STONe: Secure Trusted Overlay Networks for Certified Anonymous Communication

Matthias Jacob, Princeton University

With the emergence of highly powerful surveillance tools, Internet privacy is becoming increasingly important. In many cases, users want to communicate while keeping their identity anonymous. Furthermore, they want to ensure they communicate with trusted peers--i.e., peers who are not spoofing someone else's identity.

This work presents STONe, a Secure Trusted Overlay Network that provides both anonymous and trusted communication.

STONe uses the Trusted Computing hardware to enable the nodes to authenticate themselves to each other without revealing their identity. These nodes form a trusted overlay in which every node is authenticated.

STONe provides three services. First, it implements anonymous routing to protect communication anonymity against traffic analysis attacks. Second, it provides trusted anonymous sockets (STONe Sockets), which allow applications to conduct anonymous communication on STONe, while denying them access to private peer data (e.g., peer's identity or IP address).

Third, STONe implements a Trusted Name Service (TNS) to map self-certifying names to anonymous network addresses. We evaluate STONe on PlanetLab and show that it provides anonymity with minimal impact on performance.

Gates 4B (opposite 490) Thursday 04/07/05 1630 hrs