As my followers well know, by now, I am a tinkerer at heart. Why do I do things ? No one knows ! I don’t even know.
All I know, all I can tell you is that I like to see what can I do with the tools I have at hand. How can I bend them to my will. Why, you may ask. The answer is a bit complicated; part of who I am, part of what I do as a DevOps. End line is, this time I was curious.
I went down a road that taught me so much more about containers, docker, docker-compose and even Linux itself.
The question I had was simple, can I run a container only through Tor running in another container?
I usually like to start topics that I haven’t mentioned before with definitions. In this case, what is Tor, you may ask ?
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.
Although that home page is obscure because it was replaced by the new design of the website. Although I love what Tor has done with all the services they offer, don’t get me wrong. But giving so much importance on the browser only and leaving the rest for dead when it comes to website, I have to say, I’m a bit sad.
Anyway, let’s share the love for Tor and thank them for the beautiful project they offered humanity.
Now that we thanked them, let’s abuse it.
Tor in a container
The task I set to discover relied on Tor being containerized. The first thing I do is, simply, not re-invent the wheel. Let’s find out if someone already took that task.
With a litte bit of search, I found the dperson/torproxy docker image. It isn’t ideal but I believe it is written to be rebuilt.
Can we run it ?
docker run -it -p 127.0.0.1:8118:8118 -d dperson/torproxy
curl -Lx http://localhost:8118 http://jsonip.com/
And this is definitely not your IP. Don’t take my word for it! Go to http://jsonip.com/ in a browser and see for yourself.
Now that we know we can run Tor in a container effectively, let’s kick it up a notch.
I will be testing and making changes as I go along. For this reason, it’s a good idea to use docker-compose to do this.
Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. With Compose, you use a YAML file to configure your application’s services. Then, with a single command, you create and start all the services from your configuration.
Now that we saw what the docker team has to say about docker-compose, let’s go ahead and use it.
First, let’s implement what we just ran ad-hoc in docker-compose.
--- version: '3.9' services: torproxy: image: dperson/torproxy container_name: torproxy restart: unless-stopped
The next piece of the puzzle is to figure out if and how can we create an air-gapped container.
It turns out, we can create an
internal network in docker that has no access to the internet.
First, the air-gapped container.
air-gapped: image: ubuntu container_name: air-gapped restart: unless-stopped command: - bash - -c - sleep infinity networks: - no-internet
Then comes the network.
networks: no-internet: driver: bridge internal: true
Let’s put it all together in a
docker-compose.yaml file and run it.
docker-compose up -d
Keep that terminal open, and let’s put the hypothesis to the test and see if rises up to be a theory.
docker exec air-gapped apt-get update
Err:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' Err:2 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'security.ubuntu.com' Err:3 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-updates InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' Err:4 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-backports InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' Reading package lists... W: Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/focal/InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' W: Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/focal-updates/InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' W: Failed to fetch http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/focal-backports/InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'archive.ubuntu.com' W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/focal-security/InRelease Temporary failure resolving 'security.ubuntu.com' W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.
looks like it’s real peeps, hooray !
Putting everything together
Okay, now let’s put everything together. The list of changes we need to make are minimal. First, I will list them, then I will simply write them out in docker-compose.
- Create an
internetnetwork for the Tor container
- Attach the
internetnetwork to the Tor container
- Attach the
no-internetnetwork to the Tor container so that our air-gapped container can access it.
Let’s get to work.
--- version: '3.9' services: torproxy: image: dperson/torproxy container_name: torproxy restart: unless-stopped networks: - no-internet - internet air-gapped: image: ubuntu container_name: air-gapped restart: unless-stopped command: - bash - -c - sleep infinity networks: - no-internet networks: no-internet: driver: bridge internal: true internet: driver: bridge internal: false
docker-compose up -d
Yes, this will run it in the background and there is no need for you to open another terminal. It’s always good to know both ways. Anyway, let’s test.
exec into the container.
docker exec -it air-gapped bash
Then we configure
apt to use our
echo 'Acquire::http::Proxy "http://torproxy:8118/";' > /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/proxy echo "export HTTP_PROXY=http://torproxy:8118/" >> ~/.bashrc echo "export HTTPS_PROXY=http://torproxy:8118/" >> ~/.bashrc export HTTP_PROXY=http://torproxy:8118/ export HTTPS_PROXY=http://torproxy:8118/ apt-get update apt-get upgrade -y DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive apt-get install -y curl
Harvesting the fruits of our labour
First, we always check if everything is set correctly.
While inside the container, we check the environment variables.
env | grep HTTP
You should see.
Then, we curl our IP.
And that is also not your IP.
It works !
Is it possible to route a container through another Tor container ?
The answer is obviously Yes and this is the way to do it. Enjoy.