DigesTor: Comparing passive traffic analysis attacks on tor

Katharina Kohls, Christina Pöpper

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


The Tor anonymity network represents a rewarding target for de-anonymization attacks, in particular by large organizations and governments. Tor is vulnerable to confirmation attacks, in which powerful adversaries compromise user anonymity by correlating transmissions between entry and exit nodes. As the experimental evaluation of such attacks is challenging, a fair comparison of passive traffic analysis techniques is hardly possible. In this work, we provide a first comparative evaluation of confirmation attacks and assess their impact on the real world. For this purpose, we release DigesTor, an analysis framework that delivers a foundation for comparability to support future research in this context. The framework runs a virtual private Tor network to generate traffic for representative scenarios, on which arbitrary attacks can be evaluated. Our results show the effects of recent and novel attack techniques and we demonstrate the capabilities of DigesTor using the example of mixing as a countermeasure against traffic analysis attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputer Security - 23rd European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2018, Proceedings
EditorsJavier Lopez, Jianying Zhou, Miguel Soriano
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783319990729
StatePublished - 2018
Event23rd European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2018 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: Sep 3 2018Sep 7 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11098 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other23rd European Symposium on Research in Computer Security, ESORICS 2018


  • Confirmation attack
  • Mixing
  • Tor
  • Traffic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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