Paris, one of the administrators of Dread, posted an update on Dread about the ongoing issues involving Dread and the Tor network as a whole. The update is available in the /d/dread subdread (Tor) as well as below:
We are back. It’s been a stressful few days for me and hug. Rolling out new fronts and testing new designs trying to compensate for the weaknesses in the Tor network.
Let’s put it out there. If Dread is down for a lengthened period of time it’s probably because the Tor network itself is going down. Introduction cell attacks are a very nasty protocol based attack which fundamentally breaks the circuit creation process. Effectively maxing out the entire Tor process on the front by creating hundreds of thousands of trash circuits on the Tor network. It uses the same process that regular users use. A full rewrite of this circuit creation process to add in POW is needed to effectively remove this protocol exploit. Until that rewrite happens this can be exploited to the fullest extent.
The only solution an onion service has to keep uptime is to scale out. Which we have done. It’s a literal money pit right now. Conspiracy theory time, these attacks are done by hosting companies to make us buy up their whole server stock. Costly is one word for all of this. The monetary cost is one thing, which we can burden with enough support, however it’s another cost when we scale out. Tor network is starting to break.
MILLIONS of circuits. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say Dread’s front cluster formation is doing a significant amount of the total circuit count on the Tor network. So much so that guard nodes are dying in numbers which are not negligible. This hurts both other onion services, tor users, data throughput, and of course network health.
We will keep scaling out. Until the Tor network crashes. Burning things like the money in the money pit.
One day before Paris’ post on the forum, HugBunter, the creator of Dread, posted an update regarding the current status of the forum and a plan for future stability. As of this post, Dread is online and useable.
The text of the update, posted on Reddit, is below: