TitleLocating Hidden Servers
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsOverlier, L., and P. Syverson
Conference NameIEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy
PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press
Conference LocationOakland, California

Hidden services were deployed on the Tor anonymous communication network in 2004. Announced properties include server resistance to distributed DoS. Both the EFF and Reporters Without Borders have issued guides that describe using hidden services via Tor to protect the safety of dissidents as well as to resist censorship.
We present fast and cheap attacks that reveal the location of a hidden server. Using a single hostile Tor node we have located deployed hidden servers in a matter of minutes. Although we examine hidden services over Tor, our results apply to any client using a variety of anonymity networks. In fact, these are the first actual intersection attacks on any deployed public network: thus confirming general expectations from prior theory and simulation. We recommend changes to route selection design and implementation for Tor. These changes require no operational increase in network overhead and are simple to make; but they prevent the attacks we have demonstrated. They have been implemented.

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