The computer security wonks and human rights advocates at Hacktivismo today released Torpark, a portable tool to keep web users' identities private. Think of it as anonymity on a stick. A privacy-pop! Snip from launch announcement:
[The] anonymous, fully portable Web browser [is] based on Mozilla Firefox. Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer. Torpark is a highly modified variant of Portable Firefox, that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network to anonymize the connection between the user and the website that is being visited.
"We live in a time where acquisition technologies are cherry picking and collating every aspect of our online lives," said Hacktivismo founder Oxblood Ruffin. "Torpark continues Hacktivismo's commitment to expanding privacy rights on the Internet. And the best thing is, it's free. No one should have to pay for basic human rights, especially the right of privacy."
Torpark is being released under the GNU General Public License and is dedicated to the Panchen Lama*.
Reader comment: Amos says,
It might be worth reminding people that your identity and information when using tools like this is only as secure as the computer you are running it from. While suspect the Torpark folks did a very good job of ensuring that it won't *leave* any information on the system it's plugged into, there is nothing they can do to keep a keyboard logger (trojan or otherwise) from logging everything you type or, as we've seen recently, logging everything you see and everything your mouse clicks too.
Booting from a "Live CD" such as Ubuntu's avoids the whole malicious logging software issue, but info could possibly(?) still be written to swap disk and there could be a hardware key logger and/or video recorder capturing everything. Anyway, no security is absolute and using Torpark is certainly better than not using it. Just don't forget to make a judgement call about the environment you're running it in too – including the space around you.
I have known about torpark nearly a year now and have been using it
frequently for about 4 months. It is most certainly not new, and I
should also direct you to a new related project, i can't remember the
name now (aargh) which is the same thing but with thunderbird, possibly
they called it torbird (?)
Oxblood Ruffin sez,
Torpark and Torbird are both services that run on the TOR network. The former is for browsing and the latter is for email. They're derived from Firefox and Thunderbird respectively, and by the same developer.
Also these tools are not brand spanking new and have been floating around the haxor world for a while. However, the improvements and added stability were deemed worthy of a more mainstream release, so we took it to the people, yÃ˜.
The Torpark site seems to be down atm, but here are the direct links to the files on the evilshare download site that Torpark links to off their page:
The Torpark is just for Windows machines (for nw). Vidalia is for Macs & Windows and there is a Linux/Unix package as well: Link.