Friday, 6 May 2016

Tor Hidden Services - A Minor Situation Update

This is a bit of a non-post but people have been asking so here goes.

I wrote a month ago about how the number of Tor's .onion sites seemed to have settled down following the extraordinary variations we saw in the previous month.  The point I made then was that although the number of .onion sites had stabilised, it was still 50% higher than just before the period of dramatic variations. I also made the point that the volume of traffic to these hidden sites had effectively halved despite the 50% increase in the number of sites.

 As expected when I wrote that previous blog, these figures have continued and the situation is indeed currently stable.  Here are the figures to prove it:

However, despite the situation unfolding as I had assumed I still have no explanation for why we should see a halving of the data traffic to hidden sites whilst the number of those sites increased by 50%.  Nor is there any explanation for the 50% increase in sites.

I've spoken to many colleagues who work in the field, and there are many theories: almost as many theories as colleagues.  But still not evidence based explanation.  Only theories that fit the observable data.

If anyone has the answer I'd really like to know.