The Tor Project has removed more than 800 servers that were running outdated and end-of-life (EOL) versions of the Tor software. These blacklisted servers account for nearly 13.5% of the 6,000+ in the Tor network that helps internet users anonymize traffic.
About 750 of them belonged to Tor middle relays, whereas the other 62 are exit relays (point in Tor network where user exit onto the world wide web after having their true location rerouted numerous times through the Tor network).
Admins of the Tor project plan to roll out a software update in November which will prevent connections with EOL Tor server versions by default — without any manual intervention like this time.
“Until then, we will reject around 800 obsolete relays using their fingerprints,” writes the Tor Project team.
The reason behind banning these servers was security concerns as outdated Tor relays are vulnerable to various attacks and they also lacked the recently added security features in the latest versions of the Tor software.
The plans to evict outdated servers were conceptualized at the beginning of September. Initially, the Tor team had plans to remove 1,276 servers running EOL versions. However, after Tor admins notified server owners of the same, the number went down to the 800+ servers.
Overall, it is a good step that will leave the Tor network in a better state and improve its security.