High-speed Anonymous Communication

Project Description

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: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer

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 has been covered in the press: Ars Technica, BBC, Engadget, VICE, The Register.


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