Advertisement

Towards Measuring Anonymity

  • Claudia Díaz
  • Stefaan Seys
  • Joris Claessens
  • Bart Preneel
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2482)

Abstract

This paper introduces an information theoretic model that allows to quantify the degree of anonymity provided by schemes for anonymous connections. It considers attackers that obtain probabilistic information about users. The degree is based on the probabilities an attacker, after observing the system, assigns to the different users of the system as being the originators of a message. As a proof of concept, the model is applied to some existing systems. The model is shown to be very useful for evaluating the level of privacy a system provides under various attack scenarios, for measuring the amount of information an attacker gets with a particular attack and for comparing different systems amongst each other.

Keywords

Attack Model Anonymous Communication Honest User Crowd Member External Attacker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    O. Berthold, H. Federrath and S. Köpsell. Web MIXes: A System for Anonymous and Unobservable Internet Access. In Hannes Federath (Ed.), Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS 2009, pp. 115–129, Springer-Verlag, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    O. Berthold, A. Pfiztmann and R. Standtke. The Disavantages of Free MIX Routes and How to Overcome Them In Hannes Federath (Ed.), Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS 2009, pp. 30–45, Springer-Verlag, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Chaum. Untraceable Electronic Mail, Return Addresses, and Digital Pseudonyms. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 84–88, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. M. Cover and J. A. Thomas. Elements of Information Theory. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1991. ISBN 0-471-06259-6.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    W. Feller. An Introduction to Probability Theory and its Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Third edition, 1968.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. Pfitzmann and M. Köhntopp. Anonymity, Unobservability and Pseudonymity-A Proposal for Terminology. In Hannes Federath (Ed.), Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS 2009, pp. 1–9, Springer-Verlag, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.-F. Raymond. Traffic Analysis: Protocols, Attacks, Design Issues, and Open Problems. In Hannes Federath (Ed.), Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS 2009, pp. 10–29, Springer-Verlag, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M. G. Reed, P. F. Syverson and D. Goldschlag. Anonymous Connections and Onion Routing. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication. Special Issue on Copyright and Privacy Protection, 1998.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. K. Reiter and A. D. Rubin. Crowds: Anonymity for Web Transactions. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 32–48, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Serjantov and G. Danezis. Towards an Information Theoretic Metric for Anonymity. In Hannes Federath (Ed.), Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2002.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    C. E. Shannon. A Mathematical Theory Of Communication. Bell System Tech. J., 27:379–423; 623–656, 1948.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    M. Wright, M. Adler, B. Levine and C. Shields. An Analysis of the Degradation of Anonymous Protocols. In Proceedings of Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, February 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Díaz
    • 1
  • Stefaan Seys
    • 1
  • Joris Claessens
    • 1
  • Bart Preneel
    • 1
  1. 1.K.U.Leuven ESAT-COSICLeuven-HeverleeBelgium

Personalised recommendations