How much anonymity does network latency leak?

Nicholas Hopper, Eugene Y. Vasserman, Eric Chan-Tin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low-latency anonymity systems such as Tor, AN.ON, Crowds, and Anonymizer.com aim to provide anonymous connections that are both untraceable by "local" adversaries who control only a few machines, and have low enough delay to support anonymous use of network services like web browsing and remote login. One consequence of these goals is that these services leak some information about the network latency between the sender and one or more nodes in the system. This paper reports on three experiments that partially measure the extent to which such leakage can compromise anonymity. First, using a public dataset of pairwise round-trip times (RTTs) between 2000 Internet hosts, we estimate that on average, knowing the network location of host A and the RTT to host B leaks 3.64 bits of information about the network location of B. Second, we describe an attack that allows a pair of colluding web sites to predict, based on local timing information and with no additional resources, whether two connections from the same Tor exit node are using the same circuit with 17% equal error rate. Finally, we describe an attack that allows a malicious website, with access to a network coordinate system and one corrupted Tor router, to recover roughly 6.8 bits of network location per hour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCCS'07 - Proceedings of the 14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Pages82-91
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Event14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS'07 - Alexandria, VA, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2007Nov 2 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221

Other

Other14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS'07
CountryUnited States
CityAlexandria, VA
Period10/29/0711/2/07

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Latency

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