Tor is excellent at doing what the software is designed to do. The public has no alternative that provides the level of anonymity that Tor presents. However, with many of the recent threats to the network’s security, researchers are working on a next generation Tor that can withstand the attacks of the future.
According to Ars Technica, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) conducted an analysis in 2013 concluding that “80 percent of all types of users may be de-anonymised by a relatively moderate Tor-relay adversary within six months.” For those of you who do not remember, Tor was developed by the NRL and continues to be funded by the US government.
The lead author behind the 2013 analysis, Aaron Johnson of the NRL, does not hold this potential de-anonymisation against Tor. Instead, he references that it was never designed to be completely impenetrable to the most powerful opposition. “It may be that people’s threat models have changed, and it’s no longer appropriate for what they might have used it for years ago, Tor hasn’t changed, it’s the world that’s changed.”
Nick Mathewson, the co-founder of Tor explains that “Tor-relay adversaries” are not currently the greatest threat to the