I’m learning how to use Tor and was wondering how Tor Browser connects to directories. I know that the directories have all info on nodes in the network but how can tor connect to directories if it does not have info on the nodes in the first place?
Directories are the only vulnerable part of the Tor network, actually... That's why I've made it different in my project to mitigate it, but it's not related here in a deeper details. Your safety warrant is:
- Use the latest version of Tor compiled by hand from the sources, fetch the sources through Tor as well - yes, it's not as versatile as I2P's monotone, but it helps to mitigate many attack vectors
- If you need a fine-grained country filtering like StrictNodes - use a paid version of GeoIP databse - yes, it helps a lot
- The recent version of the Tor code contains some built-in defaults, but to have a rel benefit from them - see pt. 1, don't relax having just a pre-built binaries. Also - when building from source, don't forget about Google PerfTools TCMalloc and
-mtune=nativecompiler directives when building OpenSSL and all the dependencies - it pays it's price twice with speed