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How would tor defend from this attack?
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- Subject: How would tor defend from this attack?
- From: "Michael_google gmail_Gersten" <keybounce@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 21:57:49 -0800
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So here's an idea for an attack on tor.
We recently saw a paper that said that someone who puts in a lot of
routers, claiming to have high bandwidth, can correlate senders and
destinations, exposing the traffic analysis that tor is trying to
defend against. And, a response from the maintainers -- doing that
leaves a lot of tracks.
What about a real set of routers?
Right now, it looks like the network of tor routers is such that 50
high speed routers will be able to be that >10% of the network, and
determine the senders/receivers of traffic.
How big of an attack is this? 50 headless machines, at $400 per
machine, $20,000. 50 network connections at $50/month, $2,500 per
month. $30,000 per year.
$50,000 for the first year, and what happens?
Tor gets a lot more bandwidth. Tor looks to be expanding at a good
rate. And tor's effectiveness is compromised, completely. Heck, it can
even be done by law enforcement, or even by China, so that they know
who to go after.
And, since exit nodes see a lot of unencrypted traffic, this means
that it becomes easier, not harder, to watch someone. Right now, for
example, it's hard to grab the traffic from someone elsewhere on the
internet, but if you know that they use tor, then you can run an exit
router and have a chance to see what they do. Run enough routers, and
you can grab a large portion of their traffic.
As much as tor is trying to protect privacy, is it time to ask the
other question: Does tor make it much easier for a large organization
to start restricting privacy?
$50,000 may sound like a lot, but consider what can be generated for
an "anti-pedophile" group -- a private organization saying "Protect
the children!". Or ... well, the point is, that's relatively cheap. It
doesn't take a government level spending to do that -- it's even in
the range of the corporate espionage budget of a large multi-national
How can tor defend against something like this?