kpvz7ki2v5agwt35.onion which will lead you to the hidden wiki if you access it via Tor). The sum of all those hidden sites is sometimes called the Torland or the Onionland and those that frequent them or run them are sometimes called Torizens.

So, finally, what is TorJump? It's a wrapper for the Tor Browser Bundle. First you set it up to jump to a specific hidden site (like the hidden wiki) and then you share it with anyone you want, to help him/her easily access that hidden site. It will still be a single executable that you can rename and publish on the Internet. When someone runs it, it will start downloading the latest Tor Browser Bundle, extract it to a folder next to the executable and start it up by setting the homepage to the URL you specified when you set TorJump up. Additionally, two more tabs will open every time: the main TorProject page, which explains what is Tor, and a page with the latest news about TorJump.

TorJump can be downloaded from here and the AutoIt3 source code can be found here.

Any feature requests or ideas? Leave a comment. 

5 comments:

  1. Great post and well explained! I have been using tor for what seems like forever. I love it. Anonymity is a beautiful thing.

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  2. I just hope that Tor spreads more. More users and volunteers running nodes means more anonymity for everyone.

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  3. Talking about hidden services, here is an interesting paper : http://www.onion-router.net/Publications/locating-hidden-servers.pdf, just to have in mind. Nice post though Tritonio!

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  4. Tried installing but it sent my anti-virus crazy saying I'm now infected?
    MalSign.Generic.CAO should i remove or allow if it's part of the installation? sorry, i'm new to this!

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  5. Lots of AV products detect AutoIt scripts as malware. Just scan it with a couple of other products and see what they say.

    That been said, TorJump no longer works. :-(

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