On February 25th the TOR project released the fourth version of their anonymizing browser, which allows users to browse the internet without anyone knowing their location or what they are browsing. TOR, otherwise known as The Onion Router, functions by navigating internet traffic through a multitude of worldwide relays thus rendering a user anonymous to network surveillance and traffic analysis. This service is completly free of charge.
However, much to the annoyance of some users, both AVG and Panda antivirus are flagging this latest version of the browser as malware. The nature of this mistake is likely merely a false positive on behalf of the two antivirus programs, however, until AVG and Panda antivirus rectify this mistake, these antivirus programs will continue to prevent users from installing the program. However, a user can turn off the anti-virus and install the program normally, and afterwards both TOR and the antivirus programs should work without a problem. Microsoft Security Essentials did not find a problem with this latest version of the TOR browser.
This problem was first posted to TOR’s own blog, in the comment section of the post announcing the release.
In my opinion, though this error is merely a false positive on part of the antivirus software, it is truly unfortunate that this is the case. As a browser, TOR has yet to reach the popularity that some other browsers have obtained. Instead, it suffers slightly from the ill repute often received by tools that can access the deep web. That this latest iteration of TOR will be picked up as malware on so many computers potentially does much to harm the reputation of what is a necessary and important tool.
What do you think of Tor? Do you think its merely a false positive? Tell us in the comments below!