Bitcoin Wallet Wasabi Releases Update to Restore Service Amidst Attack on Tor

Wasabi is an open-source, unmanaged, privacy-focused Bitcoin wallet for Windows, Linux, and Mac that includes built-in Tor, CoinJoin, and coin control features.

Tor, a private network protocol for anonymous services, has been under attack for months by a distributed denial of service (DDoS), and the Wasabi wallet recently created a solution for its users to "restore service in the event of an attack on Tor".

Many projects in the Bitcoin ecosystem use Tor in their infrastructure to provide anonymity to their customers. As a result, many of these projects are struggling to reliably deliver their products as this ongoing attack makes it difficult to leverage the platform, and Wasabi is among those struggling with this issue.

That said, it's not just a problem Wasabi Wallet is facing. Many other monumental projects in the Bitcoin space and beyond have been affected by Tor attacks - Bisq, the Lightning Network, and even Bitcoin Full Node are vulnerable to some degree. All of these projects relied heavily on Tor, and when Tor was crippled by the attack, none of these projects could be used.

Previously, Wasabi connected to Tor's back-end onion servers. But now, Wasabi is using exit nodes - specific devices that direct traffic - to route traffic to the coinjoin coordinator's clearnet domain.

In doing so, all traffic remains anonymous to protect the IP addresses of the clients using the service. Testing of this new procedure has shown increased reliability and frequency of coinjoin rounds, while also preventing input from being blocked by the coordinator, which happens when the signature of the input fails.

Max Hillebrand, Wasabi contributor and CEO of zkSNACKs, said, "Tor is a project that is critical to both Bitcoin and Internet privacy, and millions of people around the world need it every day."

However, this solution does not solve the problem of Tor being under attack, it only provides a necessary short-term option to get around the problem. As a result, Wasabi is also raising funds to support the Tor network.

In today's world, where the global spotlight has been on the Russian-Ukrainian war, inflation, and turmoil in some markets, the European and American public, as well as people around the world, need more than ever to provide anonymity by simply running Tor relays.

Sadly, the Tor project is severely underfunded, and only a handful of developers are maintaining the C-based Tor client that everyone is using now. There is also a small team actively working on a new client written in Rust that dramatically improves performance and fixes some critical bugs. However, there hasn't been enough funding to build and maintain onion service support, and building protection against denial-of-service attacks needs meaningful long-term funding.

Wasabi Wallet is pleased that tools like Tor exist and will therefore support the Tor project as much as possible by promoting and helping to raise funds; Tor's reliability directly impacts the user experience for Wasabi Wallet users, so we care deeply about this issue," Hillebrand said. "

In addition, Wasabi has added a "privacy progress bar" that allows users to see the level of privacy their coinjoin achieves by tracking different metrics visible in the desktop application.

From:On DarkNet – Dark Web News and Analysis
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