Rob G. Jansen, PhD

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

Publication Details

  1. Citation

    Aaron Johnson, Chris Wacek,  Rob JansenMicah Sherr, and Paul Syverson:
    Users Get Routed: Traffic Correlation on Tor by Realistic Adversaries. Conference on Computer and Communications Security, 2013.

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    Media Mentions

    ars technica
    ars technica
    mit tech review
    the register
    infosec magazine
    help net security
    irish times
    punto informatico


    We present the first analysis of the popular Tor anonymity network that indicates the security of typical users against reasonably realistic adversaries in the Tor network or in the underlying Internet. Our results show that Tor users are far more susceptible to compromise than indicated by prior work. Specific contributions of the paper include (1) a model of various typical kinds of users, (2) an adversary model that includes Tor network relays, autonomous systems (ASes), Internet exchange points (IXPs), and groups of IXPs drawn from empirical study, (3) metrics that indicate how secure users are over a period of time, (4) the most accurate topological model to date of ASes and IXPs as they relate to Tor usage and network configuration, (5) a novel realistic Tor path simulator (TorPS), and (6) analyses of security making use of all the above. To show that our approach is useful to explore alternatives and not just Tor as currently deployed, we also analyze a published alternative path selection algorithm, Congestion-Aware Tor. We create an empirical model of Tor congestion, identify novel attack vectors, and show that it too is more vulnerable than previously indicated.


      title = {Users Get Routed: Traffic Correlation on Tor by Realistic Adversaries},
      author = {Johnson, Aaron and Wacek, Chris and Jansen, Rob and Sherr, Micah and Syverson, Paul},
      booktitle = {Conference on Computer and Communications Security},
      year = {2013},
      doi = {10.1145/2508859.2516651},