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Traffic Analysis Against Low-Latency Anonymity Networks Using Available Bandwidth Estimation

Chakravarty, Sambuddho; Stavrou, Angelos; Keromytis, Angelos D.

We introduce a novel remotely-mounted attack that can expose the network identity of an anonymous client, hidden service, and anonymizing proxies. To achieve this, we employ single-end controlled available bandwidth estimation tools and a colluding network entity that can modulate the traffic destined for the victim. To expose the circuit including the source, we inject a number of short or one large burst of traffic. Although timing attacks have been successful against anonymity networks, they require either a Global Adversary or the compromise of substantial number of anonymity nodes. Our technique does not require compromise of, or collaboration with, any such entity. To validate our attack, we performed a series of experiments using different network conditions and locations for the adversaries on both controlled and real-world Tor circuits. Our results demonstrate that our attack is successful in controlled environments. In real-world scenarios, even an under-provisioned adversary with only a few network vantage points can, under certain conditions, successfully identify the IP address of both Tor users and Hidden Servers. However, Tor's inherent circuit scheduling results in limited quality of service for its users. This at times leads to increased false negatives and it can degrade the performance of our circuit detection. We believe that as high speed anonymity networks become readily available, a well-provisioned adversary, with a partial or inferred network "map", will be able to partially or fully expose anonymous users.



Also Published In

Computer Security - ESORICS 2010: 15th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, Athens, Greece, September 20-22, 2010: Proceedings

More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 6345
Published Here
August 8, 2011