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Tor Launches WebTunnel Bridges To Evade Censorship

by Abeerah Hashim
Tor launched WebTunnel bridges that mimic regular traffic

Moving on with its aim to promote a personalized and private internet experience sans censorship, tor has announced another major step. Specifically, Tor has now launched WebTunnel bridges to facilitate users in repressive regions by mimicking HTTPS.

New WebTunnel Tor Bridges Bypass Censorship By Mimicking Regular Traffic

As explained in a recent post, Tor has now rolled out the new WebTunnel bridges with its stable release, helping users worldwide.

Tor has long faced restrictions in several countries as it allows access to the dark web, which is prohibited in many regions. A key technique authorities employ to detect Tor usage is the peculiar internet traffic it generates. The layers of encryption Tor applies to protect users’ data make the traffic appear heavily obfuscated, which, in turn, alerts the authorities.

However, with WebTunnel, The Onion Router project aims to help users stay hidden in plain sight. The new WebTunnel bridges mimic HTTPS traffic, similar to the HTTPT proxy. Describing how it works, Tor explains,

WebTunnel is a censorship-resistant pluggable transport designed to mimic encrypted web traffic (HTTPS) inspired by HTTPT. It works by wrapping the payload connection into a WebSocket-like HTTPS connection, appearing to network observers as an ordinary HTTPS (WebSocket) connection.

Tor ensures the similarity with HTTPS traffic to the extent that it can coexist with a website on the same network endpoint. This way, a standard traffic reverse proxy can forward both the standard traffic and the WebTunnel to the respective app servers. Consequently, the existence of a secret WebTunnel bridge remains veiled.

WebTunnel isn’t Tor’s first move to hide users’ traffic. It already offers obfsproxy bridges that apply heavy obfuscation with stealth measures to protect users’ data without being detected. However, since repressive regimes like China’s Great Firewall largely oppose encryption, they can detect and block encrypted data. At this point, WebTunnel’s approach to mimicking standard traffic increases the probability of remaining undetected even in these regions.

Currently, users can only get the WebTunnel bridges from Tor’s official website. However, the project plans to provide these bridges through other means, such as Telegram, in the future.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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1 comment

jose March 25, 2024 - 8:41 pm

buenas aplicaciones cuando asiste la censura en la ret

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