Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2013

Full Program »

Message In A Bottle: Sailing Past Censorship

Exploiting recent advances in monitoring technology and the drop
of its costs, authoritarian and oppressive regimes are tightening
the grip around the virtual lives of their citizens. Meanwhile,
the dissidents, oppressed by these regimes, are organizing online,
cloaking their activity with anti-censorship systems that typically
consist of a network of anonymizing proxies. The censors have
become well aware of this, and they are systematically finding
and blocking all the entry points to these networks. So far, they
have been quite successful. We believe that, to achieve resilience
to blocking, anti-censorship systems must abandon the idea of
having a limited number of entry points. Instead, they should
establish first contact in an online location arbitrarily chosen
by each of their users. To explore this idea, we have developed
Message In A Bottle, a protocol where any blog post becomes a
potential “drop point” for hidden messages. We have developed
and released a proof-of-concept application of our system, and
demonstrated its feasibility. To block this system, censors are
left with a needle-in-a-haystack problem: Unable to identify what
bears hidden messages, they must block everything, effectively
disconnecting their own network from a large part of the Internet.
This, hopefully, is a cost too high to bear.


Luca Invernizzi    
UC Santa Barbara
United States

Christopher Kruegel    
UC Santa Barbara
United States

Giovanni Vigna    
UC Santa Barbara
United States


Powered by OpenConf®
Copyright©2002-2014 Zakon Group LLC