[tor-relays] entry guard interference?

starlight.2015q1 at binnacle.cx starlight.2015q1 at binnacle.cx
Sat Jan 31 05:17:37 UTC 2015

A couple of months ago I hard-configured
two entry nodes that I trust for my own
browsing.  Both are very fast, very
reliable nodes on the opposite side
of the Atlantic.

For about 20 minutes this evening
the 'tor' daemon appears to have lost
connectivity to the both nodes and
I could not browse via Tor.  Quite
a few instances of this message were

   Jan 30 22:59:06 Tor[]:
   Failed to find node for hop 0 of our path.
   Discarding this circuit.

Neither of the configured guards were
restarted during the outage, and they
are located in diverse networks.   The
BGP looking-glass routes are different
except for the first hop, which is
a massive AS aggregation presumably
for a trans-Atlantic cable operated
by AS1299 (Telianet).  I presume that
this "cable" is actually a fully
redundant load-balanced set of cables
and any outage would be measured
in milliseconds, or at most two
or three seconds.

Looking now, I see roughly 200 occurrences
of the above message on Jan 14, 26 and 30.

The reason I hard-coded the guard nodes was
that, after extending the guard lifetime
to 18 months, the guards were changing
fairly often anyway.  This bothered me.

So the slightly paranoid side of my
personality wonders if this is the result
of a determined effort by one of the
various spooky organizations out there
purposefully disrupting Tor connections
with the intent of forcing guard
reassignment, naturally with the idea
that Tor users might end up selecting
guard nodes controlled by same said
spooky organizations.

Thoughts, comments and sharing of 
similar experiences are all welcome.

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