Privacy Analysis of the Internet Protocol
Final technical rept. Jun 2001-Aug 2002
BBN LABS INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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The motivating problem for this research is the situation in which a group of US military facilities exchange encrypted communication over public networks. The traffic flow on such networks can be a source of covert information flow to eavesdroppers that monitor the public networks. Even simple measurements of the quantity of traffic arriving at a remote location can be indicative of imminent activity at that site. More sophisticated traffic analysis has been used to compromise passwords in the secure shell protocol SonO 1. The potential information leakage from network traffic is similar to the covert information channels between security levels in a multilevel operating system. The simplest solution to this problem is to deploy a fully secure, private network, thus preventing any illicit access to the network traffic. This solution is indeed used for highly classified communications, but it is too expense to deploy for the large volume of sensitive but unclassified information that directs most DoD activity today. This project focused on designing a standards-based approach to providing traffic flow confidential TFC, TFC is the protection of traffic flow patterns against adversary analysis that identifies communicating parties and draws inferences about the communication based on publicly assessable traffic characteristics.
- Computer Systems Management and Standards