Most people were introduced to Tor when news broke of Bitcoin and criminals using the 'darknet' to circumvent authorities tracking them online. Now, the privacy-focused product wants to help everyday homeowners protect their smart home devices from hackers.
The non-profit Guardian Project, which helps run Tor Project's anonymity network, announced its plans to apply the layers of encryption it uses for Tor to everyday smart home devices like lights, locks, and thermostats. Wired's Andy Greenberg explains.
Here’s how it works: the Guardian Project turned a simple Raspberry Pi mini-computer into a smart hub running the open-source software called HomeAssistant software and acts as a so-called Tor hidden service, the same application of Tor that obscures the location of servers running dark web sites. The result, says Guardian Project director Nathan Freitas, is a far stealthier and more secure way to connect your smart home to the Internet, while still keeping it safe from potential digital attacks. “All we did was pull these pieces together to demonstrate a proof-of-concept for the role Tor can play in your home,” says Freitas, who’s also a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. “It’s turning your Internet-of-things hub into a hidden service.”