Looking at the circuits build for a client during a Tor process, I have noticed the following: Four circuits were built.

On the first circuit the guard node was a1.

On the second circuit the exit node was a1.

On the third circuit the guard node was a1.

On the fourth circuit the guard node was a1.

What are the risk of simultaneously having circuits that use same node for guard relay and exit relay? P.S. This is not a hypothetical question. I have documented the actual circuits built by Tor process for reference.


1 Answer 1


The Tor spec says:

5.3. Creating circuits

When creating a circuit through the network, the circuit creator (OP) performs the following steps:

  1. Choose an onion router as an exit node (R_N), such that the onion router's exit policy includes at least one pending stream that needs a circuit (if there are any).

  2. Choose a chain of (N-1) onion routers (R_1...R_N-1) to constitute the path, such that no router appears in the path twice.

(2) seems to rule out the exit node and the guard node being the same, although strictly speaking the phrasing is somewhat ambiguous.

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