[tor-talk] Node-Tor and a misinformation "paper"

Aymeric Vitte vitteaymeric at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 10:47:13 UTC 2018

I just got aware of this "paper" https://arxiv.org/pdf/1803.05201.pdf

If you seek for "node-Tor" you will find that it is talking about a
"user" or an "owner" of a certain node implementing node-Tor, apparently
a complete idiot, who incidentally is myself (the author of node-Tor in
fact), but the "paper" did not even deem necessary to mention me,
neither to include the links to the project, neither to ask me about
some review/comments, neither to tell me about this "paper"

Quasi everything that is stated in this "paper" regarding node-Tor is
false, even funny

I contacted Filiol & co (note: not new, we are in contact since years)
one year ago to clarify:

- why is my node-Tor node in their bridges list? (partial answer: it
wrongly registered during years in Tonga... but then it should not be
seen as a bridge any longer, it's not a bridge)

and then I noticed (which explains why my node wrongly appears in their
bridges list and why Filiol & co's method to discover bridges looks not
to be 100% correct):

- why other nodes can now extend circuits to node-Tor node while it
failed to register in the authorities? (I had not checked since a long
time and it appeared that my node could not register for some reasons,
and then others should not have extended circuits to it), this one is
problematic, it should not be possible (or at least it was not working
like this before)

This node is used only for the Peersm project, it can only extend
circuits from the websocket OR interface (ie from the browser js OP) and
is forbidden to extend anything from the standard OR port (on purpose,
which does not really impact anything for Tor since it is advertising a
ridiculous bandwidth then unlikely to be chosen and anyway not as
unstable as many Tor nodes, it just answers that it is hibernating in
this case), those limitations can of course be removed for other uses of
node-Tor than Peersm

As wrongly stated in the "paper" it can't act as an exit node because
this basic feature is just not implemented (on purpose), and, wrong
again, it it used with standard browsers, not the Tor browser (via the
ws js OP inside browsers again, as a matter of fact the non ws OR does
not work with the standard Tor Browser OP due to unimplemented directory
https://github.com/Ayms/node-Tor/issues/2#issuecomment-66277377,  using
the Tor browser's specific features is of no use for the Peersm project)

I will not elaborate further, the Tor people know about this node
(because unlike what the "paper" is stating they did question
periodically some aspects and we are in contact since years), quasi
everything is wrong and biased in this "paper" regarding node-Tor which
renders questionable the entire credibility of the whole thing, I will
ask them to remove this part, it is absurd to conclude that the fact
that anyone can add a custom node is insecure, of course anybody
following the protocol and the rules can

node-Tor is not "only fifteen hundred code lines" (how Filiol & co can
think that it is doing all what it does with 1500 lines?) but much more
(16000 which makes 160000 in C/C++), but somewhere light compared to the
Tor code since it is in js (nodejs/browsers), the whole code is not
public/open source but could be should someone fund it (before it's
potentially lost for everybody, see
https://github.com/Ayms/node-Tor/issues/7#issuecomment-399044122 which
is very modest compared to the dev effort, despite of many requests I
have granted only one free license so far to one project)

Bitcoin transactions made simple: https://github.com/Ayms/bitcoin-transactions
Zcash wallets made simple: https://github.com/Ayms/zcash-wallets
Bitcoin wallets made simple: https://github.com/Ayms/bitcoin-wallets
Get the torrent dynamic blocklist: http://peersm.com/getblocklist
Check the 10 M passwords list: http://peersm.com/findmyass
Anti-spies and private torrents, dynamic blocklist: http://torrent-live.org
Peersm : http://www.peersm.com
torrent-live: https://github.com/Ayms/torrent-live
node-Tor : https://www.github.com/Ayms/node-Tor
GitHub : https://www.github.com/Ayms

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