TOR Hidden Services

18 Oct 2015 . tech . Comments
#privacy #tor

Tor (The Onion Router) is a free and open-source software used for anonymous communication and internet browsing. It routes traffic through a network of servers, making it difficult to trace the origin of the traffic. One of the most interesting features of Tor is the ability to create hidden services. A Tor hidden service is a web service that its physical location is hidden from the end user. The only difference for the end user is that instead of a url, an onion address is used to reach the service.

A Tor hidden service will secure the physical location of your web service, while it will be accessible only through the Tor network, which will also favor the privacy of your service’s end users. In order to create your own hidden service, you first need to install Tor. Then, you need to setup the path where you want to place your service’s private and public keys, as well as its listening port in the torrc configuration file:

HiddenServiceDir /home/username/hidden-service/
HiddenServicePort 80

Once you have restarted the Tor service, you can find your service’s onion address (public key) in the HiddenServiceDir/hostname file. It’s important to note that if someone gets their hands on your private key, they will be able to steal your service’s identity. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your private key secure. To access your hidden service, simply run a Tor browser, paste the onion address and you’re live! Keep in mind that the first time you access the service, it may take a few minutes to respond since the Tor network needs to map your onion address to your service’s IP address.

While using Tor, you should be mindful of giving away your personal identifiable information, such as your location, name, phone number etc. Additionally, there have been speculations about the NSA decrypting TLS, which may compromise the security of your hidden service. However, the benefits of Tor and its hidden services far outweigh the risks.


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