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Warning!!!
It appears that many Directory authorities are compromised and taken down, This is a horrendous security risk, Who has done it and Why? There are currently 9 directory authorities. More than half of the authorities must be online and they must reach a consensus on the current state of the network every hour for them to create and publish the hourly networkstatus-consensus (the list of all the known relays). If some of the directory authorities were compromised and taken offline then the remaining DAs will continue publishing the consensus and the network will continue operating normally. The one performance impact will be seen by new clients. When they first try connecting to the network (download and launch Tor Browser for the first time) they will try connecting to one of the directory authorities and download the networkstatus consensus from it. If some of the directory authorities are offline, it may take some time for each connection to timeout (while the client connects to an unavailable authority), but eventually the client will reach an operational authority and it will then be able to use the Tor network as usual. If more than 5 DAs are taken offline then this is a horrendously large operation and the necessary corrective actions must be taken to ensure the network remains operational.

A new client have tried Tor for the first time on Dec 20 2014, and it took more than 20 minutes to connect to an online directory authority. How many directory authorities are down? Is there any information why so many directory authorities are down? Following please find the partial list of directory authorities that appear to be down and up:

154.35.32.5 appear to be down

86.59.21.38 appear to be down

194.109.206.212 appear to be down

183.233.166.170 appear to be down

218.22.79.38 appear to down

131.188.40.189 appear to be up

Please provide as much information as possible because this appear to be a substantial security risk.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jens Kubieziel Dec 22 '14 at 23:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Also see from ArsTechnica "Cluster of Tor servers taken down in unexplained outage" arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/… – ajkblue Dec 22 '14 at 18:52
  • "It appears that many Directory authorities are compromised and taken down" <-- From what does this appear? How do you tell that a DirAuth is compromised? Or: How would one go about replicating your findings? – Jobiwan Dec 22 '14 at 18:56
  • @ajkblue: I have read that the hosting provider asserts that it was an issue with account verification. – Jobiwan Dec 22 '14 at 19:03
  • At the moment all directory authorities are online. So this "question" is pure speculation and as it stands there is no real question behind it. – Jens Kubieziel Dec 22 '14 at 23:36
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I think you're mistaking the problem you're experiencing for 2 other related problems. The first being the possible upcoming attempt to disable the tor network and the second being the possibility of compromise of some Tor mirrors and exit-nodes (all run by T@riseup). This doesn't overlap with the problem of the authorities in terms of security. I hope I addressed this part of your concerns in your other related post. That should clear up your first paragraph.

A new client have tried Tor for the first time on Dec 20 2014, and it took more than 20 minutes to connect to an online directory authority.

Now this, on the other hand, is possibly one of 2 things.

  1. Your internet/wifi/vpn isn't operating properly causing problems during bootstrap. You would notice this however in that all traffic would be affected.
  2. Your ISP/vpn is blocking Tor. You can deal with this in a couple ways.

    • If you have an existing cached-consensus (from another install) you can use this to give your ISP a swift-kick. To let them know blocking the authorities on bootstrap won't work. On the other hand they might get even more upset and continue to block Tor. It depends on how attentive they are.
    • You can use bridged mode which will encrypt directory connections. You'll need a bridge-relay as well which you can get here. You can email bridges@torproject.org as an alternative. Up-to-date instructions for using your bridges are here.

Hopefully that gets you back on Tor.

How many directory authorities are down? Is there any information why so many directory authorities are down?

None of them are down. See my response to your other post for further details.

Now just hope it stays that way.

-- leeroy

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This was announced / predicted a few days ago on the Tor blog:

Possible upcoming attempts to disable the Tor network

The Tor Project has learned that there may be an attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities. [....]

Two of the addresses you listed, the ones that start with 183 and 218, are not directory authorities.

Also, I just checked, and at time of posting, according to Atlas, if that is worth something, all directory authorities have the Authority, Stable, Running, Valid flags, and seven of nine self-report an uptime of over 3 days.

From the consensus health it seems that all is normal.

  • Dear Jobiwan, What you wrote does not seem to be an answer to this question. Do you want to turn that into a comment? or do you want to edit that and make it an answer to this question? Warm Regards, – Roya Dec 22 '14 at 17:38

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