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So, I've recently, for the sake of experiment, done something that isn't recommended: I've configured Firefox to use the TOR Socks listener as a proxy.

As I expected, the regular sites, such as Bing (my homepage) opened. After opening check.torproject.org, I tried something which I was nearly certain would fail (but I wanted to see what error message I'd get): I opened the URL of a ONION service, namely, facebookcorewwwi.onion.

I expected that Firefox, being an ordinary browser, would make the DNS request (over the TOR SOCKS proxy) attempting to resolve the IP of facebookcorewwwi.onion, and, since .onion services don't have an actual IP address, fail with some error message.

I got very surprised when it actually opened the URL. Furthermore, it claimed that the IP of facebookcorewwwi.onion is 0.0.0.0:443. Can you explain to me what's going on here?

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I expected that Firefox, being an ordinary browser, would make the DNS request (over the TOR SOCKS proxy) attempting to resolve the IP of facebookcorewwwi.onion, and, since .onion services don't have an actual IP address, fail with some error message.

The Tor service that is on your machine is fundamentally just a system service that connects to the Tor network. The Tor Browser or Firefox are just clients that use that service. You can also use any number of internet applications that can take advantage of a socks5 proxy to use Tor.

I got very surprised when it actually opened the URL. Furthermore, it claimed that the IP of facebookcorewwwi.onion is 0.0.0.0:443. Can you explain to me what's going on here?

The socks proxy is doing it's job. It is allowing you to connect to the Tor network. No one is allowed to see the real IP of an onion service. People who create onion services have anonymity too. That's why you don't see an IP address.

  • But, Firefox, being an ordinary browser, and not a TOR browser, excepts to see the IP address of a server it's connecting to, right? – FlatAssembler Oct 16 at 9:47
  • Firefox and Tor Browser aren't that different. Firefox knows that it is sending traffic to the proxy and that's all it cares about. The Tor network handles the connection and basically fools the browser into think it is the normal internet even though it isn't. If the browser asks for a IP it will get a null values (0.0.0.0) because that information isn't available. Here's more information on the actual process that happens. It is the same regardless of which browser you use: 2019.www.torproject.org/docs/onion-services.html.en – JSEvans Oct 16 at 17:37

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