n South African Computer Journal - Exposing anonymous network participants via an external attack : reviewed article

Volume 2006, Issue 37
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



This paper presents an attack on anonymity networks. The nature of the attack is one which falls into a category that has received little attention in the field of anonymity: an external attack. External attacks on anonymity networks maybe more useful in the near future as anonymity networks are used more and more for abusive / fraudulent purposes, for example, in the case of click fraud. The attack presented relies on two principles. The first principle is the unlikelihood of a sender representing himself in an anonymity network and the second principle is that of recognising relating requests from an anonymous network. The anonymity model used for the attack in this paper is that of crowds. Crowds is an eligible candidate for attack since it satisfies the two principles required for the attack. An example is presented in which we discuss the details of the attack. We then present and discuss the results of a simulated attack (using much larger numbers) conducted against crowds.

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