Provable Unlinkability Against Traffic Analysis with Low Message Overhead
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Rackoff and Simon proved that a variant of Chaum’s protocol for anonymous communication, later developed as the Onion Routing Protocol, is unlinkable against a passive adversary that controls all communication links and most of the nodes in a communication system. A major drawback of their analysis is that the protocol is secure only if (almost) all nodes participate at all times. That is, even if only n≪N nodes wish to send messages, all N nodes have to participate in the protocol at all times. This suggests necessity of sending dummy messages and a high message overhead.
Our first contribution is showing that this is unnecessary. We relax the adversary model and assume that the adversary only controls a certain fraction of the communication links in the communication network. We think this is a realistic adversary model. For this adversary model we show that a low message overhead variant of Chaum’s protocol is provably secure.
Furthermore, all previous security proofs assumed the a priori distribution on the messages is uniform. We feel this assumption is unrealistic. The analysis we give holds for any a priori information on the communication distribution. We achieve that by combining Markov chain techniques together with information theory tools in a simple and elegant way.
Key wordsMix protocol Traffic analysis Mixing time Markov Chain Unlinkability
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