Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Richard A. Raines, PhD
Any entity operating in cyberspace is susceptible to debilitating attacks. With cyber attacks intended to gather intelligence and disrupt communications rapidly replacing the threat of conventional and nuclear attacks, a new age of warfare is at hand. In 2003, the United States acknowledged that the speed and anonymity of cyber attacks makes distinguishing among the actions of terrorists, criminals, and nation states difficult. Even President Obama’s Cybersecurity Chief-elect recognizes the challenge of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. Now through April 2009, the White House is reviewing federal cyber initiatives to protect US citizen privacy rights. Indeed, the rising quantity and ubiquity of new surveillance technologies in cyberspace enables instant, undetectable, and unsolicited information collection about entities. Hence, anonymity and privacy are becoming increasingly important issues. Anonymization enables entities to protect their data and systems from a diverse set of cyber attacks and preserves privacy. This research provides a systematic analysis of anonymity degradation, preservation and elimination in cyberspace to enhance the security of information assets. This includes discovery/obfuscation of identities and actions of/from potential adversaries. First, novel taxonomies are developed for classifying and comparing well-established anonymous networking protocols. These expand the classical definition of anonymity and capture the peer-to-peer and mobile ad hoc anonymous protocol family relationships. Second, a unique synthesis of state-of-the-art anonymity metrics is provided. This significantly aids an entity’s ability to reliably measure changing anonymity levels; thereby, increasing their ability to defend against cyber attacks. Finally, a novel epistemic-based mathematical model is created to characterize how an adversary reasons with knowledge to degrade anonymity. This offers multiple anonymity property representations and well-defined logical proofs to ensure the accuracy and correctness of current and future anonymous network protocol design.
DTIC Accession Number
Kelly, Douglas J., "A Taxonomy for and Analysis of Anonymous Communications Networks" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 2539.