Tor, an Internet privacy protection tool, has revealed a network hack incident that may have compromised the anonymity element for users.

Tor has championed itself as a tool for users who want to protect their identity online by routing traffic through a number of nodes around the globe.

"While we don't know when they started doing the attack, users who operated or accessed hidden services from early February through July 4 should assume they were affected," Tor said in a blog entry.

The goal of Tor is to maintain anonymity of its users, but the recent attack appears to show that even those seeking to avoid surveillance may not be so lucky.

Tor said in its blog post that researchers at Carnegie Mellon University were able to develop software that revealed the identity of its plethora of users.

The company stated in the post that it is unclear how much information the hackers gained access to during the breach.

In response, Tor has called on users to upgrade to the latest software available, which it said addresses the vulnerability and should repel attackers, but added the company may no longer be able to guarantee the anonymity of its users going forward.

"Remember that preventing traffic confirmation in general remains an open research problem," the blog said.

In June, Tech Times reported regulators are urging companies to do more to ensure online security after a string of attacks increased worries among general users that their privacy and security was at risk.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, delivering remarks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., in June, says companies must come up with better ways to handle cyber risk management, starting with the private sector recognizing how easily cyber threats cross national and corporate boundaries.

"The challenge is that this private sector-led effort must be more dynamic than traditional regulation and more measurably effective than blindly trusting the market or voluntary best practices to defend our country. The new paradigm for the communications sector must be real and meaningful. It has to work," Wheeler says.

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