Opened 20 months ago

Last modified 2 months ago

#22538 new defect

Changing circuit for page with error switches catch-all circuit instead

Reported by: gk Owned by: tbb-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: tbb-linkability
Cc: dmr, h1n1 Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Description (last modified by gk)

Go to https://pinning-test.badssl.com/ and change the circuit for this site. The expected behavior would be to use a new circuit keyed to badssl.com. But what happens is that the catch-all circuit gets changed. Found in #22513.

This is not only certificate related the timeout error page exhibits the same problem.

Child Tickets

Change History (12)

comment:1 Changed 20 months ago by gk

Description: modified (diff)
Summary: Changing circuit for page with certificate error switches catch-all circuit insteadChanging circuit for page with error switches catch-all circuit instead

comment:2 Changed 16 months ago by cypherpunks

Keywords: tbb-usability-website added; tbb-linkability removed

No linkability implications.

comment:3 Changed 16 months ago by gk

Keywords: tbb-linkability added; tbb-usability-website removed
Status: newneeds_information

The usability of the website is not affected by that. Could you explain your reasoning behind the keyword change? (Reverting it back to the original one meanwhile)

comment:4 in reply to:  3 Changed 16 months ago by gk

Replying to gk:

The usability of the website is not affected by that. Could you explain your reasoning behind the keyword change? (Reverting it back to the original one meanwhile)

Expanding on that: I think the option to change a circuit for a particular domain might indeed perceived as an easy way to reduce linkability (which it actually even is). So, if that's not working but the old circuit is still used as only the catch-all one gets rotated that's bad.

comment:5 Changed 16 months ago by cypherpunks

Status: needs_informationnew

Changing circuit for page with error switches catch-all circuit instead

The page with error usually is about:*, so that's technically correct to switch its circuit (catch-all), but it's not what is expected. If some error page is caused by bad circuit, then it's necessary to change it, but it's impossible. Thus, tbb-usability-website.
TBB has no feature to remove linkability by switching circuits, everything is perfectly linkable by cookies.

comment:6 in reply to:  5 ; Changed 16 months ago by gk

Replying to cypherpunks:

Changing circuit for page with error switches catch-all circuit instead

The page with error usually is about:*, so that's technically correct to switch its circuit (catch-all), but it's not what is expected. If some error page is caused by bad circuit, then it's necessary to change it, but it's impossible. Thus, tbb-usability-website.
TBB has no feature to remove linkability by switching circuits, everything is perfectly linkable by cookies.

Switching circuits is part of the solution to the linkability problem which includes dealing with a bunch of different techniques (like cookies, DOM storage etc.).

That said thanks for you explanation. I think we can better tag this ticket with tbb-usability.

comment:7 in reply to:  6 Changed 16 months ago by cypherpunks

Replying to gk:

Switching circuits is part of the solution to the linkability problem which includes dealing with a bunch of different techniques (like cookies, DOM storage etc.).

It was. Before FPI. Now it is used and useful for the catch-all circuit only. But it's not a panacea, just a workaround.

That said thanks for you explanation. I think we can better tag this ticket with tbb-usability.

tbb-usability is used for minor things e.g. in GUI, something to think about by ux-team, but not for functionality loss.

comment:8 Changed 14 months ago by gk

A somewhat related issue is mentioned in comment:16:ticket:15897. We might be able to solve that one in this bug, too.

comment:9 Changed 14 months ago by gk

#24493 is a duplicate.

comment:10 Changed 10 months ago by sysrqb

#25670 is a duplicate.

comment:11 Changed 5 months ago by dmr

Cc: dmr added

comment:12 Changed 2 months ago by gk

Cc: h1n1 added

#28376 is a duplicate.

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