I am curious how I can rely on Tor network in terms of traceability.

I am looking for really professional who can say if my Tor communication is secure, if a Tor exit node is detectable or traceable. For instance I have heard that exit nodes or relays can be detected by ISP and sometimes in some countries are blocked. Especially I am interested if authorities have the capability to detect Tor communication of some targeted user. Other words if Tor network is ultimately safe or if it has certain limitations would be nice.

Thanks, kindest regards, Andy


Tor connections are in general secure.

However for a global adversary it would be possible to trace a Tor connection back to a user. It is not known whether such a global adversary exists or if this has ever happened. So far all known deanonymization attacks were done using JavaScript.

All Tor nodes are public and can be retrieved by anyone (e.g. through https://metrics.torproject.org/rs.html).

Normal connections to the Tor network can be easily detected by ISPs. However this can be prevented by using bridges and pluggable transports.

Like every software that has been and ever will be created, nothing is ultimately safe. However there are no currently known vulnerabilities in Tor and as far as public knowledge goes, Tor is safe to use.


Tor has been broken by the US FBI. See: Silk Road. The US NSA receives copies of network traffic at at least 8 locations in the US and stores the data for up to a month or so, maybe longer if they want to, so they can use buildings full of supercomputers to try to hack the encryption. It is worth noting that pretty much anything can be hacked if someone tries hard enough for long enough. It could be traced back to you by using network traffic analysis, since the NSA monitors at multiple locations, and since they check all traffic entering, and I believe leaving, the US. It is also theoretically possible to decrypt each layer until the plain text is obtained.

/Matthew Campbell

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    please don't spread FUD: tor has not been broken by the FBI - silk roads operator was simply too careless at some places... e.g. active java script etc. – DJCrashdummy Nov 23 '18 at 21:35

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