Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Tor Network Removes Risky Relays Associated With Cryptocurrency Scheme

The Tor network has removed many relays associated with a cryptocurrency scheme, citing risk to integrity and users. 

The Tor Project announced on Monday that it has removed many relays due to the high risk they posed to the network’s integrity and users.

A blog post published by the anonymity network’s maintainers reveals that directory authorities have voted in favor of removing the relays associated with a for-profit scheme that involves the payment of cryptocurrency tokens.  

“We consider these relays to be harmful to the Tor network for a number of reasons, including that certain of the relays do not meet our requirements, and that such financial schemes present a significant threat to the network’s integrity and the reputation of our project as they can attract individuals with malicious intent, put users at risk, or disrupt the volunteer-driven spirit that sustains the Tor Community,” the Tor Project explained

It added, “As part of our assessment and due diligence into the matter, we engaged with relay operators and were often presented with scenarios in which relay operators associated with this scheme were putting themselves at risk by lacking the awareness of what project they were actually contributing to or operating relays in unsafe or high-risk regions. It has become clear to us that this scheme is not beneficial to the Tor network or the Tor Project.”

While the cryptocurrency project in question has not been named, it seems to be ATOR, which claims its goal is to enhance the Tor network through rewards paid in the ATOR cryptocurrency to relay operators.  

The value of ATOR plummeted on Monday after the Tor Project made its announcement, dropping to below $1 after reaching an all-time high of $2 just days before the relays were removed. Over 1,000 nodes have been reportedly shut down.

Following the Tor Project’s decision, ATOR maintainers said they plan to develop their own decentralized peer-to-peer routing network. 

The Tor Project last week published a financial report for the period between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, revealing that it had a total of nearly $7 million in revenue and support.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The US government continues to account for the largest chunk of revenue, contributing with more than 50% of the total ($3.2 million), followed by individual donations ($1.7 million), and governments other than the US ($450,000).  

Related: Amazon Rolls Out Independent Cloud for Europe to Address Stricter Privacy Standards

Related: US Officials Make Case for Renewing FISA Surveillance Powers

Related: Apple, Civil Liberty Groups Condemn UK Online Safety Bill

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join us as we delve into the transformative potential of AI, predictive ChatGPT-like tools and automation to detect and defend against cyberattacks.


As cybersecurity breaches and incidents escalate, the cyber insurance ecosystem is undergoing rapid and transformational change.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Artificial Intelligence

Two of humanity’s greatest drivers, greed and curiosity, will push AI development forward. Our only hope is that we can control it.

Cybersecurity Funding

Los Gatos, Calif-based data protection and privacy firm Titaniam has raised $6 million seed funding from Refinery Ventures, with participation from Fusion Fund, Shasta...


Many in the United States see TikTok, the highly popular video-sharing app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, as a threat to national security.The following is...


Employees of Chinese tech giant ByteDance improperly accessed data from social media platform TikTok to track journalists in a bid to identify the source...

Mobile & Wireless

As smartphone manufacturers are improving the ear speakers in their devices, it can become easier for malicious actors to leverage a particular side-channel for...


The proposed UK Online Safety Bill is the enactment of two long held government desires: the removal of harmful internet content, and visibility into...

Application Security

Open banking can be described as a perfect storm for cybersecurity. At one end, small startups with financial acumen but little or no security...

Cloud Security

AWS has announced that server-side encryption (SSE-S3) is now enabled by default for all Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets.