Tor Onion Service¶
Tor is open-source software for anonymous communication. It enables users behind the firewall of their ISP or country to access to the wider internet and can thus act as a very empowering tool. Additionally, it hides browsing behavior from your ISP or whoever else is listening in on your connection. To enable this, traffic is routed through several nodes within the Tor network, which also makes surfing a bit slower.
While Tor is quite capable of connecting Tor users to the outside world via so-called exit nodes, there is a much nicer way to access content inside Tor: onion services. Traffic to and from Tor onion services never leaves the Tor network and, as a result, has stronger privacy guarantees as well as increased performance. It also enabled both the server and the client to remain anonymous.
Content hosted on the default
.uber.space domain is automatically made
available as a onion service as a sub domain of ahcbagldgzdpa74g2mh74fvk5zjzpfjbvgqin6g3mfuu66tynv2gkiid.onion.
For example, content on https://isabell.uber.space is also reachable via
Forwarding by Tor-Browser¶
If provided an
Onion-Location will cause the Tor-Browser to redirect according to the settings https://tb-manual.torproject.org/onion-services/.
Currently you may manually setup the
Onion-Location as HTTP header using
uberspace web header set / Onion-Location http://SOMEONE.ahcbagldgzdpa74g2mh74fvk5zjzpfjbvgqin6g3mfuu66tynv2gkiid.onion/, for more details see https://manual.uberspace.de/web-headers.html .
An alternative possibility that also overrides the HTTP header is a meta-tag in the header https://community.torproject.org/onion-services/advanced/onion-location/, e.g. in case the content is shared with other webservers than uberspace.
Content on other domains is currently not accessible as a onion service, but
can of course be accessed normally from inside the Tor network. This is mainly
due a difficulty in matching requests: all requests from
SOMEONE.ahcbagldgzdpa74g2mh74fvk5zjzpfjbvgqin6g3mfuu66tynv2gkiid.onion go to
SOMEONE.uber.space, which makes
for a rather simple and roboust setup. While we could implement more
sophisticated matching like
have currently chosen not do so.
You can of course host your own onion service inside your uberspace to serve other content.
Trust and Security¶
Compared to a normal onion service run by yourself, there are a few key points to keep in mind:
Your username is contained in the site domain, which makes it clear, who is responsible for the provided content. Since uberspace only allows legal content to be hosted on our servers, this should not be of much concern to most users. In some cases, you might benefit from the extra anonymity, though. If this sounds like you, a different solution might be a better fit.
We hold the private key to our onion address and could thus theoretically alter or drop any content or requests. We will of course not do so; with a notable exception being abuse handling. While this is rather obvious, we still wanted to point it out here.
Our onion service currently only supports HTTP (without the S). Since the traffic never leaves the Tor network, this isn’t much of a problem. We’d like to provide HTTPS anyway, since it would provide additional authentication, but we are currently not able to do so. This is mainly due to high pricing of certificates for
.oniondomains as well as Let’s Encrypt not supporting them.
If any of those points constitute a deal breaker for you, you are of course free to not use our onion service and host your own inside your uberspace.
Tor makes it impossible to identify which source IP address is sending requests
to your site. This is by design. Without some extra effort, it isn’t even
obvious that a request passed through the Tor network at all. However, requests
that arrived on our onion service and where then proxied through to your
uberspace bear a
X-Uberspace-Via-Hidden-Service HTTP header. Keep in mind
that this header can be faked very easily. Requests containing the header might
come from the onion service. Requests not containing the header certainly did
not pass through the onion service.
Just like your sites, our dashboard can of course be directly accessed in the Tor network. Use the following address: