An Analysis of Tor Pluggable Transports Under Adversarial Conditions


Khalid Shahbar, A. Nur Zincir-Heywood

{Shahbar, Zincir}@

Author Addresses: 

Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University
6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
B3H 4R2


Tor Pluggable transports enable the users to overcome the adversaries which block access to the Tor network. Different pluggable transport systems use different mechanisms. Consequently, the adversaries adapt by using different approaches to identify Tor pluggable transport traffic. The deep packet inspection and the flow analysis are two of such approaches. To this end, we investigate how well pluggable transports can obfuscate user traffic under adversarial conditions. We represent the adversarial environments using the existing traffic analysis systems. Our results show that while some pluggable transports systems can hide the traffic well from adversaries, others cannot.

Tech Report Number: 
Report Date: 
February 22, 2017
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