Thwarting Wi-Fi Side-Channel Analysis Through Traffic Demultiplexing

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Executive Summary

Side-channel information leaks have been reported in various online applications, especially, in Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) due to the shared-medium nature of wireless links and the ease of eavesdropping. Even when Wi-Fi traffic is encrypted, its characteristics are identifiable, which can be used to infer sensitive user activities and data. Existing countermeasures do not offer effective and efficient protection: packet padding and traffic morphing often bring in substantial communication overheads; attempts to anonymize user identifiers are vulnerable to the analysis based upon traffic statistics, which allows the adversary to link traffic traces to individual users.

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