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Formalizing Anonymous Blacklisting Systems

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2 Author(s)
Henry, R. ; Cheriton Sch. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada ; Goldberg, I.

Anonymous communications networks, such as Tor, help to solve the real and important problem of enabling users to communicate privately over the Internet. However, in doing so, anonymous communications networks introduce an entirely new problem for the service providers - such as websites, IRC networks or mail servers - with which these users interact, in particular, since all anonymous users look alike, there is no way for the service providers to hold individual misbehaving anonymous users accountable for their actions. Recent research efforts have focused on using anonymous blacklisting systems (which are sometimes called anonymous revocation systems) to empower service providers with the ability to revoke access from abusive anonymous users. In contrast to revocable anonymity systems, which enable some trusted third party to deanonymize users, anonymous blacklisting systems provide users with a way to authenticate anonymously with a service provider, while enabling the service provider to revoke access from any users that misbehave, without revealing their identities. In this paper, we introduce the anonymous blacklisting problem and survey the literature on anonymous blacklisting systems, comparing and contrasting the architecture of various existing schemes, and discussing the tradeoffs inherent with each design. The literature on anonymous blacklisting systems lacks a unified set of definitions, each scheme operates under different trust assumptions and provides different security and privacy guarantees. Therefore, before we discuss the existing approaches in detail, we first propose a formal definition for anonymous blacklisting systems, and a set of security and privacy properties that these systems should possess. We also outline a set of new performance requirements that anonymous blacklisting systems should satisfy to maximize their potential for real-world adoption, and give formal definitions for several optional features already supported by some sche- - mes in the literature.

Published in:

Security and Privacy (SP), 2011 IEEE Symposium on

Date of Conference:

22-25 May 2011

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