My GNUnet and Tor node

If you are reading this page it is not unlikely that you found the IP address on your logs, as a client accessing your machine. I intentionally made this page easy to find by also associating a DNS PTR record to the IP address: resolves to the name, which is supposed to lead you here.

[As of early 2019 my Tor configuration is more or less stable; I have not actually set up GNUnet yet. This message will disappear when I am finished and everything is up in production.]

Who I am

I am Luca Saiu. You can find information about me on my main page. I chose the domain name but I am not a hacker in the sense meant by journalists nowadays: I am a free software hacker, someone who loves to program and tinker with computer systems in a creative way. I have no interest whatsoever in attacking your computer or accessing your hidden data without authorization. Quite the opposite, I believe in respecting everyone's privacy and in the right of keeping all personal communication secret. I vocally oppose surveillance and any form of censorship, including the censorship of ideas I disapprove of.

The purpose of this server

Along with other services used by me, some public such as email and web plus a few private ones, this server hosts GNUnet services and a Tor exit node, provided for the benefit of the global community. I do not earn anything from this personally — in fact the additional IP address comes at a cost for me, and I pay for bandwidth. Hosting a GNUnet and Tor node is just a way for me to give back to the community which makes anonymous uncensored communication possible, and also to help people living under oppressive regimes to exchange information with less fear of personal harm. The anonymity provided by networks such as Tor and GNUnet gets stronger as more hosts are involved in them, which makes adding every new host important.

I plan to keep my host active in the long term.

So, some attack attempt apparently originated from this host...

I am sorry to hear it if that is the case.

It is quite possible that some user tried to abuse your services passing thru Tor or GNUnet, and at the time her traffic happened to come out of my exit node. Of course I have no control over this, and me filtering outbound traffic would defeat the whole purpose of anonymous, uncensored communication. For the same reason I keep no routing logs.

GNUnet and Tor are part of the network infrastructure, like TCP/IP and DNS. The infrastructure has not been conceived with malicious intents, but abuse is possible. Of course you should consider that the same identical attack might come tomorrow from a different, non-Tor node: the only possible conclusion is that, unfortunately, you will have to make your own system secure. The presence of anonymizing services between the attacker and you should not really affect your system administration work.

All the traffic originating from comes from GNUnet or Tor and its content is not controlled by me, except for the occasional HTTP exchange to serve this web page. All the other services on this machine actually managed by me use a different IP address.

My GNUnet configuration

[Still to come]

My Tor configuration

This machine runs a small Tor exit node called ageinghacker. Its fingerprint is 26AD3C1C18F1CD2B357A33FA7652A906DB13A8CC.

In production my node should have the flags Exit, Running, Valid and Stable. It currently does not serve directories, but this might change in the future. Realistically ageinghacker will not become a Guard node, as that would require quite a lot of bandwidth. Exits are scarcer than guards anyway.

For some time in 2017 five out of eight authorities were not granting my node the Exit flag, presumably because of its limited bandwidth. Some global policy or authority configuration must have since changed, and right now ageinghacker appears to always have the flag.

I aim at keeping my node online and working all the time every day, even at the cost of reducing its bandwidth. This is different from what the Tor documentation recommends, but I consider having more relays active to improve anonymity, and particularly having more exit nodes, to be a higher priority than high-performance support for video and games.

[hacker emblem]
Luca Saiu
Last modified: 2022-11-01

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