Our paper titled “NavigaTor: Finding Faster Paths to Anonymity” has been accepted for publication at Euro S&P 2016. 29 out of 168 submissions were accepted, 17% acceptance rate. The 1st IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy will be held on March 21-24, 2016 in Saarbrücken, Germany.
From the abstract: In this paper we propose and evaluate methods to measure and improve performance in the Tor network by using active Round-Trip-Time (RTT) measurements as estimator for the quality of Tor circuits. To estimate the quality of circuits for future traffic, we use a-priori information of the distribution of RTT values, allowing slow circuits to be discarded before having negative impact on user experience. Using NavigaTor, our high performance measurement software which includes a custom Tor path generator, we are the first to conduct large-scale performance measurements on the live Tor network, building millions of circuits within days, without stressing the network. As part of our study, we conduct several experiments from PlanetLab on the live Tor network to analyze the trade-off between the quality of protection and the quality of service. We compare our Circuit-RTT method to the current state-of-the-art method Circuit Build Time (CBT) and the more recently proposed congestion-aware scheme, finding that the congestion-aware scheme in its original design does not achieve any improvement on the current Tor network and that Circuit-RTT improves latency and throughput compared to CBT.