Re3: Relay reliability reputation for anonymity systems

Anupam Das, Nikita Borisov, Prateek Mittal, Matthew Caesar

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

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

To conceal user identities, Tor, a popular anonymity system, forwards traffic through multiple relays. These relays, however, are often unreliable, leading to a degraded user experience. Worse yet, malicious relays may strategically introduce deliberate failures to increase their chance of compromising anonymity. In this paper we propose a reputation system that profiles the reliability of relays in an anonymity system based on users' past experience. A particular challenge is that an observed failure in an anonymous communication cannot be uniquely attributed to a single relay. This enables an attack where malicious relays can target a set of honest relays in order to drive down their reputation. Our system defends against this attack in two ways. Firstly, we use an adaptive exponentially-weighted moving average (EWMA) that ensures malicious relays adopting time-varying strategic behavior obtain low reputation scores over time. Secondly, we propose a filtering scheme based on the evaluated reputation score that can effectively discard relays involved in such attacks. We use probabilistic analysis, simulations, and real-world experiments to validate our reputation system. We show that the dominant strategy for an attacker is to not perform deliberate failures, but rather maintain a high quality of service. Our reputation system also significantly improves the reliability of path construction even in the absence of attacks. Finally, we show that the benefits of our reputation system can be realized with a moderate number of observations, making it feasible for individual clients to perform their own profiling, rather than relying on an external entity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASIA CCS 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages63-74
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450328005
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 4 2014
Event9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security, ASIA CCS 2014 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Jun 4 2014Jun 6 2014

Publication series

NameASIA CCS 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security

Other

Other9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security, ASIA CCS 2014
CountryJapan
CityKyoto
Period6/4/146/6/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

Keywords

  • Measurement
  • Security

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  • Cite this

    Das, A., Borisov, N., Mittal, P., & Caesar, M. (2014). Re3: Relay reliability reputation for anonymity systems. In ASIA CCS 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security (pp. 63-74). (ASIA CCS 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th ACM Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2590296.2590338