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In my Tor Browser Bundle's (TBB's) 'torrc' file I have set 'EntryNode' to my node's fingerprint. This means that the TBB uses my node as its "guard/entry" relay. By monitoring my node with 'arm' I can see that this is working just as I expected.

This is only a temporary arrangement to help me explore the TBB and my (separately hosted) Tor node further. But I am curious as to whether this could be a longer-term arrangement. If I trust my laptop with the TBB on it then I also trust the box next to it that is running my Tor node!

What are the risks/downside of operating the TBB in this way? For this test I am only browsing harmless sites that provide a conistent download stream which I can monitor with 'arm'.

NOTES: On my Windows 8 system the TBB 'torrc' file (which is empty initially) is in the ~\Desktop\Tor Browser\Data\Tor folder. When I restarted the TBB after editing 'torrc', TBB immediately picked up my Tor node as its "guard/entry" relay.

  • I'm doing the same thing, but setup the bridge as hidden - so it's not listed. My gut-feel is this is probably better than using the other listed Guard Relays. I had been connected to a Guard at Russia for long time.. And it felt a bit eerie.. But I don't know if I'm totally right about this. Any other thoughts? – asic Sep 25 '18 at 6:11
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There are some attacks on Tor that allow an adversary to learn your set of entry guards. (This is one of the motivation for switching to using a single entry guard, instead of a set of three, that is currently underway, because three guards can act as a sort of fingerprint for you.) In your case, those attacks would end up at your node, potentially allowing someone to deanonymize you.

  • In terms of being deanonymized by those attacks, there seems no practical difference to me chosing a SINGLE entry guard at random and chosing to use my own relay as my entry guard. On the other hand, if Black Hats are doing traffic analysis of the Tor network and its users, then an obvious test to carry out is to assume that a TBB user is also using his/her own Tor relay (about which some info is publicly available) as their entry guard. That could help a subsequent correlation attack on exit nodes. – user1890141 Oct 3 '14 at 17:10
  • Right, there's not necessarily any direct indication that you are the one using your node. If your node is a popular guard and, given that the practice you suggest is not recommended, an adversary might not make that kind of inference. If using your own entry nodes became common practice, you would have a problem. – Nikita Borisov Oct 3 '14 at 18:45
  • Thank you for for that additional response Nikita. It answers my question! – user1890141 Oct 3 '14 at 20:44

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