CLAPS: Client-Location-Aware Path Selection in Tor

Florentin Rochet, Ryan Wails, Aaron Johnson, Prateek Mittal, Olivier Pereira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


Much research has investigated improving the security and performance of Tor by having Tor clients choose paths through the network in a way that depends on the client's location. However, this approach has been demonstrated to lead to serious deanonymization attacks. Moreover, we show how in some scenarios it can lead to significant performance degradation. For example, we demonstrate that using the recently-proposed Counter-RAPTOR system when guard bandwidth isn't abundant could increase median download times by 28.7%. We propose the CLAPS system for performing client-location-aware path selection, which fixes the known security and performance issues of existing designs. We experimentally compare the security and performance of CLAPS to Counter-RAPTOR and DeNASA. CLAPS puts a strict bound on the leakage of information about the client's location, where the other systems could completely reveal it after just a few connections. It also guarantees a limit on the advantage that an adversary can obtain by strategic relay placement, which we demonstrate to be overwhelming against the other systems. Finally, due to a powerful formalization of path selection as an optimization problem, CLAPS is approaching or even exceeding the original goals of algorithms to which it is applied, while solving their known deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCCS 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370899
StatePublished - Oct 30 2020
Event27th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2020Nov 13 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
ISSN (Print)1543-7221


Conference27th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • anonymity
  • onion routing
  • tor


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