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Tor Mail was a Tor hidden service that allowed to send and receive email anonymously, to email addresses inside and outside the Tor network.


A message appeared on the Tor Mail main page in early August 2013, saying "Down for Maintenance Sorry, This server is currently offline for maintenance. Please try again in a few hours." As of August 2013, the service is unavailable. The disappearance of Tor Mail has been linked to the arrest on child pornography charges of the alleged operator of Freedom Hosting, which hosted a large number of sites. [1] In September 2013, the FBI admitted in a court filing in Dublin that it had taken down Freedom Hosting. [2]

JavaScript attack

Details emerged of a JavaScript attack called 0day, which was injected into the Tor Browser Bundle based on Firefox 17 if JavaScript was enabled as it was by default. JavaScript was turned off by default in updated versions of Tor Browser Bundle. However, this was used during the takedown, which was exploited to send users' IP addresses and Windows computer names to a server in Virginia. [3] In January 2014 it was confirmed that FBI has access to Tor Mail servers. [4]


Tor Mail provided web mail access with two webmail applications to choose from, one fully functional ajax-based, and one simple client which required no javascript or cookies. The user could also access mail via SMTP, POP3 or IMAP with an email client. The user signed up and accessed Tor Mail via the Tor hidden service and needed to have Tor software installed on a computer to access Tor hidden services. Users were not required to provide any identifying information such as their name or address.

Tor Mail's goal was to provide completely anonymous and private communications to anyone who needed it. [5] The service providers said that they were anonymous and could not be forced to reveal anything about a Tor Mail user. They also said that the service did not cooperate with anyone attempting to identify or censor a Tor Mail user.

Tor Mail's service consisted of several servers, the hidden service, and an incoming and outgoing internet facing mail servers. The site's operators said that the only data stored on the hard drive of those servers was the Exim mail server and the Tor software. "No emails, logs or personal data were stored on those servers, thus it doesn't matter if they are seized or shut down." They claimed to be prepared to quickly replace any relay that was taken offline. The service and SMTP/IMAP/POP3 were on a hidden server completely separate from the relays. The relays did not know the IP address of the hidden service.

See also