Anonymity networks and access to information during conflicts: Towards a distributed network organisation

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dc.contributor.author Palmieri, Paolo
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-21T13:42:45Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-21T13:42:45Z
dc.date.issued 2016-06
dc.identifier.citation Palmieri, P. (2016) 'Anonymity networks and access to information during conflicts: Towards a distributed network organisation', 8th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, CyCon 2016, Tallinn, Estonia, 31 May - 3 June, pp. 263-273. doi:10.1109/CYCON.2016.7529439 en
dc.identifier.startpage 263 en
dc.identifier.endpage 275 en
dc.identifier.issn 2325-5374
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/4759
dc.identifier.doi 10.1109/CYCON.2016.7529439
dc.description.abstract Access to information is crucial during conflicts and other critical events such as population uprisings. An increasing number of social interactions happen in the cyberspace, while information exchanges at the infrastructural level (monitoring systems, sensor networks, etc.) are now also based on Internet and wireless links rather than ad hoc, isolated wired networks. However, the nature of the Internet allows powerful hostile actors to block, censor, or redirect communication to and from specific Internet services, through a number of available techniques. Anonymity networks such as Tor provide a way to circumvent traditional strategies for restricting access to online resources, and make communication harder to trace and identify. Tor, in particular, has been successfully used in past crises to evade censorship and Internet blockades (Egypt in 2011, and Iran in 2012). Anonymity networks can provide essential communication tools during conflicts, allowing information exchanges to be concealed from external observers, anonymised, and made resilient to imposed traffic controls and geographical restrictions. However, the design of networks such as Tor makes them vulnerable to large-scale denial of service attacks, as shown by the DDoS targeted at Tor hidden services in March 2015. In this paper, we analyse the structural weaknesses of Tor with regard to denial of service attacks, and propose a number of modifications to the structure of the Tor network aimed at improving its resilience to a large coordinated offensive run by a hostile actor in a conflict scenario. In particular, we introduce novel mechanisms that allow relay information to be propagated in a distributed and peer-to-peer manner. This eliminates the need for directory services, and allows the deployment of Tor-like networks in hostile environments, where centralised control is impossible. The proposed improvements concern the network organisation, but preserve the underlying onion routing mechanism that is at the base of Tor's anonymity. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher NATO CCD COE Publications; IEEE
dc.relation.ispartof 8th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, CyCon 2016, Tallinn, Estonia, May 31 - June 3, 2016
dc.relation.uri http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7529439/
dc.rights © NATO CCD COE Publications, Tallinn. Published by IEEE. Permission to make digital or hard copies of this publication for internal use within NATO and for personal or educational use when for non-profit or non-commercial purposes is granted providing that copies bear this notice and a full citation on the first page. Any other reproduction or transmission requires prior written permission by NATO CCD COE. en
dc.subject DDoS en
dc.subject Tor en
dc.subject Anonymous networks en
dc.subject Peer-to-peer en
dc.subject Denial of service en
dc.subject Relays en
dc.subject Peer-to-peer computing en
dc.subject Routing en
dc.subject Wireless sensor networks en
dc.subject Internet en
dc.subject Computer crime en
dc.subject Monitoring en
dc.title Anonymity networks and access to information during conflicts: Towards a distributed network organisation en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Paolo Palmieri, Computer Science, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: paolo.palmieri@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2017-09-20T15:25:21Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 411793270
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle 8th International Conference on Cyber Conflict, CyCon en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.conferencelocation Tallin, Estonia en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress paolo.palmieri@ucc.ie en


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