Formal Notions of Anonymity for Peer-to-Peer Networks

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Executive Summary

Providing anonymity support for Peer-To-Peer (P2P) overlay networks is critical. Otherwise, potential privacy attacks (e.g., network address trace-back) may deter a storage source from providing the needed data. In this paper, the authors use this practical application scenario to verify their observation that network-based anonymity can be modeled as a complexity based cryptographic problem. They show that, if the routing process between senders and recipients can be modeled as abstract entities, network-based anonymity becomes an analogy of cryptography. In particular, perfect anonymity facing an unbounded traffic analyst corresponds to Shannon's perfect secrecy facing an unbounded cryptanalyst.

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