Denial of service or denial of security?

Nikita Borisov, George Danezis, Prateek Mittal, Parisa Tabriz

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

96 Scopus citations


We consider the effect attackers who disrupt anonymous communications have on the security of traditional high- and low-latency anonymous communication systems, as well as on the Hydra-Onion and Cashmere systems that aim to offer reliable mixing, and Salsa, a peer-to-peer anonymous communication network. We show that denial of service (DoS) lowers anonymity as messages need to get retransmitted to be delivered, presenting more opportunities for attack. We uncover a fundamental limit on the security of mix networks, showing that they cannot tolerate a majority of nodes being malicious. Cashmere, Hydra-Onion, and Salsa security is also badly affected by DoS attackers. Our results are backed by probabilistic modeling and extensive simulations and are of direct applicability to deployed anonymity systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCCS'07 - Proceedings of the 14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS'07 - Alexandria, VA, United States
Duration: Oct 29 2007Nov 2 2007

Publication series

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


Other14th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS'07
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAlexandria, VA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Anonymity
  • Attacks
  • Denial of service
  • Reliability


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