Social Media Forensics Expert Witness:
Anonymous Facebook Usage

 Cyber Forensics / Computer Security Expert Articles

Facebook has become a veritable giant in the world of social media. Although they have not been quite as successful with their recent IPO as originally planned, they still raked in over $3 billion in revenue this past year, not bad for a website. Now they are taking their service one step further in an unprecedented move to an anonymous social media

Social Media Forensics Expert - Facebook Confession Comic

Social Media Forensics Expert: The Confession

For those unfamiliar with how anonymous web surfing works,it is basically a way to hide your location on the internet with a series of relays across the world that allow you to be all but invisible online. It is not hard to do, the Tor Project is one of the most commonly used (and user friendly) anonymous web surfing applications. Its core program known as Vidalia (that name will make sense in a minute) works with relays setup by individuals across the world. If you connect to the Tor network, your internet traffic is routed through four or five different locations (the majority of which are operated by regular Joe’s) before it actually reaches its destination. If we were to use it in Phoenix Arizona, it is not unusual to end up with a “spoofed” location in Europe or Asia. To try and track a person through the Tor network is almost impossible. You have to hack your way through four or five different computers, networks, and firewalls, before you reach your target, at which point they are probably gone or are using a different circuit. It is these layers (get the Vidalia Onion reference?) allow for a person to use the internet without being tracked down.

Facebook has now implemented a new private address for users of the Tor network: https://facebookcorewwwi.onion (you must be part of the TOR network first) which allows users to tap directly into the Facebook servers under a very strong cloak of digital security, allowing people in countries which may have banned Facebook to access content securely. Why? There are several countries in the world which curb internet usage, China is one of the more publicized of these, where things you may search here willy nilly, will never show up inside China. Facebook is one of these websites which is highly censored by the Chinese government.

So far usage of the new secure Facebook has been rather low, but with time it will continue to grow and have a larger following. To see it for yourself, visit https://www.torproject.org/ and download the Vidalia software. Please note, if you are unaware of how to use this software you should contact an IT professional to help you, also be aware the use of this software is in violation of some companies “Acceptable Use of Technology Documentation.”

Our Social Media Forensics team at Evidence Solutions do not expect most Facebook users to employ Vidalia. However, those that do will be more difficult to track down.

By Sean Greene

Evidence Solutions, Inc.

Complex Electronic Evidence in PLAIN English.

Call us today with your Digital Evidence Questions: 866-795-7166 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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