Recently I've been looking to follow good-practices while browsing the internet (e.g 50%+ of my browsing in through a VPN, 10%+ is through Tor). Now, I am looking to increase my regiment by tinkering with/using security-focused linux distributions (e.g Tails).

However, I have some concerns:

My Questions:

  1. Do Tor Bridges help against DNS leaks?
  2. Can Whonix be used in conjunction with another distro such as Tails? Would it be possible to have the Whonix gateway persist on Tails?
  3. If Whonix cannot persist on Tails, can the Whonix Gateway be on a bootable USB that is plugged in parallel to Tails and accessed via Tails UI?

Note: I understand Tails is all about amnesia, but I am inquiring if there is a client-side capability to write to Tails or access Whonix Gateway through another USB port on the host computer.

2 Answers 2

  1. Tor Bridges are just common relays but "hidden", not published in public directory so there's no difference, Tor Bridges doesn't help against DNS Leaks. Tor Bridges are for people that can't access Tor network because their ISP blocks Tor connections.

The answers to 2 and 3 will be too long because we've to evaluate a lot of things, that someone had already evaluated so you can go here and you'll find want you need with a good explanation. But,

  1. Whonix gateway act like a gateway, so at this point there is no difference; there is some "little" difference for DNS Leaks, Whonix has an isolated workstation and Tails need some shrewdness, more here.

  2. Whonix gateway will protect only the Whonix workstation, not the host that host Whonix itself (more here).


Incorrect answer from @Pielco11 ! 1. Tor Bridges are actually in database, unless the bridge is explicitly configured not to be published in torrc config file by line PublishServerDescriptor 0 - see (manual)[https://www.torproject.org/docs/tor-manual.html.en] 2. DNS leak happens not in a bridge, exitnode or tor itself - all theese parts of the system simply CAN NOT leak the DNS information. The leak actually happens at the point where you're encapsulating your request into Tor : proxy, firewall, etc... The request just 'slips out' your request forwarding mechanism = 'leaks'

So - what you're really need to do is to draw a schematics for your traffic routing and implement it with PROPERLY configured PROPER tools for your PARTICULAR purposes. Use either polipo for http+https, or firewall rules. Feel fee to ask, because I'm developing an out-of-the-box solution for it right now.

  • "Bridge relays (or "bridges" for short) are Tor relays that aren't listed in the main Tor directory. Since there is no complete public list of them, even if your ISP is filtering connections to all the known Tor relays, they probably won't be able to block all the bridges." see torproject.org/docs/bridges.html.en
    – user3524
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 11:33
  • Why you say that my answer n°2 is incorrect? Whonix has a gateway because the leak happens at the point that you said, so there is not difference.
    – user3524
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 11:51
  • @Pielco11 Main directory is for nodes, generally speaking, AFAIC. Bridges can be easily revealed by bridge request forms(email), done it myself - a shell script + Tor itself(!) helped me to gather information about ~50 bridges in Russia, so - YES, they're not-so-easy to detect, but NO - the list(directory) of bridges DOES exist, and it's not a problem to make a query there
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:32

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