Opened 5 years ago

Last modified 3 years ago

#17990 new defect

torrc default config ORPort should be changed to 443 from 9001

Reported by: tomnux Owned by:
Priority: Medium Milestone: Tor: unspecified
Component: Core Tor/Tor Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: needs-design tor-relay maybe-bad-idea
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


Right now if some one is setting up a relay in a hurry they will just uncomment some lines.

Therefore we are seeing more and more new relays using the default ORPort 9001 when they could be using 443. The relays are usually just a dedicated box for tor.

The ISP doesn't even need deep packet inspection to know a person is using tor, when the user uses port 9001 to connect to tor.

By changing the default config to 443, more relays will use this, which will in effect increase the privacy.

Child Tickets

Change History (8)

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by teor

Milestone: Tor: unspecifiedTor: 0.2.8.x-final
Version: Tor: unspecified

Some general comments:

Any ISP that wants to know if someone is using tor can check if they connect to IP addresses on publicly available lists of tor relays. Changing the port doesn't help with that.

Many relays already run on 443, and users can set FascistFirewall if they only want to use them. But we don't recommend this as a way to achieve privacy. Instead, users who are concerned about their privacy can use bridges and pluggable transports to hide that they are using tor altogether.

Diversity is good for the tor network, because it helps us work around simplistic censorship rules, like "block 443" or "block 9001". I'm not convinced that changing the default config (or the defaults in the tor codebase) is the best way to achieve diversity. Instead, asking relay operators to switch ORPorts could be more helpful.

Operators really should not set up relays in a hurry. High-bandwidth relays typically aren't set up in a hurry, it takes time, effort, and money to operate a relay.

comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by tomnux

1889 nodes are advertising ORPort 443.
3646 nodes are advertising ORPort 9001.

So obviously the default config works. It seems that most relay operators prefer to leave the defaults that are suggested.

What I am talking about is the very simplistic form of traffic fingerprinting. When unusual ports are used they are more likely to be flagged in the logs. In general, there is higher probability that ports other than 80 and 443 are throttled or blocked.

Yet we are recommending port 9001 in the default config?

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by yawning

No. The default port should not be a privileged port or something commonly used for other existing services, and 443 is both.

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by nickm

Milestone: Tor: 0.2.8.x-finalTor: 0.2.???

It is impossible that we will fix all 277 currently open 028 tickets before 028 releases. Time to move some out. This is my first pass through the "new" and "reopened" tickets, looking for things to move to ???.

comment:5 Changed 4 years ago by teor

Milestone: Tor: 0.2.???Tor: 0.3.???

Milestone renamed

comment:6 Changed 4 years ago by nickm

Keywords: tor-03-unspecified-201612 added
Milestone: Tor: 0.3.???Tor: unspecified

Finally admitting that 0.3.??? was a euphemism for Tor: unspecified all along.

comment:7 Changed 3 years ago by nickm

Keywords: tor-03-unspecified-201612 removed

Remove an old triaging keyword.

comment:8 Changed 3 years ago by nickm

Keywords: needs-design tor-relay maybe-bad-idea added

If we did this by default without some fallback mechanism, Tor wouldn't start as an unprivileged user on unixes. So, we'd need some design to make it practical.

We could have the default port be "auto" if we did anything to make "auto" ports more persistent.

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