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QuicTor: Enhancing Tor for Real-Time Communication Using QUIC Transport Protocol

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submitted on 2023-08-30, 06:18 and posted on 2023-09-24, 07:46 authored by Lamiaa Basyoni, Aiman Erbad, Mashael Alsabah, Noora Fetais, Amr Mohamed, Mohsen Guizani

In the past decades, the internet has emerged as the fastest way to access information. However, this revolutionary information age comes with its own set of challenges. The privacy of Internet users is at increasing risk with the advances in surveillance techniques. Users' online behavior, activities, and even personal information are being tracked by ISPs and major tech companies. In response to the increasing need for preserving and protecting the privacy of online users, anonymity networks were developed. Tor anonymity network is a low-latency anonymity network that has gained quite a good reputation over the past years and is being adopted by thousands of users. With the great attention Tor's network is getting, the original design of Tor was proven to have performance limiting issues. With the motivation for addressing the performance limitation in Tor, we present QuicTor, a datagram-based design to solve Tor's transport-layer limiting issue. We evaluated the performance of QuicTor in comparison to vanilla Tor as well as other performance-enhancing proposals. QuicTor achieved significant performance improvements for interactive applications as well as streaming applications. Running Tor over a datagram-based protocol entails a careful security analysis. In this article, we assess the behavior of QuicTor under side-channel attacks aiming to de-anonymize Tor's clients. We show that the performance improvements brought by QuicTor do not reduce the anonymity of clients under the investigated types of attacks.

Other Information

Published in: IEEE Access
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/access.2021.3059672

Funding

Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

IEEE

Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU
  • Qatar Computing Research Institute - HBKU
  • Qatar University
  • College of Engineering - QU
  • KINDI Center for Computing Research - CENG