How Falkovideo Safe Mail Net Uses Tor Hidden Services to Distribute Illegal Content and Expose Users to Malware and Identity Theft
Last year, in the heyday of the Silk Road, a startup called TorMail gave users the ability to send encrypted emails using the Tor network, an open-source software that masks an Internet user's identity and location. Only a handful of people have ever known about TorMail, but now one of them has come forward.
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TorMail was a popular service that provided a secure web-based e-mail account and the ability to send and receive encrypted messages through Tor. Its now permanently closed. Several users have taken to Reddit to post excerpts of a document they say will help FBI investigators unlock the encryption keys for TorMails webmail service. The document, titled TorMail screenshot provided by the FBI , says the website was run by a single developer, who goes by the handle of CrazyMonk.
According to the FBI, CrazyMonk used TorMail in early 2014 to send encrypted messages to people involved with the site, including Silk Roads Dread Pirate Roberts. The document suggests that TorMail is still online or at least was just a few weeks ago. In a version provided by user and posted on Reddit on December 6, he says the website went offline within the last week.
Its not clear if the FBI has asked for TorMails help. One user claims he or she did so without success, and that the person then dropped out of the case. The user, who posted the exfiltrated document on Reddit and goes by the handle of SilkRoad.Me, claimed that if you use TorMail, do not delete your account and use a different one.
Safe-mail, which opened for business last September, is not a typical anonymous webmail service. Instead, its a collaboration between a startup and a pro-democracy political organization based in Israel. It allows users to choose any e-mail address for their secure e-mail boxes and will even send verification messages to those addresses.