Onions Based on Universal Re-encryption – Anonymous Communication Immune Against Repetitive Attack

  • Marcin Gomułkiewicz
  • Marek Klonowski
  • Mirosław Kutyłowski
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3325)


Encapsulating messages in onions is one of the major techniques providing anonymous communication in computer networks. To some extent, it provides security against traffic analysis by a passive adversary. However, it can be highly vulnerable to attacks by an active adversary. For instance, the adversary may perform a simple so–called repetitive attack: a malicious server sends the same massage twice, then the adversary traces places where the same message appears twice – revealing the route of the original message. A repetitive attack was examined for mix–networks. However, none of the countermeasures designed is suitable for onion–routing.

In this paper we propose an “onion-like” encoding design based on universal re-encryption. The onions constructed in this way can be used in a protocol that achieves the same goals as the classical onions, however, at the same time we achieve immunity against a repetitive attack. Even if an adversary disturbs communication and prevents processing a message somewhere on the onion path, it is easy to identify the malicious server performing the attack and provide an evidence of its illegal behavior.


anonymous communication unlinkability onion universal re-encryption repetitive attack 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcin Gomułkiewicz
    • 1
  • Marek Klonowski
    • 1
  • Mirosław Kutyłowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MathematicsWrocław University of TechnologyWrocławPoland

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