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Anonymous, portable browser

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Friday September 22, 2006 )

Torpark, from Hactivismo, is a new portable browser claimed to keep a surfer’s identity private. Based on Mozilla Firefox, it comes as a pre-configured application and requires no installation. It’s small enough (around 28 megabytes) to fit and run on a USB stick.

In regards to its privacy features, Hactivismo states that Torpark changes the IP address sent by the browser every few minutes to one of the many in the Torpark network. An IP address is the unique identifier assigned to all computers that log onto the web or a network.

Data passing from the Torpark users computer to the TOR network is encrypted, so that the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) can’t eavesdrop on their activities. The ISP can only see an encrypted connection to the TOR network.

Torpark is said to leave no evidence in the browser folder or elswhere on the computer of the users’ activities.

It’s a great concept, but like so many useful tools, could be used for destructive and nefarious purposes I guess. Still, it’s an option worth checking into if you’re extremely privacy conscious.

I wonder if ISP’s will start zapping connections that are using the software?

I’m also not clear on how it will operate on sites where cookies are required to function correctly, but I’m assuming the cookie would be placed on Torpark’s network servers instead of the user’s computer and there’d be some connection made between that cookie and the user’s browser session.

Hactivisimo is a group that evolved out of the Cult Of The Dead Cow (cDc). Laugh if you wish at the name, but I remember the cDC struck awe into most hackers and raised the ire of many government agencies some years ago, who labeled the groups as being “black hat” hackers.

I often wondered what happened to them; seems they are still going strong :).

cDc refute the government claims, stating that they were, and continue to be, an international group of hackers, human rights workers, lawyers and artists dedicated to the concepts of privacy and access to information being basic human rights in a high-tech society. They were also well known for exposing security issues in popular software and network systems, sometimes using very in-your-face means of doing so.

They are certainly a bunch of dudes I wouldn’t mess with, so I’ll leave it at that and let you be the judge :)

You can learn more about Torpark and Hactivismo here and the Cult Of The Dead Cow here.



 

 
2 comments for Anonymous, portable browser
  1. Great,

    is it up in a Linux format ?

    http://www.badgerlinux.net

    Comment by Kirk Badger — September 26, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  2. Hi Kirk, there’s a discussion about running Torpark on Linux here:

    http://torpark.nfshost.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=607

    Comment by Michael Bloch — September 27, 2006 @ 5:05 am

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