There is much material on how to protect yourself from malicious exit nodes, especially by using SSL and minimizing the leakage of identifying information (user-agent, screen size, etc.).
However, I was wondering why an attacker could not just setup a bunch of fake Tor entry nodes, and redirect your outgoing connections to them (assuming you must route all data through their network). They could even virtualize or fake the whole Tor network with ease.
What measures does Tor have against such attacks, and what can a user do against it?
Are there e.g. a list of hardcoded entry servers with known public keys? If so, how do I know that those priviliged servers are not operated by the NSA or the Chinese or whoever? They could be a) compromized from day one, or b) someone could have manipulated
torproject.org when I downloaded the software, and replaced the server list and checksums.
(I hope this doesn't sound too paranoid. I got this idea when I was working a large (US-)government-run facility, and noticed how pervasive their computer security measures were (probably with good reason). If I were a dissident or had something to hide, they could have easily 'rabbit-holed' my entire network. I guess this is a much more pressing problem in other countries.)