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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    Secret, Closed WHOIS Meeting Excludes Privacy Advocates | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 70 comments | Search Discussion
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    "signed by a threshold of the directory servers"
    by Anonymous on Friday May 27 2005, @06:50AM (#15377)
    Tor uses a small group of redundant, well-known onion routers to track changes in network topology and node state, including keys and exit policies. Each such directory server acts as an HTTP server, so clients can fetch current network state and router lists, and so other ORs can upload state information. Onion routers periodically publish signed statements of their state to each directory server. The directory servers combine this information with their own views of network liveness, and generate a signed description (a directory) of the entire network state. Client software is pre-loaded with a list of the directory servers and their keys, to bootstrap each client's view of the network.
    When a directory server receives a signed statement for an OR, it checks whether the OR's identity key is recognized. Directory servers do not advertise unrecognized ORs-if they did, an adversary could take over the network by creating many servers [22]. Instead, new nodes must be approved by the directory server administrator before they are included. Mechanisms for automated node approval are an area of active research, and are discussed more in Section 9.
    Of course, a variety of attacks remain. An adversary who controls a directory server can track clients by providing them different information-perhaps by listing only nodes under its control, or by informing only certain clients about a given node. Even an external adversary can exploit differences in client knowledge: clients who use a node listed on one directory server but not the others are vulnerable.
    Thus these directory servers must be synchronized and redundant, so that they can agree on a common directory. Clients should only trust this directory if it is signed by a threshold of the directory servers.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    "signed by a threshold of the directory servers" by Anonymous


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