Windows Defender Mistakenly Identifies Tor Browser as a Trojan

The latest Microsoft Defender update has a fix included.

Windows Defender Mistakenly Identifies Tor Browser as a Trojan

On September 30th, Microsoft Defender mistakenly removed Tor Browser from some users' computers. This happened because Microsoft Defender thought Tor Browser was a type of harmful software, even though it wasn't. Microsoft has now fixed this mistake in the latest update of Defender (version 1.397.1910.0). So, if you had Tor Browser removed, you can update Microsoft Defender and put Tor Browser back on your computer.

During the release of Tor Browser version 12.5.6, there was a bit of a mix-up with Microsoft Defender. It mistakenly thought that the browser's automatic update was a bad thing, like a trojan horse. This might not be too surprising because some sneaky software uses onion routing to hide what it's up to. Plus, fake versions of the Tor Browser pop up now and then, so it's important to only get it from the official places.

What's interesting is that Microsoft Defender didn't raise any alarms for the 32-bit versions of the Tor Browser. As one of the forum moderators at the Tor Project explained, the tor.exe file in version 12.5.6 was exactly the same as the previous 64-bit version – not a single byte different.

This kind of mix-up isn't new for the Tor Browser; it often gets mistaken for bad stuff by antivirus programs. The Tor Project took its time to sort this out, which some users found frustrating. But it was the right move because the Tor Browser is sometimes connected to not-so-nice things, and hackers have targeted it before. So, when there's any hint of trouble, it's essential to take it seriously.

We can't really blame Microsoft Defender for making a mistake; even the best of us mess up sometimes. But we do hope that Microsoft can make its detection software better in the future. These false alarms could confuse folks who are new to Tor Browser or in a hurry, making them think it's invincible to bad stuff. If you got caught up in this mess, it's a good idea to be patient if it happens again and learn how to make sure your Tor Browser is the real deal. You can also use a tool like VirusTotal to check it for any bad stuff in the future.

Just to repeat, Microsoft Defender's latest update (version 1.397.1910.0) doesn't include Tor Browser. If you want to make sure you have the most recent protection, you can manually update Microsoft Defender. However, it should update on its own in the next 24 hours. Once the update is complete, you can either download Tor Browser again from its official website or bring Tor Browser back from quarantine using your Command Prompt.

Source: Tor Project & deform & HackRead

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