[tor-dev] Memorable onion addresses (was Discussion on the crypto migration plan of the identity keys of Hidden Services)

Ian Goldberg iang at cs.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Jun 19 12:13:12 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 09:56:21PM +0200, Lunar wrote:
> Matthew Finkel:
> > Some months ago, the petname system interested me enough that I started
> > to write a proposal for it. At this point, it's wound up in bitrot.
> > Though I'd spent a bit of time working on it, there was no comprehensive
> > way to accomplish it. One thing to remember about petnames is that they
> > are *user defined*. […]
> >
> > The problem I ran into with this scheme is where the mappings should be
> > stored - who is in control of this? In short, is this a mapping that Tor
> > persistently stores or is it a client application that handles this. AND
> > if it is a client application, that becomes a usabibility nightmare
> > because if Tor Browser has an interface for it, then that's great but
> > what if I'm using irssi and lynx on a headless system? If Tor maintains
> > this database, then for the petname to perform as expected, every
> > application would need to support a minimal Controller and have the
> > ability to resolve the name mappings (and possibly append to them,
> > also).
> What looks like a possible way to solve the problem you describe:
> The address book would be stored by the Tor daemon, in a persistent
> manner.
> A new host extension would be introduced so that when an
> application tries to connect to `torproject.myonions` through Tor, it
> will connect to the hidden service that holds the name `torproject` in
> the local address book.
> Editing the local address book would be done through commands sent
> through Tor control port. The Tor Browser could gain a new
> `about:myonions` page for GUI editing. Editing capacities could also be
> added to Arm for headless system. And we could even make the address
> book file human editable to have `vi` as a fallback.
> (I don't really like `myonions` but I'm sure someone will come with
> something better.)
> Usability wise, I wonder if we could implement some kind of web links
> that could quickly add a new name in the local address book (after user
> confirmation).

I'd be a bit worried that we'd have a similar problem to the erstwhile
".exit" suffix: any website could include a link to "foo.myonions"; this
may be able to be used to probe whether the user has a "foo" entry in
her address book.

   - Ian

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