[tor-relays] Running tor in VPS - keep away snooping eyes

s7r s7r at sky-ip.org
Wed Jul 2 15:46:39 UTC 2014

Hash: SHA1

On 7/2/2014 2:46 PM, Kali Tor wrote:
> Hi,
>> If you are asking how to secure  your box better, indeed the
>> public IP address list of relays is often scanned and brute
>> forced. That is why I recommend:
>> - - if you run only Tor on that box is best, if not make sure
>> your apps are properly secured (mysql not listening on public IP
>> if it's not a remote mysql server, strong passwords for mysql,
>> ftp, etc.). - - make sure only ports used by Tor are open. There
>> is no need for anything else. - - if you use ssh for
>> administration that is fine, just change the port from 22 in
>> /etc/ssh/sshd_config to some custom port, anything, like 2988 or
>> whatever. - - permanently disabled plain password authentication
>> or rhost authentication in sshd_config and only allow key-based
>> authentication for better security and protection against weak
>> password probing. - - do not allow any other users for SSH
>> access.
>> Let me know if you have any other questions.
> I have done all that, so covered on that aspect. Was wondering if
> disk encryption and use of something like TRESOR would be useful?
> -kali- _______________________________________________ tor-relays
> mailing list tor-relays at lists.torproject.org 
> https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tor-relays

Full disk encryption on a Tor relay, if it's just a Tor relay it's
overkill. It will just increase the HDD I/O rate and resource

Also, most important, if you use full disk encryption and your vm gets
somehow rebooted (migrated to another cluster by your provider, update
to the host OS or hardware, etc.) and you are not around to enter the
passphrase for full disk encryption your operating system will not
boot and cause you long downtime, until you are available to manually
enter the passphrase. this can cause you to lose flags in the
consensus, because of extended downtime.

Important to say that Tor does not have any files which need to
encrypted. Tor, by design protects each relay by not knowing both the
original source and the final destination of the traffic. It just has
some cache of the consensus data, which anyone can publicly get from
the Tor network without needing to break your box or hack your full
disk encryption.

Only things which are secret are your onion keys, which give your
relay's fingerprint. Make sure you back those up, in case you need to
re-install this relay.

If you use that vm for something else too and you have some sensitive
data there, it is always a good idea to encrypt everything... but in
your scenario full disk encryption will not help since you are exposed
to physical attacks (e.g. someone caching your files while your
virtual machine is RUNNING, making full disk encryption useless).

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