[tor-dev] Padding prop224 REND1 cells to blend them with legacy cells

George Kadianakis desnacked at riseup.net
Wed Sep 20 10:42:56 UTC 2017

teor <teor2345 at gmail.com> writes:

>> On 20 Sep 2017, at 00:44, George Kadianakis <desnacked at riseup.net> wrote:
>> Legacy RENDEZVOUS1 cells are bigger than the prop224 ones. The prop224
>> spec suggests we pad the new cells so that they look similar in size to
>> the legacy ones.
>> ...
>> The suggestion is to pad the prop224 cells to 168 bytes using random data.
>> Would that work? My main question is whether the g^y part of the legacy
>> cell has any distinguishers that could distinguish it from random data.
>> It's encoded using OpenSSL's BN_bn2bin() and it's a 1024 bit DH public
>> key. Are there any algebraic or openssl structure distinguishers we
>> should be worrying about, or is random data sufficient to mask it out?
> What's the threat model here?
> I ask because regardless of whether the RENDEZVOUS1 cell plaintext is
> distinguishable between v2 and v3, the rend point can distinguish v2 and
> v3 using this one neat trick:
> * if the service extends using TAP, the protocol is v2
> * if the service extends using ntor, the protocol is v3

Thanks for the discussion and research, Ian and teor! 

I summarized the findings here: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/ticket/23420#comment:5

Not sure what's the right approach here.

Perhaps I'm fine with doing nothing at this point, and figuring this out
in the future if v4 ever comes.


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