Toward Anonymity in Delay Tolerant Networks: Threshold Pivot Scheme

Rob Jansen and Robert Beverly.
Proceedings of the Military Communications Conference (MILCOM 2010),
San Jose, CA, October 2010.

Delay Tolerant Networks (DTNs) remove traditional assumptions of end-to-end connectivity, extending network communication to intermittently connected mobile, ad-hoc, and vehicular environments. This work considers anonymity as a vital security primitive for viable military and civilian DTNs. DTNs present new and unique anonymity challenges since we must protect physical location information as mobile nodes with limited topology knowledge naturally mix. We develop a novel Threshold Pivot Scheme (TPS) for DTNs to address these challenges and provide resistance to traffic analysis, source anonymity, and sender-receiver unlinkability. Reply techniques adapted from mix-nets allow for anonymous DTN communication, while secret sharing provides a configurable level of anonymity that enables a balance between security and efficiency. We evaluate TPS via simulation on real-world DTN scenarios to understand its feasibility, performance, and overhead while comparing the provided anonymity against an analytically optimal model.

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