Covert messaging through TCP timestamps

John Giffin, Rachel Greenstadt, Peter Litwack, Richard Tibbetts

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Covert channels exist in most communications systems and allow individuals to communicate truly undectably. However, covert channels are seldom used due to their complexity. A protocol for sending data over a common class of low-bandwidth covert channels has been developed. The protocol is secure against attack by powerful adversaries. The design of a practical system implementing the protocol on a standard platform (Linux) exploiting a channel in a common communications system (TCP timestamps) is presented. A partial implementation of this system has been accomplished.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationPrivacy Enhancing Technologies - 2nd International Workshop, PET 2002, Revised Papers
    EditorsRoger Dingledine, Paul Syverson
    PublisherSpringer Verlag
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)354000565X, 9783540005650
    StatePublished - 2003
    Event2nd International Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, PET 2002 - San Francisco, United States
    Duration: Apr 14 2002Apr 15 2002

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Conference2nd International Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, PET 2002
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Francisco

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Theoretical Computer Science
    • General Computer Science


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