Crowds Revisited: Practically Effective Predecessor Attack

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Executive Summary

Crowds is a peer-to-peer system for protecting users' anonymity for web transactions. One of the more serious disadvantages of it is the degree of anonymity provided with respect to the colluding system members: the one who forwards a message to a colluding node is more likely to be the originator of the message than any other member in the system. Furthermore, with the system size growth, the probability that the request came from the initiator of the communication becomes more likely. In this paper, the authors want to assess to which degree Crowds is applicable despite these weaknesses.

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