This project considers the scalability issues of current-generation anonymous networks such as Tor. By requiring relays to keep state for each anonymous connection, Tor suffers from scalability limitations. We are designing next-generation anonymous networks that provide anonymity features as part of their default routing architecture. By leveraging source-selected routing architectures such as SCION, we can offer highly scalable and highly efficient end-to-end anonymous routing that does not need to keep per-flow state on routers. Our initial experiments show that this design scales to millions of nodes and can forward traffic at near line-rate.
HORNET is a system that enables high-speed end-to-end anonymous channels by leveraging next-generation network architectures. HORNET is designed as a low-latency onion routing system that operates at the network layer thus enabling a wide range of applications. It uses only symmetric cryptography for data forwarding yet requires no per-flow state on intermediate routers. This design enables HORNET routers implemented on off-the-shelf hardware to process anonymous traffic at over 93 Gb/s. HORNET is also highly scalable, adding minimal processing overhead per additional anonymous channel.
The Security Now podcast discussed problems with Tor and how HORNET can help. Coverage begins at 1:31:35, but be sure to watch until 1:55:00!
HORNET: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer
In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2015.
Research Area: High-speed Anonymous Communication