Apr 4, 2016 ยท 1 minute

You know Cloudflare. Course you do.

They sit between your website and the rest of the Internet and make sure DDOS attacks and other nasty traffic doesn’t get through. They’re so ubiquitous that many web hosting companies offer Cloudflare configuration as a one-click add on.

In other words, Cloudflare sees a lot of web traffic and knows a thing or two about identifying threats.

No wonder, then, that the Tor project is (characteristically) furious that Cloudflare has revealed a staggering 94% of Tor traffic passing through its network is flagged as malicious:

On the other hand, anonymity is also something that provides value to online attackers. Based on data across the CloudFlare network, 94% of requests that we see across the Tor network are per se malicious. That doesn’t mean they are visiting controversial content, but instead that they are automated requests designed to harm our customers. A large percentage of the comment spam, vulnerability scanning, ad click fraud, content scraping, and login scanning comes via the Tor network. To give you some sense, based on data from Project Honey Pot, 18% of global email spam, or approximately 6.5 trillion unwanted messages per year, begin with an automated bot harvesting email addresses via the Tor network.

That second stat is fun too: 6.5 trillion unwanted email messages thanks to Tor.

So what does Tor have to say for itself? Presumably a very clear statement refuting Cloud Flare’s claims?

Well, not quite. In a statement published on the Tor Project blog about the 94% figure, Tor would simply say “we find that unlikely” and “suspect[s] this figure is based on a flawed methodology.”

Unlikely! Suspect!

Take that, Cloudflare!