Selected Papers in Meshnetworking

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García-Recuero, Álvaro

Privacy-Preserving Abuse Detection in Future Decentralised Online Social Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Álvaro García-Recuero, Jeffrey Burdges, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Future online social networks need to not only protect sensitive data of their users, but also protect them from abusive behavior coming from malicious participants in the network. We investigate the use of supervised learning techniques to detect abusive behavior and describe privacy-preserving protocols to compute the feature set required by abuse classification algorithms in a secure and privacy-preserving way. While our method is not yet fully resilient against a strong adaptive adversary, our evaluation suggests that it will be useful to detect abusive behavior with a minimal impact on privacy

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Appelbaum, Jacob

El programa MORECOWBELL de la NSA: Doblan las campanas para el DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Il programma MORECOWBELL della NSA: Campane a morto per il DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Luca Saiu.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Le programme MORECOWBELL de la NSA Sonne le glas du NSA (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Ludovic Courtès.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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NSA's MORECOWBELL: Knell for DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Toward secure name resolution on the internet
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In Computers & Security, 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides crucial name resolution functions for most Internet services. As a result, DNS traffic provides an important attack vector for mass surveillance, as demonstrated by the QUANTUMDNS and MORECOWBELL programs of the NSA. This article reviews how DNS works and describes security considerations for next generation name resolution systems. We then describe DNS variations and analyze their impact on security and privacy. We also consider Namecoin, the GNU Name System and RAINS, which are more radical re-designs of name systems in that they both radically change the wire protocol and also eliminate the existing global consensus on TLDs provided by ICANN. Finally, we assess how the different systems stack up with respect to the goal of improving security and privacy of name resolution for the future Internet

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Banse, Christian

Managing and Presenting User Attributes over a Decentralized Secure Name System
by Martin Schanzenbach and Christian Banse.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Today, user attributes are managed at centralized identity providers. However, two centralized identity providers dominate digital identity and access management on the web. This is increasingly becoming a privacy problem in times of mass surveillance and data mining for targeted advertisement. Existing systems for attribute sharing or credential presentation either rely on a trusted third party service or require the presentation to be online and synchronous. In this paper we propose a concept that allows the user to manage and share his attributes asynchronously with a requesting party using a secure, decentralized name system

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Bene s, Nicolas

An Approach for Home Routers to Securely Erase Sensitive Data (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Nicolas Bene s.
Bachelor Thesis, Technische Universität München, October 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Home routers are always-on low power embedded systems and part of the Internet infrastructure. In addition to the basic router functionality, they can be used to operate sensitive personal services, such as for private web and email servers, secure peer-to-peer networking services like GNUnet and Tor, and encrypted network file system services. These services naturally involve cryptographic operations with the cleartext keys being stored in RAM. This makes router devices possible targets to physical attacks by home intruders. Attacks include interception of unprotected data on bus wires, alteration of firmware through exposed JTAG headers, or recovery of cryptographic keys through the cold boot attack. This thesis presents Panic!, a combination of open hardware design and free software to detect physical integrity attacks and to react by securely erasing cryptographic keys and other sensitive data from memory. To improve auditability and to allow cheap reproduction, the components of Panic! are kept simple in terms of conceptual design and lines of code. First, the motivation to use home routers for services besides routing and the need to protect their physical integrity is discussed. Second, the idea and functionality of the Panic! system is introduced and the high-level interactions between its components explained. Third, the software components to be run on the router are described. Fourth, the requirements of the measurement circuit are declared and a prototype is presented. Fifth, some characteristics of pressurized environments are discussed and the difficulties for finding adequate containments are explained. Finally, an outlook to tasks left for the future is given

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Bennett, Krista

The GNet Whitepaper (PDF)
by Krista Bennett, Tiberius Stef, Christian Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov, and Ioana Patrascu.
In unknown, June 2002. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link)

This paper describes GNet, a reliable anonymous distributed backup system with reasonable defenses against malicious hosts and low overhead in traffic and CPU time. The system design is described and compared to other publicly used services with similar goals. Additionally, the implementation and the protocols of GNet are presented

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Benoist, Emmanuel

Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems (PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Martin Schanzenbach, Annett Laube, and Emmanuel Benoist.
In journal:??(847382), October 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.

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Bramm, G.

reclaimID: Secure, Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems and Attribute-Based Encryption
by M. Schanzenbach, G. Bramm, and J. Schütte.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In this paper we present reclaimID: An architecture that allows users to reclaim their digital identities by securely sharing identity attributes without the need for a centralised service provider. We propose a design where user attributes are stored in and shared over a name system under user-owned namespaces. Attributes are encrypted using attribute-based encryption (ABE), allowing the user to selectively authorize and revoke access of requesting parties to subsets of his attributes. We present an implementation based on the decentralised GNU Name System (GNS) in combination with ciphertext-policy ABE using type-1 pairings. To show the practicality of our implementation, we carried out experimental evaluations of selected implementation aspects including attribute resolution performance. Finally, we show that our design can be used as a standard OpenID Connect Identity Provider allowing our implementation to be integrated into standard-compliant services

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Burdges, Jeffrey

Privacy-Preserving Abuse Detection in Future Decentralised Online Social Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Álvaro García-Recuero, Jeffrey Burdges, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Future online social networks need to not only protect sensitive data of their users, but also protect them from abusive behavior coming from malicious participants in the network. We investigate the use of supervised learning techniques to detect abusive behavior and describe privacy-preserving protocols to compute the feature set required by abuse classification algorithms in a secure and privacy-preserving way. While our method is not yet fully resilient against a strong adaptive adversary, our evaluation suggests that it will be useful to detect abusive behavior with a minimal impact on privacy

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Enabling Secure Web Payments with GNU Taler (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Jeffrey Burdges, Florian Dold, Christian Grothoff, and Marcello Stanisci.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

GNU Taler is a new electronic online payment system which provides privacy for customers and accountability for merchants. It uses an exchange service to issue digital coins using blind signatures, and is thus not subject to the performance issues that plague Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus-based solutions. The focus of this paper is addressing the challenges payment systems face in the context of the Web. We discuss how to address Web-specific challenges, such as handling bookmarks and sharing of links, as well as supporting users that have disabled JavaScript. Web payment systems must also navigate various constraints imposed by modern Web browser security architecture, such as same-origin policies and the separation between browser extensions and Web pages. While our analysis focuses on how Taler operates within the security infrastructure provided by the modern Web, the results partially generalize to other payment systems. We also include the perspective of merchants, as existing systems have often struggled with securing payment information at the merchant's side. Here, challenges include avoiding database transactions for customers that do not actually go through with the purchase, as well as cleanly separating security-critical functions of the payment system from the rest of the Web service

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Courtès, Ludovic

Le programme MORECOWBELL de la NSA Sonne le glas du NSA (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Ludovic Courtès.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Dold, Florian

Cryptographically Secure, Distributed Electronic Voting (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold.
Bachelor's, Technische Universität München, August 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Elections are a vital tool for decision-making in democratic societies. The past decade has witnessed a handful of attempts to apply modern technology to the election process in order to make it faster and more cost-effective. Most of the practical efforts in this area have focused on replacing traditional voting booths with electronic terminals, but did not attempt to apply cryptographic techniques able to guarantee critical properties of elections such as secrecy of ballot and verifiability. While such techniques were extensively researched in the past 30 years, practical implementation of cryptographically secure remote electronic voting schemes are not readily available. All existing implementation we are aware of either exhibit critical security flaws, are proprietary black-box systems or require additional physical assumptions such as a preparatory key ceremony executed by the election officials. The latter makes such systems unusable for purely digital communities. This thesis describes the design and implementation of an electronic voting system in GNUnet, a framework for secure and decentralized networking. We provide a short survey of voting schemes and existing implementations. The voting scheme we implemented makes use of threshold cryptography, a technique which requires agreement among a large subset of the election officials to execute certain cryptographic operations. Since such protocols have applications outside of electronic voting, we describe their design and implementation in GNUnet separately

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Byzantine Fault Tolerant Set Consensus with Efficient Set Reconciliation (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold.
Master, Technische Universität München, December 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Byzantine consensus is a fundamental and well-studied problem in the area of distributed system. It requires a group of peers to reach agreement on some value, even if a fraction of the peers is controlled by an adversary. This thesis proposes set union consensus, an efficient generalization of Byzantine consensus from single elements to sets. This is practically motivated by Secure Multiparty Computation protocols such as electronic voting, where a large set of elements must be collected and agreed upon. Existing practical implementations of Byzantine consensus are typically based on state machine replication and not well-suited for agreement on sets, since they must process individual agreements on all set elements in sequence. We describe and evaluate our implementation of set union consensus in GNUnet, which is based on a composition of Eppstein set reconciliation protocol with the simple gradecast consensus prococol described by Ben-Or

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Byzantine Set-Union Consensus using Efficient Set Reconciliation (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Byzantine Set-Union Consensus using Efficient Set Reconciliation (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Applications of secure multiparty computation such as certain electronic voting or auction protocols require Byzantine agreement on large sets of elements. Implementations proposed in the literature so far have relied on state machine replication, and reach agreement on each individual set element in sequence. We introduce set-union consensus, a specialization of Byzantine consensus that reaches agreement over whole sets. This primitive admits an efficient and simple implementation by the composition of Eppstein's set reconciliation protocol with Ben-Or's ByzConsensus protocol. A free software implementation of this construction is available in GNUnet. Experimental results indicate that our approach results in an efficient protocol for very large sets, especially in the absence of Byzantine faults. We show the versatility of set-union consensus by using it to implement distributed key generation, ballot collection and cooperative decryption for an electronic voting protocol implemented in GNUnet

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Enabling Secure Web Payments with GNU Taler (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Jeffrey Burdges, Florian Dold, Christian Grothoff, and Marcello Stanisci.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

GNU Taler is a new electronic online payment system which provides privacy for customers and accountability for merchants. It uses an exchange service to issue digital coins using blind signatures, and is thus not subject to the performance issues that plague Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus-based solutions. The focus of this paper is addressing the challenges payment systems face in the context of the Web. We discuss how to address Web-specific challenges, such as handling bookmarks and sharing of links, as well as supporting users that have disabled JavaScript. Web payment systems must also navigate various constraints imposed by modern Web browser security architecture, such as same-origin policies and the separation between browser extensions and Web pages. While our analysis focuses on how Taler operates within the security infrastructure provided by the modern Web, the results partially generalize to other payment systems. We also include the perspective of merchants, as existing systems have often struggled with securing payment information at the merchant's side. Here, challenges include avoiding database transactions for customers that do not actually go through with the purchase, as well as cleanly separating security-critical functions of the payment system from the rest of the Web service

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Ermert, Monika

El programa MORECOWBELL de la NSA: Doblan las campanas para el DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Il programma MORECOWBELL della NSA: Campane a morto per il DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Luca Saiu.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Le programme MORECOWBELL de la NSA Sonne le glas du NSA (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Ludovic Courtès.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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NSA's MORECOWBELL: Knell for DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Toward secure name resolution on the internet
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In Computers & Security, 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides crucial name resolution functions for most Internet services. As a result, DNS traffic provides an important attack vector for mass surveillance, as demonstrated by the QUANTUMDNS and MORECOWBELL programs of the NSA. This article reviews how DNS works and describes security considerations for next generation name resolution systems. We then describe DNS variations and analyze their impact on security and privacy. We also consider Namecoin, the GNU Name System and RAINS, which are more radical re-designs of name systems in that they both radically change the wire protocol and also eliminate the existing global consensus on TLDs provided by ICANN. Finally, we assess how the different systems stack up with respect to the goal of improving security and privacy of name resolution for the future Internet

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Evans, Nathan S

R5N : Randomized Recursive Routing for Restricted-Route Networks (PDF)
by Nathan S Evans and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This paper describes a new secure DHT routing algorithm for open, decentralized P2P networks operating in a restricted-route environment with malicious participants. We have implemented our routing algorithm and have evaluated its performance under various topologies and in the presence of malicious peers. For small-world topologies, our algorithm provides significantly better performance when compared to existing methods. In more densely connected topologies, our performance is better than or on par with other designs

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Grothoff, Christian

The GNet Whitepaper (PDF)
by Krista Bennett, Tiberius Stef, Christian Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov, and Ioana Patrascu.
In unknown, June 2002. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link)

This paper describes GNet, a reliable anonymous distributed backup system with reasonable defenses against malicious hosts and low overhead in traffic and CPU time. The system design is described and compared to other publicly used services with similar goals. Additionally, the implementation and the protocols of GNet are presented

[Go to top]

R5N : Randomized Recursive Routing for Restricted-Route Networks (PDF)
by Nathan S Evans and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This paper describes a new secure DHT routing algorithm for open, decentralized P2P networks operating in a restricted-route environment with malicious participants. We have implemented our routing algorithm and have evaluated its performance under various topologies and in the presence of malicious peers. For small-world topologies, our algorithm provides significantly better performance when compared to existing methods. In more densely connected topologies, our performance is better than or on par with other designs

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A Censorship-Resistant, Privacy-Enhancing and Fully Decentralized Name System (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Martin Schanzenbach, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is vital for access to information on the Internet. This makes it a target for attackers whose aim is to suppress free access to information. This paper introduces the design and implementation of the GNU Name System (GNS), a fully decentralized and censorship-resistant name system. GNS provides a privacy-enhancing alternative to DNS which preserves the desirable property of memorable names. Due to its design, it can also double as a partial replacement of public key infrastructures, such as X.509. The design of GNS incorporates the capability to integrate and coexist with DNS. GNS is based on the principle of a petname system and builds on ideas from the Simple Distributed Security Infrastructure (SDSI), addressing a central issue with the decentralized mapping of secure identifiers to memorable names: namely the impossibility of providing a global, secure and memorable mapping without a trusted authority. GNS uses the transitivity in the SDSI design to replace the trusted root with secure delegation of authority, thus making petnames useful to other users while operating under a very strong adversary model. In addition to describing the GNS design, we also discuss some of the mechanisms that are needed to smoothly integrate GNS with existing processes and procedures in Web browsers. Specifically, we show how GNS is able to transparently support many assumptions that the existing HTTP(S) infrastructure makes about globally unique names

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CADET: Confidential Ad-hoc Decentralized End-to-End Transport (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Bartlomiej Polot and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This paper describes CADET, a new transport protocol for confidential and authenticated data transfer in decentralized networks. This transport protocol is designed to operate in restricted-route scenarios such as friend-to-friend or ad-hoc wireless networks. We have implemented CADET and evaluated its performance in various network scenarios, compared it to the well-known TCP/IP stack and tested its response to rapidly changing network topologies. While our current implementation is still significantly slower in high-speed low-latency networks, for typical Internet-usage our system provides much better connectivity and security with comparable performance to TCP/IP

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Automatic Transport Selection and Resource Allocation for Resilient Communication in Decentralised Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Fabian Oehlmann, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Making communication more resilient is a main focus for modern decentralised networks. A current development to increase connectivity between participants and to be resilient against service degradation attempts is to support different communication protocols, and to switch between these protocols in case degradation or censorship are detected. Supporting multiple protocols with different properties and having to share resources for communication with multiple partners creates new challenges with respect to protocol selection and resource allocation to optimally satisfy the applications' requirements for communication. This paper presents a novel approach for automatic transport selection and resource allocation with a focus on decentralised networks. Our goal is to evaluate the communication mechanisms available for each communication partner and then allocate resources in line with the requirements of the applications. We begin by detailing the overall requirements for an algorithm for transport selection and resource allocation, and then compare three different solutions using (1) a heuristic, (2) linear optimisation, and (3) machine learning. To show the suitability and the specific benefits of each approach, we evaluate their performance with respect to usability, scalability and quality of the solution found in relation to application requirements

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El programa MORECOWBELL de la NSA: Doblan las campanas para el DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

[Go to top]

Il programma MORECOWBELL della NSA: Campane a morto per il DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Luca Saiu.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

[Go to top]

Le programme MORECOWBELL de la NSA Sonne le glas du NSA (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Ludovic Courtès.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

[Go to top]

NSA's MORECOWBELL: Knell for DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

[Go to top]

Byzantine Set-Union Consensus using Efficient Set Reconciliation (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

[Go to top]

Byzantine Set-Union Consensus using Efficient Set Reconciliation (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Dold and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Applications of secure multiparty computation such as certain electronic voting or auction protocols require Byzantine agreement on large sets of elements. Implementations proposed in the literature so far have relied on state machine replication, and reach agreement on each individual set element in sequence. We introduce set-union consensus, a specialization of Byzantine consensus that reaches agreement over whole sets. This primitive admits an efficient and simple implementation by the composition of Eppstein's set reconciliation protocol with Ben-Or's ByzConsensus protocol. A free software implementation of this construction is available in GNUnet. Experimental results indicate that our approach results in an efficient protocol for very large sets, especially in the absence of Byzantine faults. We show the versatility of set-union consensus by using it to implement distributed key generation, ballot collection and cooperative decryption for an electronic voting protocol implemented in GNUnet

[Go to top]

Privacy-Preserving Abuse Detection in Future Decentralised Online Social Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Álvaro García-Recuero, Jeffrey Burdges, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Future online social networks need to not only protect sensitive data of their users, but also protect them from abusive behavior coming from malicious participants in the network. We investigate the use of supervised learning techniques to detect abusive behavior and describe privacy-preserving protocols to compute the feature set required by abuse classification algorithms in a secure and privacy-preserving way. While our method is not yet fully resilient against a strong adaptive adversary, our evaluation suggests that it will be useful to detect abusive behavior with a minimal impact on privacy

[Go to top]

Enabling Secure Web Payments with GNU Taler (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Jeffrey Burdges, Florian Dold, Christian Grothoff, and Marcello Stanisci.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

GNU Taler is a new electronic online payment system which provides privacy for customers and accountability for merchants. It uses an exchange service to issue digital coins using blind signatures, and is thus not subject to the performance issues that plague Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus-based solutions. The focus of this paper is addressing the challenges payment systems face in the context of the Web. We discuss how to address Web-specific challenges, such as handling bookmarks and sharing of links, as well as supporting users that have disabled JavaScript. Web payment systems must also navigate various constraints imposed by modern Web browser security architecture, such as same-origin policies and the separation between browser extensions and Web pages. While our analysis focuses on how Taler operates within the security infrastructure provided by the modern Web, the results partially generalize to other payment systems. We also include the perspective of merchants, as existing systems have often struggled with securing payment information at the merchant's side. Here, challenges include avoiding database transactions for customers that do not actually go through with the purchase, as well as cleanly separating security-critical functions of the payment system from the rest of the Web service

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The GNUnet System
by Christian Grothoff.
Habilitation à diriger des recherches, Université de Rennes 1, December 2017. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

GNUnet is an alternative network stack for building secure, decentralized and privacy-preserving distributed applications. Our goal is to replace the old insecure Internet protocol stack. Starting from an application for secure publication of files, it has grown to include all kinds of basic protocol components and applications towards the creation of a GNU internet. This habilitation provides an overview of the GNUnet architecture, including the development process, the network architecture and the software architecture. The goal of Part 1 is to provide an overview of how the various parts of the project work together today, and to then give ideas for future directions. The text is a first attempt to provide this kind of synthesis, and in return does not go into extensive technical depth on any particular topic. Part 2 then gives selected technical details based on eight publications covering many of the core components. This is a harsh selection; on the GNUnet website there are more than 50 published research papers and theses related to GNUnet, providing extensive and in-depth documentation. Finally, Part 3 gives an overview of current plans and future work

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Toward secure name resolution on the internet
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In Computers & Security, 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides crucial name resolution functions for most Internet services. As a result, DNS traffic provides an important attack vector for mass surveillance, as demonstrated by the QUANTUMDNS and MORECOWBELL programs of the NSA. This article reviews how DNS works and describes security considerations for next generation name resolution systems. We then describe DNS variations and analyze their impact on security and privacy. We also consider Namecoin, the GNU Name System and RAINS, which are more radical re-designs of name systems in that they both radically change the wire protocol and also eliminate the existing global consensus on TLDs provided by ICANN. Finally, we assess how the different systems stack up with respect to the goal of improving security and privacy of name resolution for the future Internet

[Go to top]

Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems (PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Martin Schanzenbach, Annett Laube, and Emmanuel Benoist.
In journal:??(847382), October 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.

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Horozov, Tzvetan

The GNet Whitepaper (PDF)
by Krista Bennett, Tiberius Stef, Christian Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov, and Ioana Patrascu.
In unknown, June 2002. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link)

This paper describes GNet, a reliable anonymous distributed backup system with reasonable defenses against malicious hosts and low overhead in traffic and CPU time. The system design is described and compared to other publicly used services with similar goals. Additionally, the implementation and the protocols of GNet are presented

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Kühne, Christian Ricardo

Zur Idee herrschaftsfreier kooperativer Internetdienste (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Ricardo Kühne.
In FIfF-Kommunikation, 2016. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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GNUnet und Informationsmacht: Analyse einer P2P-Technologie und ihrer sozialen Wirkung (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Ricardo Kühne.
Diplomarbeit, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, April 2016. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This thesis studies the GNUnet project comprising its history, ideas and the P2P network technology. It specifically investigates the question of emancipatory potentials with regard to forms of information power due to a widely deployed new Internet technology and tries to identify essential suspensions of power within the scope of an impact assessment. Moreover, we will see by contrasting the GNUnet project with the critical data protection project, founded on social theory, that both are heavily concerned about the problem of illegitimate and unrestrained information power, giving us additional insights for the assessment. Last but least I'll try to present a scheme of how both approaches may interact to realize their goals

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Laube, Annett

Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems (PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Martin Schanzenbach, Annett Laube, and Emmanuel Benoist.
In journal:??(847382), October 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.

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Morales, Alejandra

Cryogenic: Enabling Power-Aware Applications on Linux (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Alejandra Morales.
Masters, Technische Universität München, February 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

As a means of reducing power consumption, hardware devices are capable to enter into sleep-states that have low power consumption. Waking up from those states in order to return to work is typically a rather energy-intensive activity. Some existing applications have non-urgent tasks that currently force hardware to wake up needlessly or prevent it from going to sleep. It would be better if such non-urgent activities could be scheduled to execute when the respective devices are active to maximize the duration of sleep-states. This requires cooperation between applications and the kernel in order to determine when the execution of a task will not be expensive in terms of power consumption. This work presents the design and implementation of Cryogenic, a POSIX-compatible API that enables clustering tasks based on the hardware activity state. Specifically, Cryogenic's API allows applications to defer their execution until other tasks use the device they want to use. As a result, two actions that contribute to reduce the device energy consumption are achieved: reduce the number of hardware wake-ups and maximize the idle periods. The energy measurements enacted at the end of this thesis demonstrate that, for the specific setup and conditions present during our experimentation, Cryogenic is capable to achieve savings between 1 and 10 for a USB WiFi device. Although we ideally target mobile platforms, Cryogenic has been developed by means a new Linux module that integrates with the existing POSIX event loop system calls. This allows to use Cryogenic on many different platforms as long as they use a GNU/Linux distribution as the main operating system. An evidence of this can be found in this thesis, where we demonstrate the power savings on a single-board computer

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Oehlmann, Fabian

Automatic Transport Selection and Resource Allocation for Resilient Communication in Decentralised Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Fabian Oehlmann, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Making communication more resilient is a main focus for modern decentralised networks. A current development to increase connectivity between participants and to be resilient against service degradation attempts is to support different communication protocols, and to switch between these protocols in case degradation or censorship are detected. Supporting multiple protocols with different properties and having to share resources for communication with multiple partners creates new challenges with respect to protocol selection and resource allocation to optimally satisfy the applications' requirements for communication. This paper presents a novel approach for automatic transport selection and resource allocation with a focus on decentralised networks. Our goal is to evaluate the communication mechanisms available for each communication partner and then allocate resources in line with the requirements of the applications. We begin by detailing the overall requirements for an algorithm for transport selection and resource allocation, and then compare three different solutions using (1) a heuristic, (2) linear optimisation, and (3) machine learning. To show the suitability and the specific benefits of each approach, we evaluate their performance with respect to usability, scalability and quality of the solution found in relation to application requirements

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Patrascu, Ioana

The GNet Whitepaper (PDF)
by Krista Bennett, Tiberius Stef, Christian Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov, and Ioana Patrascu.
In unknown, June 2002. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link)

This paper describes GNet, a reliable anonymous distributed backup system with reasonable defenses against malicious hosts and low overhead in traffic and CPU time. The system design is described and compared to other publicly used services with similar goals. Additionally, the implementation and the protocols of GNet are presented

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Polot, Bartlomiej

CADET: Confidential Ad-hoc Decentralized End-to-End Transport (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Bartlomiej Polot and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This paper describes CADET, a new transport protocol for confidential and authenticated data transfer in decentralized networks. This transport protocol is designed to operate in restricted-route scenarios such as friend-to-friend or ad-hoc wireless networks. We have implemented CADET and evaluated its performance in various network scenarios, compared it to the well-known TCP/IP stack and tested its response to rapidly changing network topologies. While our current implementation is still significantly slower in high-speed low-latency networks, for typical Internet-usage our system provides much better connectivity and security with comparable performance to TCP/IP

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Saiu, Luca

Il programma MORECOWBELL della NSA: Campane a morto per il DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Luca Saiu.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Schanzenbach, Martin

A Censorship-Resistant, Privacy-Enhancing and Fully Decentralized Name System (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Martin Schanzenbach, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is vital for access to information on the Internet. This makes it a target for attackers whose aim is to suppress free access to information. This paper introduces the design and implementation of the GNU Name System (GNS), a fully decentralized and censorship-resistant name system. GNS provides a privacy-enhancing alternative to DNS which preserves the desirable property of memorable names. Due to its design, it can also double as a partial replacement of public key infrastructures, such as X.509. The design of GNS incorporates the capability to integrate and coexist with DNS. GNS is based on the principle of a petname system and builds on ideas from the Simple Distributed Security Infrastructure (SDSI), addressing a central issue with the decentralized mapping of secure identifiers to memorable names: namely the impossibility of providing a global, secure and memorable mapping without a trusted authority. GNS uses the transitivity in the SDSI design to replace the trusted root with secure delegation of authority, thus making petnames useful to other users while operating under a very strong adversary model. In addition to describing the GNS design, we also discuss some of the mechanisms that are needed to smoothly integrate GNS with existing processes and procedures in Web browsers. Specifically, we show how GNS is able to transparently support many assumptions that the existing HTTP(S) infrastructure makes about globally unique names

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Managing and Presenting User Attributes over a Decentralized Secure Name System
by Martin Schanzenbach and Christian Banse.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Today, user attributes are managed at centralized identity providers. However, two centralized identity providers dominate digital identity and access management on the web. This is increasingly becoming a privacy problem in times of mass surveillance and data mining for targeted advertisement. Existing systems for attribute sharing or credential presentation either rely on a trusted third party service or require the presentation to be online and synchronous. In this paper we propose a concept that allows the user to manage and share his attributes asynchronously with a requesting party using a secure, decentralized name system

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reclaimID: Secure, Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems and Attribute-Based Encryption
by M. Schanzenbach, G. Bramm, and J. Schütte.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In this paper we present reclaimID: An architecture that allows users to reclaim their digital identities by securely sharing identity attributes without the need for a centralised service provider. We propose a design where user attributes are stored in and shared over a name system under user-owned namespaces. Attributes are encrypted using attribute-based encryption (ABE), allowing the user to selectively authorize and revoke access of requesting parties to subsets of his attributes. We present an implementation based on the decentralised GNU Name System (GNS) in combination with ciphertext-policy ABE using type-1 pairings. To show the practicality of our implementation, we carried out experimental evaluations of selected implementation aspects including attribute resolution performance. Finally, we show that our design can be used as a standard OpenID Connect Identity Provider allowing our implementation to be integrated into standard-compliant services

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Decentralized Authentication for Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems (PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Martin Schanzenbach, Annett Laube, and Emmanuel Benoist.
In journal:??(847382), October 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The GNU Name System (GNS) is a fully decentralized public key infrastructure and name system with private information retrieval semantics. It serves a holistic approach to interact seamlessly with IoT ecosystems and enables people and their smart objects to prove their identity, membership and privileges - compatible with existing technologies. In this report we demonstrate how a wide range of private authentication and identity management scenarios are addressed by GNS in a cost-efficient, usable and secure manner. This simple, secure and privacy-friendly authentication method is a significant breakthrough when cyber peace, privacy and liability are the priorities for the benefit of a wide range of the population. After an introduction to GNS itself, we show how GNS can be used to authenticate servers, replacing the Domain Name System (DNS) and X.509 certificate authorities (CAs) with a more privacy-friendly but equally usable protocol which is trustworthy, human-centric and includes group authentication. We also built a demonstrator to highlight how GNS can be used in medical computing to simplify privacy-sensitive data processing in the Swiss health-care system. Combining GNS with attribute-based encryption, we created ReclaimID, a robust and reliable OpenID Connect-compatible authorization system. It includes simple, secure and privacy-friendly single sign-on to seamlessly share selected attributes with Web services, cloud ecosystems. Further, we demonstrate how ReclaimID can be used to solve the problem of addressing, authentication and data sharing for IoT devices. These applications are just the beginning for GNS; the versatility and extensibility of the protocol will lend itself to an even broader range of use-cases. GNS is an open standard with a complete free software reference implementation created by the GNU project. It can therefore be easily audited, adapted, enhanced, tailored, developed and/or integrated, as anyone is allowed to use the core protocols and implementations free of charge, and to adopt them to their needs under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, a free software license approved by the Free Software Foundation.

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Scheibner, Florian

Control Flow Analysis for Event-Driven Programs (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Florian Scheibner.
Bachelors, Technical University of Munich, July 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Static analysis is often used to automatically check for common bugs in programs. Compilers already check for some common programming errors and issue warnings; however, they do not do a very deep analysis because this would slow the compilation of the program down. Specialized tools like Coverity or Clang Static Analyzer look at possible runs of a program and track the state of variables in respect to function calls. This information helps to identify possible bugs. In event driven programs like GNUnet callbacks are registered for later execution. Normal static analysis cannot track these function calls. This thesis is an attempt to extend different static analysis tools so that they can handle this case as well. Different solutions were thought of and executed with Coverity and Clang. This thesis describes the theoretical background of model checking and static analysis, the practical usage of wide spread static analysis tools, and how these tools can be extended in order to improve their usefulness

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Schütte, J.

reclaimID: Secure, Self-Sovereign Identities using Name Systems and Attribute-Based Encryption
by M. Schanzenbach, G. Bramm, and J. Schütte.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In this paper we present reclaimID: An architecture that allows users to reclaim their digital identities by securely sharing identity attributes without the need for a centralised service provider. We propose a design where user attributes are stored in and shared over a name system under user-owned namespaces. Attributes are encrypted using attribute-based encryption (ABE), allowing the user to selectively authorize and revoke access of requesting parties to subsets of his attributes. We present an implementation based on the decentralised GNU Name System (GNS) in combination with ciphertext-policy ABE using type-1 pairings. To show the practicality of our implementation, we carried out experimental evaluations of selected implementation aspects including attribute resolution performance. Finally, we show that our design can be used as a standard OpenID Connect Identity Provider allowing our implementation to be integrated into standard-compliant services

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Singh, Supriti

Experimental comparison of Byzantine fault tolerant distributed hash tables (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Supriti Singh.
Masters, Saarland University, September 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs) are a key data structure for construction of a peer to peer systems. They provide an efficient way to distribute the storage and retrieval of key-data pairs among the participating peers. DHTs should be scalable, robust against churn and resilient to attacks. X-Vine is a DHT protocol which offers security against Sybil attacks. All communication among peers is performed over social network links, with the presumption that a friend can be trusted. This trust can be extended to a friend of a friend. It uses the tested Chord Ring topology as an overlay, which has been proven to be scalable and robust. The aim of the thesis is to experimentally compare two DHTs, R5 N and X-Vine. GNUnet is a free software secure peer to peer framework, which uses R 5N . In this thesis, we have presented the implementation of X-Vine on GNUnet, and compared the performance of R5 N and X-Vine

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Stanisci, Marcello

Enabling Secure Web Payments with GNU Taler (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Jeffrey Burdges, Florian Dold, Christian Grothoff, and Marcello Stanisci.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

GNU Taler is a new electronic online payment system which provides privacy for customers and accountability for merchants. It uses an exchange service to issue digital coins using blind signatures, and is thus not subject to the performance issues that plague Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus-based solutions. The focus of this paper is addressing the challenges payment systems face in the context of the Web. We discuss how to address Web-specific challenges, such as handling bookmarks and sharing of links, as well as supporting users that have disabled JavaScript. Web payment systems must also navigate various constraints imposed by modern Web browser security architecture, such as same-origin policies and the separation between browser extensions and Web pages. While our analysis focuses on how Taler operates within the security infrastructure provided by the modern Web, the results partially generalize to other payment systems. We also include the perspective of merchants, as existing systems have often struggled with securing payment information at the merchant's side. Here, challenges include avoiding database transactions for customers that do not actually go through with the purchase, as well as cleanly separating security-critical functions of the payment system from the rest of the Web service

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Stef, Tiberius

The GNet Whitepaper (PDF)
by Krista Bennett, Tiberius Stef, Christian Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov, and Ioana Patrascu.
In unknown, June 2002. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link)

This paper describes GNet, a reliable anonymous distributed backup system with reasonable defenses against malicious hosts and low overhead in traffic and CPU time. The system design is described and compared to other publicly used services with similar goals. Additionally, the implementation and the protocols of GNet are presented

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Tarabai, Omar

A Decentralized and Autonomous Anomaly Detection Infrastructure for Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Omar Tarabai.
Master, October 2014. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In decentralized networks, collecting and analysing information from the network is useful for developers and operators to monitor the behaviour and detect anomalies such as attacks or failures in both the overlay and underlay networks. But realizing such an infrastructure is hard to achieve due to the decentralized nature of the network especially if the anomaly occurs on systems not operated by developers or participants get separated from the collection points. In this thesis a decentralized monitoring infrastructure using a decentralized peer-to-peer network is developed to collect information and detect anomalies in a collaborative way without coordination by and in absence of a centralized infrastructure and report detected incidents to a monitoring infrastructure. We start by introducing background information about peer-to-peer networks, anomalies and anomaly detection techniques in literature. Then we present some of the related work regarding monitoring decentralized networks, anomaly detection and data aggregation in decentralized networks. Then we perform an analysis of the system objectives, target environment and the desired properties of the system. Then we design the system in terms of the overall structure and its individual components. We follow with details about the system implementation. Lastly, we evaluate the final system implementation against our desired objectives

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Teich, Markus

Implementing Privacy Preserving Auction Protocols (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Markus Teich.
Ph.D. thesis, TUM, February 2017. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In this thesis we translate Brandt's privacy preserving sealed-bid online auction protocol from RSA to elliptic curve arithmetic and analyze the theoretical and practical benefits. With Brandt's protocol, the auction outcome is completely resolved by the bidders and the seller without the need for a trusted third party. Loosing bids are not revealed to anyone. We present libbrandt, our implementation of four algorithms with different outcome and pricing properties, and describe how they can be incorporated in a real-world online auction system. Our performance measurements show a reduction of computation time and prospective bandwidth cost of over 90 compared to an implementation of the RSA version of the same algorithms. We also evaluate how libbrandt scales in different dimensions and conclude that the system we have presented is promising with respect to an adoption in the real world

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Ulrich, Christian

Improving Voice over GNUnet (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Ulrich.
B.S, TU Berlin, July 2017. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

In contrast to ubiquitous cloud-based solutions the telephony application GNUnet conversation provides fully-decentralized, secure voice communication and thus impedes mass surveillance. The aim of this thesis is to investigate why GNUnet conversation currently provides poor Quality of Experience under typical wide area network conditions and to propose optimization measures. After network shaping and the initialization of two isolated GNUnet peers had been automated, delay measurements were done. With emulated network characteristics network delay, cryptography delays and audio codec delays were measured and transmitted speech was recorded. An analysis of the measurement results and a subjective assessment of the speech recordings revealed that extreme outliers occur in most scenarios and impair QoE. Moreover it was shown that GNUnet conversation introduces a large delay that confines the environment in which good QoE is possible. In the measurement environment at least 23 ms always ocurred of which large parts are were caused by cryptography. It was shown that optimization in the cryptography part and other components are possible. Finally the conditions for currently reaching good QoE were determined and ideas for further investigations were presented

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Wachs, Matthias

A Censorship-Resistant, Privacy-Enhancing and Fully Decentralized Name System (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Martin Schanzenbach, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is vital for access to information on the Internet. This makes it a target for attackers whose aim is to suppress free access to information. This paper introduces the design and implementation of the GNU Name System (GNS), a fully decentralized and censorship-resistant name system. GNS provides a privacy-enhancing alternative to DNS which preserves the desirable property of memorable names. Due to its design, it can also double as a partial replacement of public key infrastructures, such as X.509. The design of GNS incorporates the capability to integrate and coexist with DNS. GNS is based on the principle of a petname system and builds on ideas from the Simple Distributed Security Infrastructure (SDSI), addressing a central issue with the decentralized mapping of secure identifiers to memorable names: namely the impossibility of providing a global, secure and memorable mapping without a trusted authority. GNS uses the transitivity in the SDSI design to replace the trusted root with secure delegation of authority, thus making petnames useful to other users while operating under a very strong adversary model. In addition to describing the GNS design, we also discuss some of the mechanisms that are needed to smoothly integrate GNS with existing processes and procedures in Web browsers. Specifically, we show how GNS is able to transparently support many assumptions that the existing HTTP(S) infrastructure makes about globally unique names

[Go to top]

Automatic Transport Selection and Resource Allocation for Resilient Communication in Decentralised Networks (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs, Fabian Oehlmann, and Christian Grothoff.
<Odd type conference>. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

Making communication more resilient is a main focus for modern decentralised networks. A current development to increase connectivity between participants and to be resilient against service degradation attempts is to support different communication protocols, and to switch between these protocols in case degradation or censorship are detected. Supporting multiple protocols with different properties and having to share resources for communication with multiple partners creates new challenges with respect to protocol selection and resource allocation to optimally satisfy the applications' requirements for communication. This paper presents a novel approach for automatic transport selection and resource allocation with a focus on decentralised networks. Our goal is to evaluate the communication mechanisms available for each communication partner and then allocate resources in line with the requirements of the applications. We begin by detailing the overall requirements for an algorithm for transport selection and resource allocation, and then compare three different solutions using (1) a heuristic, (2) linear optimisation, and (3) machine learning. To show the suitability and the specific benefits of each approach, we evaluate their performance with respect to usability, scalability and quality of the solution found in relation to application requirements

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El programa MORECOWBELL de la NSA: Doblan las campanas para el DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Il programma MORECOWBELL della NSA: Campane a morto per il DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Luca Saiu.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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Le programme MORECOWBELL de la NSA Sonne le glas du NSA (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, Jacob Appelbaum, and Ludovic Courtès.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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NSA's MORECOWBELL: Knell for DNS (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In unknown, January 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

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A Secure and Resilient Communication Infrastructure for Decentralized Networking Applications (PDF) (Cached: PDF)
by Matthias Wachs.
PhD, Technische Universität München, February 2015. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

This thesis provides the design and implementation of a secure and resilient communication infrastructure for decentralized peer-to-peer networks. The proposed communication infrastructure tries to overcome limitations to unrestricted communication on today's Internet and has the goal of re-establishing unhindered communication between users. With the GNU name system, we present a fully decentralized, resilient, and privacy-preserving alternative to DNS and existing security infrastructures

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Toward secure name resolution on the internet
by Christian Grothoff, Matthias Wachs, Monika Ermert, and Jacob Appelbaum.
In Computers & Security, 2018. (BibTeX entry) (Download bibtex record)
(direct link) (website)

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides crucial name resolution functions for most Internet services. As a result, DNS traffic provides an important attack vector for mass surveillance, as demonstrated by the QUANTUMDNS and MORECOWBELL programs of the NSA. This article reviews how DNS works and describes security considerations for next generation name resolution systems. We then describe DNS variations and analyze their impact on security and privacy. We also consider Namecoin, the GNU Name System and RAINS, which are more radical re-designs of name systems in that they both radically change the wire protocol and also eliminate the existing global consensus on TLDs provided by ICANN. Finally, we assess how the different systems stack up with respect to the goal of improving security and privacy of name resolution for the future Internet

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