TitlePreventing Active Timing Attacks in Low-Latency Anonymous Communication (Extended Abstract)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsFeigenbaum, J., A. Johnson, and P. Syverson
Conference Name10th Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2010)

Low-latency anonymous communication protocols in general, and the popular onion-routing protocol in particular, are broken against simple timing attacks. While there have been few proposed solutions to this problem when the adversary is active, several padding schemes have been proposed to defend against a passive adversary that just observes timing patterns. Unfortunately active adversaries can break padding schemes by inserting delays and dropping messages. We present a protocol that provides anonymity against an active adversary by using a black-box padding scheme that is effective against a passive adversary. Our protocol reduces, in some sense, providing anonymous communication against active attacks to providing a padding scheme against passive attacks. Our analytical results show that anonymity can be made arbitrarily good at the cost of some added latency and required bandwidth. We also perform measurements on the Tor network to estimate the real-world performance of our protocol, showing that the added delay is not excessive.

Full Text

Feigenbaum etal 2010.pdf

NRL Publication Release Number