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Critical Traffic Analysis on the Tor Network

: Platzer, Florian; Schäfer, Marcel; Steinebach, Martin


Journal of Cyber Security and Mobility 10 (2021), No.1, pp.133-160
ISSN: 2245-1439 (Print)
ISSN: 2245-4578 (Online)
International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES) <15, 2020, Online>
Journal Article, Conference Paper
Fraunhofer SIT ()

Tor is a widely-used anonymity network with more than two million daily users. A prominent feature of Tor is the hidden service architecture. Hidden services are a popular method for communicating anonymously or sharing web contents anonymously. For security reasons, in Tor all data packets to be send over the network are structured completely identical. They are encrypted using the TLS protocol and its size is fixed to exactly 512 bytes. In this work we describe a method to deanonymize any hidden service on Tor based on traffic analysis. This method allows an attacker with modest resources to deanonymize any hidden services in less than 12.5 days. This poses a threat to anonymity online.