7

All the downloads are "signed". This means that someone (in this case Erinn, a Tor Project Developer) vouches that the software is good and hasn't been tampered with. You can verify the download by also downloading the signature file, and using GPG to check that the signature is valid for the downloaded file, and that they were signed by Erinn. More ...


6

Tor ships with a list of directory authorities and some information about them. In particular, this information includes for each authority its IP address, onion port and onion key fingerprint. This makes it possible for clients to make an onion connection to one or more authorities for bootstrapping purposes. It then connects to the authority's DirPort ...


4

You are actually asking two questions here. One is about censorship resistance (can somebody block the bootstrapping process?) and the other about authentication (can a bad person pretend to be a Tor relay?). Here are answers to both questions: Censorship resistance: Yes, a nasty network administrator can indeed block the bootstrapping connections which ...


2

For the security aspect (e.g. impersonation), you might like this FAQ entry which explains why it's safe: https://www.torproject.org/docs/faq#KeyManagement But you're right that a local network attacker could still prevent connections to these initial directory authorities, and thus stop bootstrapping. See point 'h' on https://www.torproject.org/docs/...


2

No reason to be secret that you're getting the directory. The only thing this tells people looking at you is that you just turned on Tor. But they already knew that because... You just turned on Tor


1

This seems to be a changed configuration that the bridge operator would have done. It's unfortunate you had to deal with it, but there's a bug report about it (see https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/17473) and in your case no harm was done. Generally speaking, just updating whatever fingerprint you see is not a good idea, because it could mean ...


1

This most likely means that your university's network are blocking vanilla Tor. To circumvent this, use meek-amazon pluggable transport which works by making your Tor traffic look like you're trying to access Amazon's CDN services, or use obfs4, or snowflake (to be available soon).


1

"Bridge at '109.105.109.163:47779' isn't reachable by our firewall policy." means that you have set your "ReachableAddresses" torrc option to tell Tor that it shouldn't even try to reach that address. Thus Tor is opting not to try to reach that bridge. Perhaps you set ReachableAddresses using Tor Browser, by answering "yes" to the "Are you only able to ...


1

If I remember correctly, the Tor software ships with a list of directory authorities. The client has just enough information to bootstrap and then continue to download information about all the other relays in the network.


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