Tor Says FBI Paid University Students to Launch Attack
Claims $1 Million Was Exchanged for Concerted Effort
The FBI, an anonymity network is claiming, paid university students to launch a cyber attack with a goal to obtain names of users.
Tor, a site known for engaging in questionable actions, stated in a post it had learned students at Carnegie Mellon university were paid to attack hidden services users in a broad sweep, and then sift through their data to find people whom they could accuse of crimes. The site reported $1 million was paid to the students.
“There is no indication yet that they had a warrant or any institutional oversight by Carnegie Mellon’s Institutional Review Board. We think it’s unlikely they could have gotten a valid warrant for CMU’s attack as conducted, since it was not narrowly tailored to target criminals or criminal activity, but instead appears to have indiscriminately targeted many users at once,” the post states.
While there seems to be no concrete proof Tor’s claim is true, it’s not impossible.
Prof. Alan Woodward told the BBC partnerships between the FBI and university students are not as far fetched as many may believe.
“Universities work with law enforcement agencies all the time,” the computer science expert from the University of Surrey told the BBC. “Were they paid $1 million? I can’t say but law enforcement agencies do sponsor research into ways to track criminals so it is not that surprising.”
Carnegie Mellon has not stepped forward to deny or confirm it is the facility mentioned in court filings, The Washington Times reported, but the attack on Tor is similar to one researchers from the university were scheduled to present at a hacking conference this summer. That presentation was cut from the program of the conference at the last minute.