[tor-talk] What are use cases made unpleasant by Tor's speed?

Mirimir mirimir at riseup.net
Tue Jul 29 10:38:00 UTC 2014

On 07/28/2014 06:37 PM, Virgil Griffith wrote:
> Mirimir, I understand you're saying faster HS-HS connections would be
> jolly.  But I didnt understand exactly why.  This is to allow coordination
> between hidden services?  I get that coordination between HSs is cool, but
> no immediate application comes to mind.  Can you disabuse me of my
> ignorance/dearth-of-creativity?

One use case would defend against Biryukov et al. (2013) Trawling for
Tor Hidden Services. For example, the public hidden service for a
discussion forum would be a dumb front end, running in Tor-ramdisk. Peer
address and authentication, user authentication, content and so on would
be in other hidden services, with encrypted descriptors.

While the front end might be localized, nothing would be compromised or
lost. Back end hidden services could be protected by disposable reverse
proxies, which would evaporate if the front end were compromised. In
recovery, the hardest part would be advertising the new address.

Indeed, the public hidden service could be a "smart" load-balancing
proxy, which could detect and foil DDoS and traffic-correlation attacks.
For example, client conversations could be transferred to, and switched
among, multiple synchronized (even clustered) front ends.

Another use case would be collaborative darknets comprising numerous
linked yet anonymous hidden services. Using OnionCat or OpenVPN via Tor
circuits, they would behave just like normal IPv4/IPv6 networks.

> And just to be clear, Andrea's followup suggestion addresses the special
> case of cooridination among HSs in which each HS is under your control?

No, it doesn't. Even though there might be many hidden services under my
control, they would all be carefully anonymized, from me and from each
other. They would be associated only by the links among them. And so
it's important for those links to be as anonymous as possible.

> -V
> On Sunday, July 27, 2014, Mirimir <mirimir at riseup.net> wrote:
>> On 07/27/2014 09:24 AM, Virgil Griffith wrote:
>> <SNIP>
>>> Any others that come to mind from anyone?
>> I'm very intrigued by possibilities of multiple hidden services with
>> fast HS-HS links via Tor. One use case would be the standard
>> front-end/back-end website design. Another would be "smart"
>> load-balancing proxies, which could detect and foil attacks such as
>> DDoS, localization, and so on. Another would be full anonet-style
>> darknets, using OnionCat or OpenVPN via Tor.
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