Provable unlinkability against traffic analysis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Chaum [1,2] suggested a simple and efficient protocol aimed at providing anonymity in the presence of an adversary watching all communication links. Chaum's protocol is known to be insecure. We show that Chaum's protocol becomes secure when the attack model is relaxed and the adversary can control at most 99% of communication links. Our proof technique is markedly different than previous work. We establish a connection with information theory - a connection we believe is useful also elsewhere, and which we believe supplies the correct language to attack the problem. We introduce "obscurant networks" - networks that can obscure the destination of each particular player, and we show almost all executions of the protocol include such a network. The security guarantee we supply is very strong. It shows the adversary learns almost no information about any subset of players. Remarkably, we show that this guarantee holds even if the adversary has a-priori information about communication patters (e.g., people tend to speak less with those who do not understand their language). We believe this is an important issue in the real world and is a desirable property any anonymous system should have.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
EditorsAri Juels
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages266-280
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)3540224203
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3110
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Peer to Peer networks
  • Privacy
  • Traffic Analysis
  • Unlinkability

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