Author Topic: TOR proxy issues with forum  (Read 989 times)

Offline newone

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TOR proxy issues with forum
« on: September 01, 2010, 05:30:23 AM »
All,

Usually I like to keep my internet activities private.  I try to use TOR which is a free proxy service to do internet surfing.  However, this forum bans the IP's that TOR use to access the site.  Does anyone know why?
Si vis pacem, para bellum
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Offline zonkertx

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Re: TOR proxy issues with forum
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 06:48:00 AM »
Many hackers attempt to exploit web scripts while hiding their IP using Tor, so blocking the exit nodes is a common response used by websites to prevent attacks.

Don't fall into a false sense of security regarding Tor.  I'm not sure I'd trust the ones running the "exit nodes"...

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2007/09/embassy_hacks?currentPage=all
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/wikileaks-documents/

Tor is useful for some things, but it's a good idea to force your DNS lookups to go over the Tor system to avoid leaving an audit trail with your ISP's nameserver.  Also, an additional layer of encryption (such as using SSL or GPG/PGP) is wise.

Offline newone

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Re: TOR proxy issues with forum
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 11:40:30 AM »
I agree with what your recommendations, and do practice safely  :)

However, I think websites barring their legiti users from using the proxy service is exactly the same argument used by anti-gun factions to force laws on the 99.99% of gun owners, the caveat the there is no constitutional basis for TOR use.

Anti-Gunners argument (substitute TOR for gun)

We pass laws restricting gun usage because of the frequent violations by law breakers, thus less people will break the law...

Our policy is to eliminate use of TOR because of violations by hackers, thus less users will use tor to hack our site...

Why not respond appropriately to the law breakers, and not throw the baby out with the bath water?
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Offline zonkertx

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Re: TOR proxy issues with forum
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 01:02:33 PM »
There's a difference between laws by a government and policy by a server administrator.  The admin is only trying to control what is his, while governments tend to ignore all boundaries to their control.

I block all Chinese IP space from my server because it drastically reduces the rate of hack attempts I see in the system logs.  Sure, I'm "profiling"..  I can do that, it's my server :)  Tor exit nodes are just another group of "attack-rich" IPs that are easily filtered out with some iptables rules. 

The issue with this forum may be such a policy decision on the part of the sysadmin, or the network admins of the company this site is hosted at.

It's even possible that there's a "block Tor exit nodes" checkbox in some hosting control panel's firewall settings.  That seems like something Plesk would do...

I doubt it's some strange anti-Tor agenda at work here.

Offline newone

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Re: TOR proxy issues with forum
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 01:27:49 PM »
Yes, I realized that the basic difference between the two was one (gun ownership) deals with a fundamental human right, vs. (TOR) being the ability of a site to control how and to what extent others have access.  However the argument struck me as being very similar regardless of the underlying differences. 

I am totally in agreement that a site owner and manager have 100% of a right to manage how they like, and users who do not agree are free to not use or access the services. 

I just wanted to point out that I am a non-malicious user of TOR, mostly as a means to prohibit spying on my online behavior by anyone that can and may be watching.  I don't know if any others also have tried TOR, or use other systems that work better but provide a similar service?  I would say I am fairly literate in technology, but by no means know everything.
Si vis pacem, para bellum
BisonTactical