The Tor network has been experiencing attacks since January 6, 2021, this attack has caused all v3 onion domains to go offline. On January 11, 2021, V3 onion services were offline for for 12 hours. Due to the outage some service in the Tor network launched temporary v2 onion links that helped them to return online, the Tor Project team is working hard to provide a fix for this problem, even if it is a temporary one. The Tor team has now announced an experimental patch to solve the problem, but this patch needs to be applied to both the server side and the client side for it to work.
The attack has only affected V3 and not the older versions. The explanation for this is that a bug in the V3 service implementation, is causing the dropping of the “live” state of the consensus even while it is still valid. After a couple of hours and rounds, the consensus enters a status that is no longer considered “live,” this means services do not publish descriptors, and clients do not fetch them.
According to the Tor project:
Due to an implementation bug, v3 onion services were experiencing instability earlier today.
A bug fix is on the way.
Everything else in Tor works fine even when the consensus is a few hours old, and v3 onion services should too.@torproject
Testing of the “Alpha” version of Tor (0.4.6.0) has started, and if you want to help test it, you may build the source from it’s Git repository. These sort of attacks on Tor which expose the existence of undiscovered or unaddressed bugs are not something new to the Tor network, In this case the community response is very important.
The down-times have affected a lot of onion websites on the Tor network, including services like Wasabi, Bisq and dark web markets. Researchers who monitor the dark web, say that there has been some activity lately involving Denial of Service attacks between different dark web markets. These attacks overwhelmed the HSDir nodes of the Tor network, resulting in the inability to connect to v3 onion websites.
According to the Bisq Network Twitter handle:
Tor is still having issues.
Mailbox messages may get lost, making it seem like a peer is unresponsive.
Please be patient and allow peers more time to respond than usual.@bisq_network
Cryptocurrency were panicked when they attempted to access their assets and experienced connection failures and delays, as they feared the worst. Bisq it’s users not to panic and open disputes on the issue, assuring users that the situation posed no threat to their Cryptocurrency assets.
Wasabi Wallet also faced similar issues and routed traffic to v2 and v1 onion services and the clearnet endpoints which was still accessible over Tor. Interruptions will continue, but Wasabi assured it’s users that there is nothing to worry about.