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Running Tor under a Windows 10 VM

Posted on 2016-04-23
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Last Modified: 2016-04-26
Read an article regarding recommendation on using Tor and found in that Windows is not recommended for Tor.  Within the article it is recommended to use Whonix not Windows.

Pixhttp://www.hongkiat.com/blog/do-donts-tor-network/

In the article it says "That is why you shouldn’t be browsing websites through Tor on Windows systems".

If we install Whonix in one of our Windows 10 Hyper-v VM, and run Tor from there, not from Windows, will it still not the best choice?
(We understand since it's still under the W10 then it's the same recommendation of the article but we wanted EE insight)
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Question by:rayluvs
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12 Comments
 
LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41563342
If we install Whonix in one of our Windows 10 Hyper-v VM, and run Tor from there, not from Windows

The way you describe, "Whonix" is still running in Windows and then, depending on how you isolate (or do not isolate) the VM, security may still be an issue.

Windows 10 is very secure. Even parts of EMET have been included. So the proposition that Windows should not be used is at once older than me (and I am nearly dead of old age) and flawed.

Make sure what you are trying to use needs to be used.

Whonix is supposed to be an anonymous operating system. Unless it is completely disconnected, there is no such thing.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41564424
We thought maybe the actual VM running Whonix would somehow encrypt the data so when it's being pass to the Windows 10 host PC, it's somewhat secure. (we are just assuming something like, not an expert on the subject).

What do you think? You think that the data passe from VM (whonix) to the HOST (w10) is exposed?
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LVL 98

Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 2000 total points
ID: 41564435
If you wish to run the Torrent application and are concerned about Windows, load WHONIX as a Virtual Machine and use that.

You think that the data passed from VM (whonix) to the HOST (w10) is exposed?

It depends. If the VM is in bridged mode, then traffic is external to the host (passing via the router). This is no more (or less) exposed than any other traffic.  If the VM is in NAT mode, then the traffic between host and guest stays inside the host machine.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41564458
Yes, that is what we want to do; use Tor.

We were going to installed Tor right off the bat to our windows 10 computer until we came upon the link we place in the beginning; thus, the reason we place the question.

Question:
If the article we placed correct, that there are privacy issues even if we use Tor within the windows platform?
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41564464
Properly secured, Windows should be as secure as WHONIX and not compromise your privacy. By "properly secured" I mean fully updated.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41564691
Yes, understood and make sense, but why would the article implies that with Windows 10 Tor would be affected as to privacy?

If w10 if fully updated, why would it be at risk still using Tor?

You said iun ID: 41564435, If the VM is in bridged mode, it's similar as to using Internet Explore within Windows.  However, in NAT mode, the traffic between host and guest stays inside the host machine.  What did u mean by this?
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LVL 98

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 2000 total points
ID: 41564709
You said "You think that the data passed from VM (whonix) to the HOST (w10) is exposed?"  For Local data (files and so on), data between guest and host does not go outside for NAT.

For Internet, ALL data goes outside the host.

Windows 10 fully updated is the most secure Windows ever, so I do not see you would be at a big risk.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41564812
Ok, to understand, if we install whonix on a VM, then install TOR in it, the communication between TOR and the internet, would it be at risk still using Tor?
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41564826
Virtual Machines do not add to or mitigate risks. Running TOR inside WHONIX has the very same risks (however small) within a Virtual Machine as on a physical host machine.
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Author Comment

by:rayluvs
ID: 41565103
Ok, understood; running TOR in the host or in a VM is the same.  That said, what is your recommendation to install TOR, in VM or HOST?
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41565265
It does matter in terms of security, just your needs. You can do it either way. The outcome is the same.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41565825
@rayluvs - Thanks and I was happy to help.
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