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The dangers of composing anonymous channels

(2013) The dangers of composing anonymous channels. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) , 7692 L pp. 191-206. 10.1007/978-3-642-36373-3_13.

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Abstract

We present traffic analyses of two anonymous communications schemes that build on the classic Crowds/Hordes protocols. The AJSS10 [1] scheme combines multiple Crowds-like forward channels with a Hordes reply channel in an attempt to offer robustness in a mobile environment. We show that the resulting scheme fails to guarantee the claimed k-anonymity, and is in fact more vulnerable to malicious peers than Hordes, while suffering from higher latency. Similarly, the RWS11 [15] scheme invokes multiple instances of Crowds to provide receiver anonymity. We demonstrate that the sender anonymity of the scheme is susceptible to a variant of the predecessor attack [21], while receiver anonymity is fully compromised with an active attack. We conclude that the heuristic security claims of AJSS10 and RWS11 do not hold, and argue that composition of multiple anonymity channels can in fact weaken overall security. In contrast, we provide a rigorous security analysis of Hordes under the same threat model, and reflect on design principles for future anonymous channels to make them amenable to such security analysis. © 2013 Springer-Verlag.

Type: Article
Title: The dangers of composing anonymous channels
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-36373-3_13
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1409407
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