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Tag Archives: tor

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Research: Analyzing the Tor routing protocol to identify structural weaknesses

The Onion Router (Tor) has been developed in order to protect the privacy, integrity, and availability of communications taking place across its network. This unique network is based on a community that utilizes a special network protocol to enable users to browse the internet anonymously. Even though the protocol’s open source code is publically available, some of its aspects, including ... Read More »

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Research: Analyzing the DNS traffic of a high bandwidth Tor exit node – A research study

Internet usage differs markedly from one country to another when accessed websites are considered, especially in countries where censorship is exercised. People all over the world usually use Tor to communicate anonymously over the internet. The institute of networks and security (INS) hosts an exit node, with high bandwidth (200 MBit/s), on the Tor network for research purposes. A recently ... Read More »

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Research: Tor Marketplaces – Economics and PGP based investigative technique

The impact of criminal usage of the internet is growing dramatically with the emergence of the Tor network, where darknet marketplaces are taking the shape of legal online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Ebay. Consequently, even offline crimes can now benefit from this novel modus operandi and the innovative routes to ship illegal products and services, which force law enforcement ... Read More »

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Research: TorBot Stalker – A new mechanism for detection of Tor based botnets via intelligent circuit data analysis

A botnet represents a group of compromised machines that are centrally controlled by a botmaster, who uses the botnet for distributing spam emails or launching denial of service attacks (DDoS) via means of special command and control (C&C) servers. The task of taking down a botnet often represents a “cat and mouse” chase as botnet operators, or botmasters, usually continuously ... Read More »

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Research: SmarTor – Improving the security of Tor via smart contracts

As state surveillance is currently increasing in many parts of the world, privacy and anonymous technologies have become more essential than ever before. The Tor project is by far one of the most important privacy tools for anonymous online access. Within the Tor network, Directory Authorities (DAs) operate to distribute the topology information needed to construct anonymity preserving circuits, or ... Read More »

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A new method for detecting malicious traffic over the Tor network

Tor is a unique overlay network that was developed to provide anonymous online communications for TCP based applications. The Tor network is currently serving hundreds of thousands of users, helping them to conceal their identity while surfing the internet. Even though the Tor network is currently mainly used to bypass internet censorship in countries governed by oppressive regimes, the anonymity ... Read More »

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VMWare and virtualization of the Tor network for research purposes

There are currently many approaches to conducting Tor network security research. Direct experiments on the live Tor network, formal modeling, connection simulation, and emulation of the Tor network represent a few examples of these approaches. It should be emphasized that there are multiple ethical issues associated with conducting experiments on the live Tor network. The main challenges include undermining the ... Read More »

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Using Website Fingerprinting (WF) to deanonymize Tor users

The Tor network was established to provide anonymity to internet users who are concerned about preserving their anonymity when browsing specific online content. The Tor network is comprised of a set of router circuits that utilize cryptography to apply multiple layers of encryption to transmitted data packets, thus concealing the IP address of the user, the established connection between the ... Read More »

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Research: Using Network Investigative Techniques (NITs) to Home in on Tor Cybercriminals

Network Investigative Techniques (NITs) are special forms of digital law enforcement tools that enable law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to hack into suspicious computers via the exploitation of vulnerabilities. NITs have aided in the location and identification of cybercriminals operating on various darknets where conventional investigative means proved to be useless. They play a significant role in cybercrime investigations, as well ... Read More »

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Clickstream tracking of users of the Tor browser – A research paper

The growing significance of web analytics, we have been witnessing throughout the past few years, has been also accompanied by an enormous growth in the number of web users concerned about preserving their online anonymity. The Tor browser has been often considered as the best online browsing tool available, as evidenced by more than 2.5 million people using it daily. ... Read More »

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Studying Tor Network Traffic Using Hidden Markov Modeling and Dynamic Learning by Tamer Sameeh

Experimentation techniques aid in the testing of Tor’s performance and discovery of security problems, as well as allowing researchers to privately and safely conduct Tor experiments without imposing harm on live Tor users. Nevertheless, researchers using these techniques configure them in such a way to generate network traffic on the basis of simplifying assumptions as well as invalid measurements and ... Read More »

An overview of various deployment strategies across the Tor network

The significance of anonymous networks, namely Tor, has massively grown during the past few years. To keep up with present and future requirements of the Tor network, carrying out active research is indispensable, especially to improve performance of the network and strengthen anonymity against various forms of adversaries. Innovative developments will eventually fail to achieve practical significance if they cannot ... Read More »

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DeepCorr – A novel efficient system for flow correlation attacks on Tor

Flow correlation represents one of the essential techniques utilized in a myriad of deanonymization attacks launched against Tor. Even though flow correlation attacks are highly important , current flow correlation techniques are ineffective in linking Tor traffic flows when implemented at a large scale, i.e. they require long flow observation rates that are highly impractical, or are associated with high ... Read More »

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Research: Comparing the performance of IP routing and onion routing (Tor)

The world is currently witnessing many political conflicts. Repressive governments are imposing sanctions on free speech. Many of these governments block the general public from accessing some websites, which led people in these countries to find solutions to be able to browse the internet freely. Researching solutions to this problem led to the practical deployment of a prototype model for ... Read More »

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Recent flow watermarking techniques for detection of Tor hidden services

Tor is by far the most widely used anonymous network that is increasingly being exploited by users hosting and publishing content via hidden services. In most cases, Tor’s hidden services are used to distribute content that is morally or illegally deplorable, e.g. child pornography. Law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are constantly trying to identify users hosting and distributing such content. Innovative ... Read More »