Bitcoin-Inspired Security Measures Fortify Tor Network Against Potential Attacks

Instead of limiting clients to adhere to a fixed goal, Tor asks them to “place a bid” using their Proof-of-Work effort.

Sam Writes Security

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Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash

The Tor network, which is known for its privacy protection, has recently met a severe problem. Denial of service attacks have caused major network slowdowns, rendering it almost useless at times.

To address these attacks, the Tor network has introduced a new software upgrade that includes “proof of work,” a technique used to safeguard Bitcoin transactions. The use of proof of work as a defence mechanism has been debated in the Tor community for some time, and it is finally being implemented.

The main goal of this update is to make it more difficult for attackers to carry out their nefarious operations. Tor is a technology that conceals its users’ IP addresses and is often used by those involved in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to improve their anonymity. For example, it conceals the origin of Bitcoin transactions.

Although both Bitcoin and Tor use proof of work, they do it in very different ways. Tor’s proof of work system is specifically built to defend against network attacks. The Tor Project’s head of strategic communications, Pavel Zoneff, explained that while the technology is comparable, there are substantial distinctions. Clients are required to use their proof-of-work effort as a type of bid in Tor’s system, rather than pursuing a set aim.

Onion services are websites or services that operate within the Tor network in order to conceal their IP addresses. The network’s algorithm can detect when a website is flooded with a rapid increase of traffic, which is often the result of an attacker. In such circumstances, the proof-of-work mechanism is engaged, making access to the site more computationally costly.

Ordinary users are unlikely to notice this change, but attackers will undoubtedly be affected. To accomplish the same disruptive effect as before, they will need to spend substantially more processing power..

Zoneff noted that the proof-of-work approach was implemented to discourage attackers. The network can prioritise genuine data and provide a more secure experience for customers by making large-scale attacks expensive and impracticable. This information was made available in the announcement post for the new software release.

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Sam Writes Security

Freelance writer. Linux & cybersecurity enthusiast. Welcome to my world!