Tor Google Summer of Code - Torbutton Testing

Tor and EFF are once again taking part in Google's Summer of Code (GSOC). See The Tor Project is in Google Summer of Code 2008! post or Work on Tor this summer, get paid by Google.

The volunteer projects page has some great ideas. And the deadline is rapidly approaching (March 31, 2008 at 5pm Pacific Time).

I've always been fascinated by client-side attacks that use the web-browser as a launching pad. Although the networking aspect of anonymity is interesting (and critically important!), the application level attacks seem more practical from a high-level point of view. There is an extremely low barrier entry for an adversary to configure a Tor exit node and start injecting malicious traffic.

Currently, Torbutton is the preferred Firefox plugin for enabling and disabling the use of Tor from within the browser. There has been a large amount of work going into improving the anonymity profile for Firefox users. Ideally, an adversary should not be able to unmask a user by profiling browser attributes or forcing plugins to make direct network connections.

To this end, I've set up a Torbutton testing page that lists several possible attacks. Many of these are fixed in the latest development version of Torbutton. Unfortunately, some require changes in the Firefox browser to achieve the more complete anonymity that many users desire.

Note: this is primarily a resource for developers or researchers.

So, if you are a student who enjoys Firefox, JavaScript and plugin hacking, the "Testing integration of Tor with web browsers for our end users" topic many be a good project to look at. There is still a large amount of research to be done, especially focused on the soon to be released Firefox 3 web-browser.

Posted by gfleischer on 2008/03/25 at 21:57 in Tor


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