Page MenuHomePhabricator

abolish whonixcheck random wait
Closed, ResolvedPublic


Why was it introduced in the first place? From

Some users wish to hide the fact from their ISP, they they are using Tor and Whonix. See Hide Tor and Whonix from your ISP article. While only a fraction of users goes through the procedures to hide Tor, it is still desirable to hide the fact they're using Whonix. We're better of if adversaries can't distinguish between lets say TBB and Whonix users. When whonixcheck is automatically started, it waits a randomized amount of time (between 60 and 500 seconds). Although it would be Tor's job to prevent any kinds of conclusions from the amount of traffic and the traffic pattern, this feature is supposed to aid to obfuscation of that kind of traffic analysis. Starting Tor and instantly having a lot of traffic (from whonixcheck) might be easier to distinguish than waiting a randomized amount of time until that kind of traffic flows.

Why deprecate it?

  • It breaks terminal-only (,1209.0.html) (or requires, wastes ~64 MB RAM).
  • Usability mess.
  • It's incomplete. (Not in use on first run of Whonix-Gateway.)
  • Based on unproven, speculative assumption. Even if the above strategy worked, whonixcheck is still too specific in its activities. So it's really Tor's task to prevent traffic classification.
  • Especially confusing in Qubes where a popup comes seemingly up out of nowhere.



Event Timeline

Patrick raised the priority of this task from to Normal.
Patrick updated the task description. (Show Details)
Patrick set Impact to Normal.
Patrick added subscribers: Patrick, HulaHoop.
Patrick changed the task status from Open to Review.May 23 2015, 6:14 PM

abolished random wait by default -

Patrick claimed this task.

Done in Whonix