Tor on windows needs to be installed and operated insecurely in user home directory
On Windows platforms, it appears that Tor needs to be installed in a user's home directory. Executable files that need network access should be installed in %PROGRAMFILES%. Why? Files in a user directory are more likely to be infected, malware, etc. On secure unix systems, for example, it is not uncommon for there to be no allowed executables in $HOME.
Can you install into %PROGRAMFILES%?
You can install tor there, yes, but it does not function. The browser, firefox.exe, complains with:
"Tor Browser does not have permission to access the profile. Please adjust your file system permissions and try again."
In https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/17929, the advice given is to re-install Tor and the problem will go away. I'm sorry but every time I remove and re-install Tor I get the above error message.
If I start it like this:
"C:\Program Files\Tor Browser\Browser\firefox.exe" /profile %APPDATA%/tor/profile
If I didn't know better, the contents of "Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Data\Browser\profile.default" need to be in %APPDATA%/tor/profile.
But that's not enough. For some reason firefox wants to create this file:
Curiously, the "Process Monitor" (sysinternals) reports a number of "Buffer Overflow" results for calls to "QueryAllInformationFile" from firefox.exe.
The above "torcc-defaults" file is not created by the installer, it needs to be created manually as follows:
- create "torcc"file in %APPDATA%\tor
- copy content to it from https://github.com/jessfraz/dockerfiles/blob/master/tor-proxy/torrc.default
- copy "torcc" file to "%PROGRAMFILES%\Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Tor"
- rename "torcc" to "torcc-defaults"