Feeds

Better onion anonymity possible: researcher

Boost to reliability as well

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Onion routing – which in spite of its DARPA genealogy are disliked by national security types – could be made more anonymous, according to a an Iranian researcher now working on a PhD at Concordia University in Montreal.

In this Arxiv-published paper, Ehsan Saboori and co-author Shahriar Mohammadi propose separating the “request” and “response” paths on onion networks to improve user anonymity.

Saboori’s paper notes that over time, a user of a technology such as the TOR project can be identified by analysis of network traffic.

His proposal depends on trusted supernodes (someone at Concordia could have proofread the paper, since it’s mis-spelled “suppernode” throughout) to maintain peer lists of participants, and provide peer information to a requester joining the network.

The requester then randomly chooses two paths for its communications: one path to contact the responder (the host the peer is trying to contact), and a different path for responses.

The idea is that traffic analysis becomes more complex, since each requester on the network is able to periodically – and randomly – select new paths to the responder. This makes it difficult for an intruder to identify the origin path of transferred data.

While the supernodes, if compromised, could reveal participants in the network, the existence of the peers doesn’t identify what routes were chosen by a given requester at a given point in time. Anonymity would, however, depend on scale: if a supernode architecture has too few peers, they would be relatively easy to identify.

Saboori also notes that the scheme needs multiple supernodes so that they don’t become a single point of failure (allowing the onion network to be attacked by a DoS against a supernode). ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.