How To Overcome Tor Computer Science Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Physically locating the user is implemented by many companies. Many sites are eager to physically locate the user for many purposes. Marketing is their main concern where as redirecting them to the nearby sites for the fast access of their site. This is also intended in decreasing the losses due to credit card frauds, spam filtering, and distribution of digital content.

Now-a-days many users use the proxy networks to access websites by which extraction of IP address is misleaded. One such most common used proxy network is "The Onion Routing (TOR)". In this paper I would like to discuss how TOR network is used by users to conceal their IP address, even I would like to discuss about Java technique used to overcome TOR network and its limitations.


The Onion Routing technology hides the information regarding the user's location from the sites they visit. It also prevents third party from monitoring the user's network activities. TOR operates on the applications which are based on the TCP protocol such as web browsers, chat messengers and remote login software's. TOR provides the anonymity of the user and the network activities going on his computer.

TOR operates on bouncing communications around a distributed network of relays. It encrypts all the data going through across network and thus providing the user both anonymity and safety.

Geo locating a user is done by extracting the IP address of the user. There are many companies like AKAMAI, MAXMIND etc who maintain the database which can map user physically using IP address. So extracting the IP address efficiently is the main problem here. There are many techniques which have been implemented for finding the IP address. These technologies are efficient for marketing and redirecting the servers, as no one suffers though they find the wrong IP address. But coming to the dealing with credit card frauds, list of digital content the extraction technique should be 100% accurate as one mistake can mislead the case. So the main problem now is to find the exact IP address rather than finding a proxy IP address used by the users.

First I would like to discuss how users use proxy IP address using TOR (open source software).TOR is a second generation onion router .Onion routing is a mechanism where a message is sent through several routers to decrypt it. In this the message is repeatedly encrypted with a key for every encryption then is sent in the public network. The message is decrypted in each onion route by using the same key following the decryption instructions and sent to the next onion route. Finally the message is sent to the destination safely. This is used for hiding the communication in an open computer network. Even TOR uses the same multi-layer cryptography. It creates a proxy server on the users system and creates a virtual circuit with many nodes. Using TOR, users can hide their IP address or proxy their IP address. The two most common methods used by users using tor are configuring the browser to the proxy local host using SOCKS v5. The browser will be set to local host: 9050.The page requested and TCP traffic generated by the browser is sent to 9050 port and is passed through tor. By this method the IP address of the user cannot be found. Web browser can find the Tor exit node from where the request is received but not the user's IP address.

The second method is using privoxy between Tor and user's browser. A privoxy is used between the browser and Tor SOCKS interface. Privoxy has the capability to identify HTTP headers and filter them. It is also considered as a web proxy. Using second method the users can hide their IP address or generate proxy more efficiently.

TOR client is server software which provides anonymity to the server in the form of hidden location services. In order to access these hidden services, a TOR client server is necessary. These hidden services are accessed by TOR specific top level domain and then this TLD is understood by TOR network. Then TOR manages to routes data anonymously both to and from the hidden services. TOR does not protect the data outside its network boundary.

TOR fails in preventing traffic confirmation but it provides protection against traffic analysis.

Tor anonymizes the origin of the traffic, and it encrypts everything between the user and the Tor network and everything inside the Tor network, but it can't encrypt the traffic between the Tor network and its final destination. If the communication is the sensitive information, it is advisable to use as much care as we would on the normal scary Internet and use HTTPS or other end-to-end encryption and authentication.

Now I would like to discuss how we can overcome Tor, using both methods though user can hide data from the connection server but has to download the page to access it. As the application is downloaded in the users system, the user's IP address can be extracted at that time and can be sent to web server. This can be done embedding a small java applet int the web page.

Int tcp_port = 80;

Socket s= new Socket (getCodeBase (), getHost (), tcp_port);

The above Java applet embedded in the web page is downloaded on user's system and runs at the background and the IP address is extracted and a message is sent back to the web server without the user's knowledge. This applet can run on basic java enabled machine.

By using this technique the efficiency of finding the correct IP address of the user is more but the main drawback of this mechanism is this does not run if java is disabled on the browser. The web servers can also run a pre-check before the webpage is downloaded or can send a message that java is disabled in the browser and has to be enabled to access their website. This can work with security issued sites like the sites which deal with credit card information's, banking etc. As Tor does not control the traffic flow in its network, this mechanism can work properly. As our main aim is to decrease the losses due to credit card frauds and secured logins the above limitations can be applied.