Developers of the software used to access Tor have disclosed that an attack on the network may have unmasked users for five months.
Tor is an otherwise hard-to-reach part of the internet, and said it believed the recent attack was designed to 'de-anonymise'the net addresses of people operating or visiting hidden sites.
Tor allows people to access sites without being tracked and to publish sites whose contents does not show up in search engines.
Roger Dingledine, one of Tor's co-creators said: "We spent several months trying to extract information from the researchers who were going to give the Black Hat talk, and eventually we did get some hints from them... which is how we started looking for the attacks in the wild.
"They haven't answered our emails lately, so we don't know for sure, but it seems likely that the answer to [whether they were responsible] is yes.
"In fact, we hope they were the ones doing the attacks, since otherwise it means somebody else was."
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