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I am considering running an exit relay. Unfortunately this opens possibility of legal issues and traffic restrictions from my Internet Service Provider. See Abuse FAQ and Legal FAQ.

There is a nice blog article recommending what to do: Tips for Running an Exit Node with Minimal Harassment.

  • I can set the exit policy to limit potentially problematic ports and and IP addresses reachable from the exit relay using ExitPolicy option in torrc.
  • I can limit the bandwidth by using *Bandwidth* options in torrc.
  • I should not perform security inspection on the traffic leaving the Tor network because it is being considered bad. See May I do security inspection on exit relays?

Are there other means which I can use to limit possible malicious traffic leaving my exit relay?

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  • why would you want to run an exit node for?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 14:51
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    @Pacerier: To support the Tor network. Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 21:08
  • That sounds all nice and dandy, but how does hosting an exit node benefit me/you as an individual?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 3:49
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    @Pacerier - There are many ways that running exit nodes benefits both the Tor community and the hosts of the exit nodes. Besides the obvious benefits to the community of having a higher-bandwidth and more secure network, the people volunteering as exit nodes benefit by gaining increased protection from traffic analysis. Because they are sending outgoing requests for so many other hosts, it is far more difficult for an adversary to determine which part of the outgoing traffic is actually being requested by the owner of the exit node, so it is more difficult to monitor their browsing behavior.
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 22:32

3 Answers 3

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I do not believe there are any other methods you could use that wouldn't ultimately harm the Tor network in some way.

Limiting the Bandwidth, and setting an Exit Policy are the only tools that Tor provides to configure your exit. Any other policy would have to either

  • Use some form of traffic inspection, to determine if the traffic is "malicious", for whatever definition of malicious you use. This is liable to get you marked as a bad exit, as things like dropping specific connections are detectable.

  • Apply to all traffic indiscriminately, which thus will also affect the "legitimate" traffic that you don't wish to affect.

Finally, I don't think the conception of "malicious" that most people have with reference to Tor is easy to detect anyway. As an example, one of the often cited malicious uses are people sending traffic designed to penetrate secure services, or firewalls. Yet that traffic could be coming from someone inside the network, whose job is to perform "penetration testing" on the network.

Another example is people using Tor to obtain illegal material. Yet the person obtaining the material may be a police officer building a case and collecting evidence, who doesn't want an IP associated with their organisation showing up as a red flag to the person sharing the material.

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  • My understanding of exactly what causes a Bad Exit flag to be given is somewhat limited, so that bit may need more fact-checking. Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 18:53
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A couple of times, I've recieved a mail from the security staff of the VPS service where my exit relay is running, and the solution was to reduce the exit policy.

For the beginning, I'd use only 80 and 443 as exits ports, and later, if no one complains, add more ports to the exit policy.

Running an exit tor relay it's not as "dangerous" as it's seem :)

(*) related to "torrents distribution"....

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Literally, nothing. Even one SINGLE packet pre-constructed for a vulnerable recepient is enough to make a headshot... So just adjust your bandwidth to your desired channel share and let it be so. You can also be a part of network attack just being infected by virus without even knowing what Tor is, not even running a relay.

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