Commit 1e9a7baf authored by Matt Traudt's avatar Matt Traudt
Browse files

Add first proposal, switch to http(s)

parent 9273d8d9
......@@ -7,9 +7,11 @@
Welcome to Simple Bandwidth Scanner's documentation!
.. toctree::
:maxdepth: 2
:caption: Contents:
......@@ -23,6 +25,15 @@ Welcome to Simple Bandwidth Scanner's documentation!
.. toctree::
:maxdepth: 1
Indices and tables
Switching from helpers to HTTP(S)
:Author: Matt Traudt
:Date: 25 April 2018
:Last Update: 25 April 2018
:Status: Draft
Some Problems with the sbws helper concept
- Twice as many things to keep up to date
- Finding helper operators
- Trusting helper operators
- Home-grown protocol ("but it's totally secure enough for our needs guys,
trust me. And it's totally implemented correctly too.")
Ways HTTP(S) is less terrible
- Standard protocols with established security properties
- Easier to "set and forget"
- More flexible in deployment set ups
- TLS could be optional, but if present, could allow the web server to be
far away from any Tor relay
- CDNs could be used ... maybe (no promises)
- Measurements could still be done 1 relay at a time if there's a way to
specify that the web server should be considered right next to a specific
Measuring 2 relays at a time
In the current design, it's easy to see and believe that sbws only measures one
relay at a time.
In an sbws deployment that uses HTTP(S) servers far away from any Tor relay,
it's harder or impossible. So we need to measure more than one relay at once.
That means we need to come up with a way to select a pair of relays (where one
is an exit, most likely) such that one won't significantly impact the results
for the other.
**Idea 1**:
1. Pick a first hop relay.
2. Collect all exits that have a consensus weight equal or higher to the first
hop relay. If there are none, collect the single fastest or select the
``X`` fastest.
3. Pick one of the collected exits in a weighted random fashion based on their
consensus weights
**Idea 2**:
Same as the first, but consider all exits not just the ones faster than the
first hop relay.
Supporting many variations on HTTP(S)
By this I mean I would love to support all of the following.
- sbws scanner option for using an HTTPS CDN across all exits in the network
- sbws scanner option for using a specific HTTPS webserver across all exits in
the network (might not be any different than the previous item)
- sbws scanner option for using a specific HTTP(S) webserver across a specific list
of relays (which may or may not have the Exit flag)
- in the cases where TLS is used, optional (enabled by default) verification
the certificate is valid or at least pinned
- in the cases where TLS is used, the optional use of client certificates for
Replace the concepts of "helpers" and "helper relays" and "sbws servers" with
"SOMETHING". "Measurement methods"? "Avenues"? "Destinations"? I'll call them
destinations for now.
Replace ``[helpers]`` with ``[destinations]``. If you don't remember what this
section is for, it's for enabling/disabling various helpers (or, now
destinations) without removing their config details.
cloudflare_cdn = on
pastly_relay = on
foobar = off
Replace ``[]`` with ``[]``. If you don't remember
what these are for, they are sections for each enabled destination that specify
more specific configuration options for them. In the helper relay world, they
had the relay fingerprint, sbws server host and port, and the password to give
the sbws server.
If there is a combination of options that doesn't make sense, then sbws should
fail to start.
If no destinations are configured, sbws should fail to start.
Sbws should run reachability tests on each destination on startup and then
periodically and make sure they are usable as configured. It should only use
destinations that are usable. If none are usable, it should sleep for a while
and test for usability again later.
Available keys in a ``[]`` section:
- ``relays``: a comma-separated list of relay fingerprints that can be used
when using this destination. If unspecified, use all relays with the Exit
flag. If specified, at least one relay must be usable. If it isn't, the
destination should be considered unusable. (optional)
- ``relay_section_method``: one of ``uniform_random`` or
``bw_weighted_random``, defaulting to whichever is a sane default (optional)
- ``server_host``: an IPv4 address, IPv6 address, or hostname. If a hostname is
given, it must not be resolved once at startup; instead, it should be
left up to the exit relay to resolve. (required)
- ``server_port``: a port (optional, with sane default depending on protocol)
- ``protocol``: one of ``http`` or ``https`` (required)
- ``file_path``: path to the resource to download from the webserver. If not
specified, defaults to something. It is a fatal configuration error to leave off
the leading ``/``. (optional)
- ``weight``: when choosing between which destination to use for the next
measurement, give this destination the specified weight. If not given,
defaults to 100. Note how if no destinations have a weight value, they are
chosen uniformly at random. (optional)
If protocol is https, these additional keys are available in a
``[]``. It is a fatal configuration error to specify any of
these if protocol is http.
- ``client_cert``: path to certificate to provide to the server. If none
provided, server is only usable if it doesn't require client authentication.
If provided and file doesn't exist, it is a fatal configuration error. If
provided and the server doesn't accept it, the destination is unusable.
- ``server_cert_fingerprint``: a TLS certificate fingerprint that the server
must use. It is a fatal configuration error to specify this but not enable
``verify_server_cert``. If not given, the server must use a trusted
certificate. (optional)
- ``verify_server_cert``: whether to verify the server certificate or not.
Default yes. If enabled and ``server_cert_fingerprint`` is not given, it must
be trusted (as determined by the local machine's configuration outside of
sbws). If enabled and ``server_cert_fingerprint`` is given, the certificate
from the server must have the specified fingerprint. If enabled but neither
of those things are true, the server is unusable. (optional)
Example: CDN
Relays are not specified because we want to choose from all exits in the
HTTPS for the protocol, and no further HTTPS options because this CDN has a
widely-trusted certificate and doesn't care about only allowing our sbws
scanners to download files.
server_host =
protocol = https
Example: Private Local Destination
Here, an authority has decided he doesn't want to trust anyone but themself.
They are running 2 relays on the same machine as a webserver that only they
will use.
HTTPS is not technically required to protect credentials flowing over the
Internet. In fact, the webserver isn't even reachable from the Internet!
However, the authority wants to make sure only their sbws scanner(s) can
connect to this webserver, so they technically set up HTTPS. On their webserver
they generate a self-signed certificate. On the sbws scanner side, they *could*
choose to specify the fingerprint of this TLS certificate with
``server_cert_fingerprint``, but instead trust themself to keep their
infrastructure secure and forego verification of the server certificate
relays = AAAA...AAAA, BBBB...BBBB
relay_section_method = uniform_random
server_host =
server_port = 4433
protocol = https
client_cert = ${paths:sbws_home}/secure_bwauth_client.cert
verify_server_cert = off
Example: "Borrow" bandwidth from unsuspecting mirrors
This could be considered unethical and therefore a terrible non-starter idea.
It's also a cool thing that I think is technically possible.
Pick a Linux distro that provides ISOs or packages over an HTTP(S) server.
Ideally many servers under a single DNS name that rotates. (Maybe even one that
is geo-aware to give you a close mirror to where you're resolving the name.)
Then just find a file big enough to service all of our possible request sizes,
and add it to the config.
server_host =
protocol = http
file_path = /archive/isos/1.2.3/examplelinux-amd64-gnome-destkop.iso
Markdown is supported
0% or .
You are about to add 0 people to the discussion. Proceed with caution.
Finish editing this message first!
Please register or to comment