Transparency Report January 2023

In January we focussed on middle relay stability to get more guard flags and increasing the maximum amount of Tor relays per IPv4 address, for which we contributed to a proposal that got accepted by the Tor project.

The metrics used in this report are rounded extrapolated snapshots of the final day of the month, to not give away too much specific information.

1 Requests & orders

We did not receive any official or unofficial requests or orders this month.

1.1 Law enforcement agencies (LEA)

LEA Requests Orders
n/a 0 0
Legal entity Requests
n/a 0

1.3 Natural persons

Natural person Requests
John Doe 0

2 Service report

2.1 Tor relays

Tor relays



18.5 Gb/s

Monthly traffic

6.000 TB

With the increase in maximum amount of Tor relays per IPv4 address we can finally try to saturate the CPU’s on the exit relay servers in February.

Period # Guard # Exit Bandwidth Daily traffic Monthly traffic
November 2022 18 0 5.6 Gb/s 60 TB 1.800 TB
December 2022 34 18 12.8 Gb/s 138 TB 4.150 TB
January 2023 68 18 18.5 Gb/s 200 TB 6.000 TB

Note that for these statistics both incoming and outgoing traffic are combined (just like Tor network’s metrics).

2.2 Tor DNS requests

Query response

2.100 per second

Daily queries

181 million

Monthly queries

5.4 billion

DNS requests on the Tor network are resolved by the Tor exit relays. This means that high capacity Tor exit relays can generate a lot of DNS queries. These queries are being resolved by multiple high capacity DNS resolvers.

The queries-per-second rate doubled again and it’s expected that this rate will grow some more in February. The increased amount of DNS queries increased the load on the DNS servers significantly, but for now they have more than enough capacity for future growth.

Period Query rate Daily queries Monthly queries
November 2022 0 0 0
December 2022 870 75.000.000 2.300.000.000
January 2023 2.100 181.000.000 5.400.000.000

Do note that we don’t log the contents of DNS queries.

2.3 Tor diversity

One of our major goals is to break the GNU/Linux monoculture currently present on the Tor network. Monocultures in nature are dangerous, as vulnerabilities are held in common across a broad spectrum. In a globally used anonymity network, monocultures can be disastrous.

We make the Tor network stronger by running all our relays on FreeBSD. Here we report on our ongoing effort to increase operating system diversity on the Tor network.

Period NTH Guard BSD Guard GNU Guard NTH Exit BSD Exit GNU Exit
November 2022 0.11% 6.1% 93.9% 0.0% 0.9% 99.1%
December 2022 0.12% 6.2% 93.8% 4.46% 6.0% 94.0%
January 2023 1.54% 7.5% 92.5% 11.4% 16.0% 84.0%

In January the NTH consensus weight of exit traffic hit the milestone of 10%, which bumped the BSD consensus weight of exit traffic to 15%+. These are some nice results, which could of course be improved even further to improve Tor’s network diversity.

The increase in guard traffic is great news as well. In January we finally were able to get some guard flags, despite the ongoing efforts to prevent this from happening.

2.4 DDoS attacks

January was another month where our infrastructure was targeted by numerous DDoS attacks. This resulted in a significant reduction to our bandwidth contribution to the Tor network.

The adversaries’ primary goal still seems to prevent the middle relays from becoming guard relays and to strip guard relays of their guard flags. In February and March we will look in to countermeasures to thwart the adversaries’ efforts more effectively.