A traffic analysis of Link-Based Relay Selection? (PETS 2009)
7 August 2009
Micah Sherr presented at PETS a few days ago his work on “Scalable Link-Based Relay Selection for Anonymous Routing“. The key idea is that paths are generated by taking into account the network performance of each link to be used. The overhead of distributing performance information can be reduced by associating with each server a network coordinate, that allows to estimate the latency between pairs of nodes.
This is a pure path selection proposal, as quite a few have appeared in the past year to reduce latency, or increase node utilization in Tor. The question with all those proposals is: how much anonymity would these path selection strategies provide?
The methodology we present in “The Bayesian Traffic Analysis of Mix Networks” provides a way of answering such questions, by carefully modelling the path selection strategy. Applying the same methodology to these path selection proposals would be of clear benefit, and an excellent project for anyone interested in understanding better how to apply inference based techniques to traffic analysis.