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Reading user329's question about running a secure email network using SMTP over Tor, I was wondering how standard email transport could be implemented among hidden services.

And then I remembered anoNet. Wikipedia says: "anoNet is a decentralized friend-to-friend network built using VPNs and software BGP routers. anoNet works by making it difficult to learn the identities of others on the network allowing them to anonymously host IPv4 and IPv6 services." However, if the underlying VPNs are routed through the Internet, there's little or no anonymity involved.

It would arguably be possible to create anoNet-style darknets based on Tor, comprising networks of Tor hidden services, linked by TCP-based VPN or OnionCat tunnels. Given such networks, implementing any Internet service would be trivial.

If such systems were implemented, would the networking overhead be unworkably large?

Such systems would facilitate high-throughput abuse of Tor. How could that threat be mitigated?

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If such systems were implemented, would the networking overhead be unworkably large?

Speculating here: Tor's scaling survived the botnet attack and all those clients created hidden services to communicate with each other, no?

Such systems would facilitate high-throughput abuse of Tor.

Would they?

How could that threat be mitigated?

  • As last resort, the hidden services feature could be removed from Tor. As soon as relays upgrade, it's gone.
  • I don't think it's up to Tor to decide what good and what bad traffic is nor that Tor has any chance determining that.
  • There has been discussions about adaptive throttling of Tor clients by entry guards however.
  • There are lots of other ideas improving scalability of hidden services. Also generally improving Tor performance and scalability is still possible. More to do than anyone can do in a life time.
  • Do we know that the Mevade bots created hidden services? Maybe garpamp could tell us ;) If one could aggregate several to many Tor circuits to and among hidden service, that could consume considerable bandwidth. No individual circuit would necessarily be maxing out, so adaptive throttling wouldn't be triggered. Right? – mirimir Oct 25 '13 at 1:08

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