DDOS Threatening Tor Network-Wide Stats

According to Paris, admin of the Dread darknet forum, a constant DDOS attack on the Dread forum that reached devastating levels on September 13th is having an overall effect on the Tor network. According to The Tor Project’s statistics, the network has been clearly slowed in several critical parameters since the DDOS attack against Dread began.

Since September 13, the time it takes to download a 50 KiB (kibibyte, 1 KiB = 1024 bytes) file over Tor has increased by around 50%, and the number of timeouts has increased by 100%-200%. Round-trip latencies of circuits used to download static files over Tor from either public or onion servers are also badly affected.

“It’s amazing to note the difference on the Tor network when the Dread attack started,” Paris said in an update on the forum’s ongoing DDOS crisis.

“It won’t get any better until the attack ends or POW occurs.” We need approximately 800 more GUARD nodes on the Tor network, therefore if just a section of the community can open up one guard node, we will have more than enough… It’s a struggle, and the Tor network is the only way to win.” – Dread admin in Paris

Graph depicting a recent, noticeable increase in request timeouts to public servers. The Tor Project is the source.

Paris also stated in his update that “it just got 10X times tougher to shut down an existing connection to Dread,” indicating that the changes to the forum he mentioned before were now completely implemented and active. While the main Dread URL is currently unavailable, the forum can be visited using one of the emergency URLs Paris supplied in a PGP-signed message.

According to dan.me.uk statistics, the total number of Tor nodes is presently 9,844. According to a recent EarthWeb analysis, over two million individuals use Tor every day to view one or more of its 65,000 unique URLs. This accounts for around 3% of overall Tor traffic, with Russian Tor users accounting for the lion’s share. Over 75% of the 200 domains flagged as “illegal” on Tor are darknet markets.

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