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Re: [tor-dev] high latency hidden services

I’m interested in helping out with this, mostly because we’ll want it for Pond : https://pond.imperialviolet.org/

I’ve read the alpha-mixing paper, but not the others, so I’ll check em’ out. 


On 9 Dec 2014, at 16:40, Michael Rogers <michael@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Signed PGP part
> On 25/11/14 12:45, George Kadianakis wrote:
> > Yes, integrating low-latency with high-latency anonymity is a very
> > interesting probleml. Unfortunately, I haven't had any time to
> > think about it.
> >
> > For people who want to think about it there is the "Blending
> > different latency traffic with alpha-mixing" paper. Roger mentioned
> > that one of the big challenges of making the paper usable with Tor,
> > is switching from the message-based approach to stream-based.
> >
> > Other potential papers are "Stop-and-Go-MIX" by Kesdogan et al.
> > and "Garbled Routing (GR): A generic framework towards unification
> > of anonymous communication systems" by Madani et al. But I haven't
> > looked into them at all...
> Two of these papers were also mentioned in the guardian-dev thread, so
> I guess we're thinking along similar lines.
> Alpha mixes and stop-and-go mixes are message-oriented, which as you
> said raises the question of how to integrate them into Tor. Judging by
> the abstract of the garbled routing paper (paywalled), it's a hybrid
> design combining message-oriented and circuit-oriented features. I
> think there might also be scope for circuit-oriented designs with
> higher latency than Tor currently provides, which might fit more
> easily into the Tor architecture than message-oriented or hybrid designs.
> A circuit-oriented design would aim to prevent an observer from
> matching the circuits entering a relay with the circuits leaving the
> relay. In other words it would prevent traffic confirmation at each
> hop, and thus also end-to-end.
> At least four characteristics can be used to match circuits entering
> and leaving a relay: start time, end time, total traffic volume and
> traffic timing. The design would need to provide ways to mix a circuit
> with other circuits with respect to each characteristic.
> The current architecture allows start and end times to be mixed by
> pausing at each hop while building or tearing down a circuit. However,
> each hop of a given circuit must start earlier and end later than the
> next hop.
> Traffic volumes can also be mixed by discarding padding at each hop,
> but each hop must carry at least as much traffic as the next hop (or
> vice versa for traffic travelling back towards the initiator). This is
> analogous to the problem of messages shrinking at each hop of a
> cypherpunk mix network, as padding is removed but not added.
> There's currently no way to conceal traffic timing - each relay
> forwards cells as soon as it can.
> Here's a crude sketch of a design that allows all four characteristics
> to be mixed, with fewer constraints than the current architecture.
> Each hop of a circuit must start earlier than the next hop, but it can
> end earlier or later, carry more or less traffic, and have different
> traffic timing.
> The basic idea is that the initiator chooses a traffic pattern for
> each direction of each hop. The traffic pattern is described by a
> distribution of inter-cell delays. Each relay sends the specified
> traffic pattern regardless of whether it has any data to send, and
> regardless of what happens at other hops.
> Whenever a relay forwards a data cell along a circuit, it picks a
> delay from the specified distribution, adds it to the current time,
> and writes the result on the circuit's queue. When the scheduler
> round-robins over circuits, it skips any circuits with future times
> written on them. If a circuit's time has come, the relay sends the
> first queued data cell if there is one; if not, it sends a single-hop
> padding cell.
> Flow control works end-to-end in the same way as any other Tor
> circuit: single-hop padding cells aren't included in the circuit's
> flow control window.
> When tearing down the circuit, the initiator tells each relay how long
> to continue sending the specified traffic pattern in each direction.
> Thus each hop may stop sending traffic before or after the next hop.
> Even this crude design has multiple parameters, so its anonymity
> properties may not be easy to reason about. Even if we restrict
> traffic patterns to a single-parameter distribution such as the
> exponential, we also have to consider the pause time at each hop while
> building circuits and the 'hangover time' at each hop while tearing
> them down. But I think we can mine the mix literature for some ideas
> to apply - and probably some attacks against this first attempt at a
> design as well.
> Cheers,
> Michael
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