Opened 12 months ago

Last modified 12 months ago

#28898 new defect

Huge drop of users in UAE

Reported by: anadahz Owned by: dcf
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Circumvention/Censorship analysis Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: ae, censorship, block
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:

Child Tickets

Change History (5)

comment:1 Changed 12 months ago by dcf

Description: modified (diff)

comment:2 Changed 12 months ago by dcf

It looks to me more like it's the end of some weirdness that began in 2017. The states from the UAE have been weird for a long time and we don't know why. My guess is that this is not a blocking event or a loss of real users, but rather something else artificial. Here is the decrease with more context:

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.html?start=2016-01-01&end=2019-01-01&country=ae&events=off
https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-relay-country.png?start=2016-01-01&end=2019-01-01&country=ae&events=off

These are the relevant doc/MetricsTimeline entries (I'm about to go refactor these):

start date end date places protocols description links
2017-01-15 2017-03-01 ae <OR> relay Huge increase in relay users (400k+). An anonymous contributor suggests that it may be a botnet, based on the large number of hosts with an open SMB port in the UAE. graph metrics-team thread reddit thread comment about botnet
2017-03-01 2017-07-01 ae <OR> relay Another increase in relay users, with a slower rate of growth than the previous one. graph
2017-07-01 ae <OR> relay Sudden drop in relay users. graph
2017-07-01 2017-08-30 ae <OR> relay Slow increase in relay users. graph
2017-09-01 ae <OR> relay Relay users remain volatile but flatten their rate of growth. graph

For a while, there was also a weird increase in obfs3 users in the UAE.

https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-bridge-country.html?start=2016-01-01&end=2019-01-01&country=ae&events=off
https://metrics.torproject.org/userstats-bridge-country.png?start=2016-01-01&end=2019-01-01&country=ae

start date end date places protocols description links
2017-02-06 ~2017-08-01 ae obfs3 Increase in obfs3 users from the UAE, from 5K to 100K. Other transports not affected. transport graph UAE bridge graph ticket
Last edited 12 months ago by dcf (previous) (diff)
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