Over the past 24 hours https://check.torproject.org has been unavailable due to excessive DNS queries to the exitlist service. It seems there are a number of individuals and companies with commercial products relying upon this volunteer service. We finally hit the point where we couldn't keep up with the queries and simply disabled the service.
This is a volunteer service offered as a proof of concept. We strongly encourage people to run their own. The code is available at https://svn.torproject.org/svn/check/trunk/.
The new Tor Browser 3.0 alpha series includes a new way to detect "tor or not" locally, without relying on a single point of failure service. This is the first step towards finally retiring check.torproject.org for good.
As of 09:00 on 04 July 2013, the service is re-enabled. We reserve the right to take it down as needed without notice.
Update 2011-12-21 20:06 (GMT-5): everything is back online and operating within acceptable parameters.
As of late last night 20 Dec (GMT-5) our website hosting provider is
experiencing a sustained attack. The attack is not directed at Tor, but
someone else on the same network. The effect is that parts of our
website infrastructure are intermittently unreachable. This includes
the following domains in torproject.org: www, trac, gitweb, doxygen,
cloud, svn, and check.
The most visible outage is check.torproject.org. Every Tor Browser
Bundle user will attempt to reach this url on start up. You are
currently seeing a browser-generated timeout message as the site is
We're working to setup a new instance of check.torproject.org on a
different machine today.
Originally posted to tor-talk, https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2011-December/022457.htm...