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I setup a Tor relay on my home network about a week ago. I did not configure it as an exit node just as a relay. A few days later, I discovered my bank was blocking my IP address. The message looks like this:

Access Denied

You don't have permission to access "http://www.tdbank.com/" on this server. Reference #18.e12bf648.1396824964.fa6b768

This happens from all PCs in my house, and mobile phones. If I use a VPN connection to my work PC, I can login to my bank with no issues.

Here is my torrc:

Log notice file /var/log/tor/notices.log
VirtualAddrNetwork 10.192.0.0/10
AutomapHostsSuffixes .onion,.exit
AutomapHostsOnResolve 1
TransPort 9040
TransListenAddress 192.168.xx.1
DNSPort 53
DNSListenAddress 192.168.xx.1

Nickname xxxxx
ORPort 9001 # port forward
DirPort 9030 # port forward
RelayBandwidthRate 20 KB
RelayBandwidthBurst 40 KB
ContactInfo xxxx <xxxx>
ExitPolicy reject *:*
DisableDebuggerAttachment 0
ControlPort 9051
CookieAuthentication 0

I have xxx'd out my local addresses, nickname, and contact info, but every thing else is the way it is in the file.

I've turned off the relaying for now, and I just have it setup as a proxy. I'm waiting for them to unblock me (hopefully). Is this a common problem? I was under the impression that if I set it up as only a relay and not an exit node, then I'd have practically no problems. I'm surprised any company would block IPs based simply on that IP being an internal relay node.

Any way I can avoid this?

  • first of all: why do you think your bank's blocking on your IP is related to you being a relay? It is nonsense to me. – Envite Apr 7 '14 at 11:22
  • @Envite - It's the best explanation I have. It happened within a couple of days of starting the Tor relay. Trying to go to the site through the Tor proxy (so from another IP) didn't work either. VPN'ing to my work computer did allow me in. I also saw an obscure reference on another forum that TD Banknorth (a related US bank) was blocking all relays. I agree it's circumstantial, but it's my best guess. – Scott Whitlock Apr 7 '14 at 13:27
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    Pretty sure it's because you're a relay. Access denied for me too. Some other sites do the same and throw a very similar message. – Jobiwan Apr 15 '14 at 19:50
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See, here http://torstatus.blutmagie.de

Or by install Tor client, anybody can get a full Tor network status. There is main difference, relay is Exit or Not.

Tor Network very dynamic.

# cat /var/lib/tor/cached-descriptors.new | grep -i fingerprint | wc 
1136 6109 38659 

# cat /var/lib/tor/cached-descriptors | grep -i fingerprint | wc
13596 154889 864624

In the real, there are up to 5,000 relays, only 1,000 exits. My client see only 1,136. But it keeps information about 13,596 relays.

Probably, www.tdbank.com blacklist current 5,000 up relays. It is ordinary situation for services that keep care about security.

Your should contact with support of your bank by e-mail or phone. They could add your IP address to the whitelist.

In the best case, you can try to describe the difference between Exit and just relay.

  • Yes. Contacting them is the best option. You can also point them at the Bulk Tor Exit Exporter to maintain an up to date list of exit nodes. – Jobiwan Apr 15 '14 at 19:52
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There are lots of RBLs for tor. Here's one:

https://www.dan.me.uk/dnsbl

You can avoid being RBL'd by not running an exit node on the same IP as the rest of your traffic. That's pretty much your only option.

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    The point is that at no time was I ever running an exit node, only a relay. After I changed the relay back to being just a proxy, the bank site stopped blocking my IP (a day or two later actually). – Scott Whitlock Apr 13 '14 at 1:39
  • Sounds like they don't care that you're only running a relay. – iag Apr 22 '14 at 16:13
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Actually you can start an issue by contacting their support via phone. Use call recorder for a case when a "first line of support" will just decline you and show no cooperation. After that - post it on youtube, beeping out your secret word and other personal info and post it on a public bank-discussing forums and websites with your situation description. Trust me, they will do all the things to solve the issue =)

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