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On the Effectiveness of Low Latency Anonymous Network - The Free ...

On the Effectiveness of Low Latency Anonymous Network - The Free ...

On the Effectiveness of Low Latency Anonymous Network - The Free

On the Effectiveness of Low Latency Anonymous Networkin the Presence of Timing AttackJing JinDepartment of Computer ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax, VA 22030, USAjjin3@gmu.eduXinyuan WangDepartment of Computer ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax, VA 22030, USAxwangc@gmu.eduAbstractIn this paper, we introduce a novel metric that canquantitatively measure the practical effectiveness (i.e.anonymity) of all anonymous networks in the presence oftiming attack. Our metric is based on a novel measurementof the distortion of the packet timing between the incomingand the outgoing flows to and from the anonymousnetwork and it uses wavelet based analysis to measure thevariability of the distortion. To the best of our knowledge,our approach is the first practical method that can quantitativelymeasure the packet timing distortion between flowsthat may have gone through such transformations as flowmixing/spliting/merging, adding chaff, packet dropping.To validate our anonymity metric, we have conductedreal-time timing attacks on various deployed anonymousnetworks such as Tor, anonymizer.com and have used thetiming attack results as the ground truth for validating ouranonymity metric. We have found strong correlation betweenour anonymity metric and the timing attack results.Our metric measurements and timing attack results showthat the circuit rotation in Tor network could significantlyincrease its resistance to timing attack at the cost of moretiming disturbances to the normal users. In addition, wehave found that adding constant rate chaff (i.e. cover traffic)has diminishing effect in anonymizing packet flows.Keywords: Dependability benchmarking, Measurementtechniques, Networking and networked systems, Reliability,availability and safety, Security.1 IntroductionPrivacy and anonymity are a major concern for Internetusers. To provide anonymous, real-time communication(e.g., Internet browsing) for Internet users, many lowlatency,anonymous networks (e.g. Anonymizer.com [3],Crowds [25], Onion Routing [24], Tor [10], Hordes [28],Web Mixes [6], Tarzan [13]) have been proposed to disguisethe identity and correspondence between the communicatingparties.However, the timing constraint imposed by the requirementof low-latency makes low-latency networks susceptibleto the timing-attack [12, 30, 20, 21, 15, 29, 32, 33, 23],which essentially exploits the timing correlation betweenthe original flow and the anonymized flow to correlate them.Since no practical low-latency anonymous network couldcompletely eliminate the timing correlation between theoriginal flow and the anonymized flow, all practical lowlatencyanonymous networks are subject to timing attacks.Therefore, it is important to understand the negative impactof timing attack on low-latency anonymous networks.To evaluate the resilience of various low-latency anonymousnetworks against the timing attack, we need a metricto quantitatively measure the effectiveness of variousanonymous networks in the presence of timing attack. Sucha generic metric not only lets us to compare different deployedanonymous networks, but also enables us to analyzenew anonymity techniques in order to design better anonymousnetwork in the presence of timing attack.In this paper, we propose a novel metric that can quantitativelymeasure the practical effectiveness (i.e. anonymity)of all anonymous networks in the presence of timing attack.Recognizing that the objective of anonymous networkis to disguise the anonymized flow as much as possibleso that it is hard to be correlated with the correspondingoriginal flow in the packet timing domain, we build ouranonymity metric upon a novel measurement of the packettiming distortion between the incoming and the outgoingflows to and from the anonymous network. To the best ofour knowledge, our approach is the first practical methodthat can quantitatively measure the packet timing distortion

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