Security researchers develop anonymous web browsing


Security researchers have developed a new technology allowing people to browse the internet anonymously, but crucially, at the same speeds as exposed browsing.

The researchers based in London and Zurich have succeeded in completely masking information about who is browsing and which sites they are accessing by encrypting the data multiple times in layers so it cannot be tracked by authorities. This 'onion' method has been used in the past by a range of browsers, the best-knwon being Tor, that claim to keep the user anonymous, but also have been open to numerous attacks.

The high-speed masking technology, named Hornet, has the potential to move data around at a speed of 93GBps, making it the fastest known method for anonymous browsing.

Although it works in a similar fashion to Tor, the researchers said it is much faster because the number of users can be limited, lightening the capacity load and therefore ensuring it can be transferred much faster than the more traditional methods.

This in turn will mean it is less likely to be hacked because anyone wishing to intercept data wouldn't have enough time to siphon off the data or work out a hack before it is encrypted again using another server.

Although this sounds like a great option for those wanting to browse the internet anonymously, it is not freely-available yet, nor has it been tested outside of the two universities partaking in the research.

As the Daily Dot's Patrick O'Neill observes: "Peer review is critical to the development of research like this, and Hornet can't be considered even close to fully formed until review comes.

"Still, research that endeavours to rethink the design of anonymity networks can lay the groundwork for the next stages of the technology."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.