Study shows Tor users can be identified using traffic analysis2014-11-18 10:15 by Daniela
If you're using the anonymizing software Tor, you might think that you are anonymous to the Internet, but as it turns out - you're not. According to recent reports, 81% of Tor users can be identified with the help of traffic analysis tools, such as Cisco's Netflow technology.
The reports are based on a research that started in 2008 and was conducted by a former researcher from the Columbia University Network Security Lab. He and his coleagues injected repetitive traffic into the network, both outside and inside, and by comparing exit traffic were able to determine the identity of a client.
"Previous research has shown that having access to a few Internet exchange points is enough for monitoring a significant percentage of the network paths from Tor nodes to destination servers," the researchers said.
"Although the capacity of current networks makes packet-level monitoring at such a scale quite challenging, adversaries could potentially use less accurate but readily available traffic monitoring functionality, such as Cisco's NetFlow, to mount large-scale traffic analysis attacks."
The researchers noted that in a lab setting, the technology would identify 100% of Tor users, while in live Tor environments the efficiency is reduced to 81% due to network noise and variations.
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