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Tsinghua Science and Technology

Keywords

traffic analysis, active website fingerprinting, anonymous communication, Tor

Abstract

Tor is pervasively used to conceal target websites that users are visiting. A de-anonymization technique against Tor, referred to as website fingerprinting attack, aims to infer the websites accessed by Tor clients by passively analyzing the patterns of encrypted traffic at the Tor client side. However, HTTP pipeline and Tor circuit multiplexing techniques can affect the accuracy of the attack by mixing the traffic that carries web objects in a single TCP connection. In this paper, we propose a novel active website fingerprinting attack by identifying and delaying the HTTP requests at the first hop Tor node. Then, we can separate the traffic that carries distinct web objects to derive a more distinguishable traffic pattern. To fulfill this goal, two algorithms based on statistical analysis and objective function optimization are proposed to construct a general packet delay scheme. We evaluate our active attack against Tor in empirical experiments and obtain the highest accuracy of 98.64%, compared with 85.95% of passive attack. We also perform experiments in the open-world scenario. When the parameter k of k-NN classifier is set to 5, then we can obtain a true positive rate of 90.96% with a false positive rate of 3.9%.

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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