[tor-talk] Matryoshka: Are TOR holes intentional?

benjamin barber barberb at barberb.com
Thu Jun 18 05:43:24 UTC 2015

I didn't have a problem finding Matryoshka networks but not software called
"Matryoshka", just as were not using running "onion software", some
different software use the Matryoshka network method to communicate.

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 9:51 PM, Roger Dingledine <arma at mit.edu> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 12:02:45AM -0400, grarpamp wrote:
> >  We also need to take a serious look at TOR, and
> > without emotional bias, consider if a serious flaw was designed in.
> "Traffic analysis is the first hole plugged by Matryoshka, but ignored
> by TOR."
> I couldn't figure out how to actually fetch this "Matryoshka" software,
> but it sure looks like another case of somebody not understanding the
> research field, and thinking that solving the traffic confirmation
> attack is easy, without actually thinking through the engineering side,
> the scaling side, or the statistics side.
> For background see e.g.
> http://freehaven.net/anonbib/#danezis:pet2004
> It makes sense that if you think solving the problem is easy, you
> wonder why Tor hasn't solved it.
> But even full scale padding, ignoring the practical side of how to get a
> Tor network that can afford to waste so much bandwidth, doesn't provide
> protection in the face of active attacks where you induce a gap on one
> side and then observe the gap on the other side. And it might even be
> the case that these gaps happen naturally by themselves, due to network
> congestion and so on, so maybe passive observers will be winners even
> against a design that does full padding.
> Also, to make it really work in practice, all users are going to need
> to pad not just while fetching their web page or iso or whatever, but
> sufficiently before and after that too, else an attacker can match up
> start times and end times:
> http://freehaven.net/anonbib/#murdoch-pet2007
> This is a great area for further research:
> http://freehaven.net/anonbib/#ShWa-Timing06
> http://freehaven.net/anonbib/#active-pet2010
> tl;dr the whole premise of this person's blog post is flawed, since
> their design likely does not work as they think it does.
> --Roger
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