Rob G. Jansen, PhD

Computer Scientist, Researcher, and Principal Investigator
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, USA

Publication Details

  1. Citation

    Aaron JohnsonRob Jansen, Aaron D. Jaggard, Joan Feigenbaum, and Paul Syverson:
    Avoiding The Man on the Wire: Improving Tor’s Security with Trust-Aware Path Selection. Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, 2017.

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    Tor users are vulnerable to deanonymization by an adversary that can observe some Tor relays or some parts of the network. We demonstrate that previous network-aware path-selection algorithms that propose to solve this problem are vulnerable to attacks across multiple Tor connections. We suggest that users use trust to choose the paths through Tor that are less likely to be observed, where trust is flexibly modeled as a probability distribution on the location of the user’s adversaries, and we present the Trust-Aware Path Selection algorithm for Tor that helps users avoid traffic-analysis attacks while still choosing paths that could have been selected by many other users. We evaluate this algorithm in two settings using a high-level map of Internet routing: (i) users try to avoid a single global adversary that has an independent chance to control each Autonomous System organization, Internet Exchange Point organization, and Tor relay family, and (ii) users try to avoid deanonymization by any single country. We also examine the performance of Trust-Aware Path selection using the Shadow network simulator.


      title = {Avoiding The Man on the Wire: Improving Tor’s Security with Trust-Aware Path Selection},
      author = {Johnson, Aaron and Jansen, Rob and Jaggard, Aaron D. and Feigenbaum, Joan and Syverson, Paul},
      booktitle = {Network and Distributed System Security Symposium},
      year = {2017},
      doi = {10.14722/ndss.2017.23307},