My first 24 hours as a Tor exit node

I setup a limited Tor exit node in my home yesterday by following @grahamking‘s guide for Ubuntu. Presently I’m using Ubuntu 11.10 x64 on a spare laptop. The laptop is HP/Compaq 6510b; not very powerful, but I wanted a low-power solution since it is running 24/7 in my home.

The basic steps

First I configured my A record for torexit.yawnbox.com. Then my static IP/hostname for the laptop (step 7 from this guide).

If I open my torrc file, these are the settings I uncommented or added:
vim /etc/tor/torrc

SocksPort 0 # what port to open for local application connections
Log notice file /var/log/tor/notices.log
RunAsDaemon 1
DataDirectory /var/lib/tor
ORPort 9001
Nickname yawnbox
Address torexit.yawnbox.com
RelayBandwidthRate 2500 KB # Throttle traffic to 2500KB/s
RelayBandwidthBurst 5000 KB # But allow bursts up to 5000KB/s
ContactInfo Christopher Sheats
DirPort 9030 # what port to advertise for directory connections
DirPortFrontPage /etc/tor/tor-exit-notice.html
ExitPolicy accept *:119 # accept nntp as well as default exit policy
ExitPolicy accept *:22 # ssh
ExitPolicy accept *:465 # smtps (SMTP over SSL)
ExitPolicy accept *:993 # imaps (IMAP over SSL)
ExitPolicy accept *:994 # ircs (IRC over SSL)
ExitPolicy accept *:995 # pop3s (POP3 over SSL)
ExitPolicy reject *:* # no exits allowed

I am only allowing ports that are intended for encrypted traffic. I am not yet allowing the standard IRC ports. Also, since this Tor exit node is in my home, I’m not comfortable with running a completely open node. After I figured out what ports I would be allowing, I configured the iptables firewall accordingly using UFW.

Bandwidth usage

I set the bandwidth at 2,500KB/s with 5,000KB/s burst. By browsing the Ubuntu Sofware Center I managed to find two easy to use bandwidth monitors. One for watching locally and one for watching remotely. In just over 24 hours, I have already sent/received 27 GB of traffic!

A GUI bandwidth monitor, KNemo
A command-line bandwidth monitor, BMon

Why am I running a Tor exit node from my home?

  1. I strongly support the notion of our right to read, no matter who is trying to stop us.
  2. I am paying for a fast Internet service that I don’t fully utilize 24/7
  3. I want to contribute to the Tor Project, especially after watching Roger Dingledine and Jacob Appelbaum (two “core people“) talk at 28C3 (YouTube video below)
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One thought on “My first 24 hours as a Tor exit node”

  1. Thanks for contributing to the community! :D I rely on you guys to help script-kitties like me do what you do.

    I recently got my Tor relay setup with default exit policy and I’m already seeing packets moving like it’s nobody’s business (because…..it is!). Anyways, I’m checking the logs and it says there are issues with the tor-exit-notice.html and DNS hijacking.

    What did you use for your tor-exit-notice and who’s is going to see it? Is it my ISP,FBI, or a Tor user? I’m about to use this from git but it does have FIXME’s that I’m unclear about. I’m hoping you would be able to understand what the FIXME_DNS_NAME would happen to be?

    Here is a sample log of the DNS hijacking:

    Jul 21 07:00:21.000 [notice] Your DNS provider gave an answer for "ewsiwg.test", which is not supposed to exit. Apparently they are hijacking DNS failures. Trying to correct for this. We've notice 2 possibly bad addresses so far.

    Is this something I can correct? I’m using the public Google DNS servers.

    Thanks for all the awesome work people like you do!

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