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Anonymous connections and onion routing

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3 Author(s)
Reed, M.G. ; Center for High Assurance Comput. Syst., Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Syverson, P.F. ; Goldschlag, D.M.

Onion routing is an infrastructure for private communication over a public network. It provides anonymous connections that are strongly resistant to both eavesdropping and traffic analysis. Onion routing's anonymous connections are bidirectional, near real-time, and can be used anywhere a socket connection can be used. Any identifying information must be in the data stream carried over an anonymous connection. An onion is a data structure that is treated as the destination address by onion routers; thus, it is used to establish an anonymous connection. Onions themselves appear different to each onion router as well as to network observers. The same goes for data carried over the connections they establish. Proxy-aware applications, such as Web browsers and e-mail clients, require no modification to use onion routing, and do so through a series of proxies. A prototype onion routing network is running between our lab and other sites. This paper describes anonymous connections and their implementation using onion routing. This paper also describes several application proxies for onion routing, as well as configurations of onion routing networks

Published in:

Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

May 1998

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