Collaborative attack on Internet users’ anonymity

Rami Puzis, Dana Yagil, Yuval Elovici, Dan Braha

Internet Research 19 (1), 60-77, 2009

The purpose of this paper is to model and study the effectiveness of an attack on the anonymity of Internet users by a group of collaborating eavesdroppers.The paper is based on an analysis of the Internet topology. The study is based on two methods for choosing nodes that contribute the most to the detection of as many communicating Internet users as possible.The paper illustrates that it is possible to compromise the anonymity of many Internet users when eavesdropping on a relatively small number of nodes, even when the most central ones are protected from eavesdropping.It is assumed that the Internet users under attack are not using any anonymity enhancing technologies, but nodes can be protected from eavesdropping. It proposes a measure of the success of an attack on Internet users’ anonymity, for a given …