Lately, a number of individuals have been encountering difficulties with the Tor network in terms of connectivity and performance.
It’s not just you who is facing this issue, as others have reported slower loading or even complete failure to load onion and i2p (short for Invisible Internet Project) sites. These issues have affected a significant number of people, making it a widespread problem within the network.
Recently, the Executive Director of the Tor Project, Isabela Dias Fernandes, disclosed that the network has been facing a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks since July 2022, reports Bleepingcomputer.
These attacks have been targeting the Tor network and causing disruptions to its connectivity and performance. The attacks had a significant impact on the network at one point, preventing users from loading pages or accessing onion services at some points.
At present, there is no certainty as to what the goals of these ongoing attacks are or who the threat actor(s) are responsible for perpetrating them. However, in order to address this ongoing issue, the Tor team will continue to make tweaks to Tor’s defenses.
There will be two additional members on the Tor Network team whose focus will be on the development of [.]onion services and the development of the Tor Network itself.
DDoS Attacks Targets TOR
The Tor network was publicly launched in 2003 as a solution to enhance privacy and anonymity while navigating the web. Through a worldwide network of more than 7,000 relays, the network directs the internet traffic to operate.
This ensures that user information is protected and kept confidential. With its vast network of relays, Tor has become a widely-used tool for individuals looking to protect their privacy while using the internet.
Although Tor is widely used for legitimate purposes, it has also been used for illicit purposes. While the Tor network is not alone in being targeted by DDoS attacks, as other anonymous communication networks are also facing similar challenges.
There have also been big attacks on I2P peer-to-peer network for the past three days, and the network has been working hard to mitigate such attacks.
The recent DDoS attacks have ripple effects on other networks, including I2P. For this issue, some I2P users might experience difficulties due to crashes of i2pd routers that occur when the routers encounter OOM errors.
However, despite the adverse effects of this attack, the network is still intact and can be used as it was before. While in comparison to I2PD routers, the Java I2P routers currently handling this situation and the problem more efficiently.
The C++ and Java routers should be updated in the next week with various mitigations against the vulnerabilities. To offer these services for free, the Tor Project relies on donations and support from a variety of sources, including:
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
- Various US governmental agencies
- Various individuals
- Other third-parties
While these efforts are being made, the organization is also asking the community to assist in fundraising through donations to continue developing onion services.
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