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Effectiveness of Traffic Camouflaging over Computer Networks

About the series

For many Internet applications, the ability to protect the identity of participants and the characteristics of their communication in distributed applications is critical. For such applications, a number of traffic camouflaging systems have been developed over the past several years. The effectiveness of these systems relies greatly on (1) the protocol by which messages are (re-)routed among the participants and (2) the scheme by which links are padded. In this talk, Wei Zhao will discuss recent discoveries on the effectiveness of these camouflaging methods. The results contradict some of the methods that have been commonly used. For example, we find that using more agents in re-routing may not necessarily increase the probability that a sender can be identified. Furthermore, padding links with a constant-bit rate pattern may result in the worst probability; that an adversary can identify the underlying payload status. We will discuss how to develop optimal strategies for these traffic camouflaging systems.

About the speaker:

Wei Zhao is currently the director of Computer and Network Systems Division at the National Science Foundation. He joined NSF from Texas A&M University, where he has been an Associate Vice President for Research and a Professor of Computer Science.  He completed his undergraduate program in physics at Shaanxi Normal University, Xian, China, in 1977. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1983 and 1986, respectively. Dr. Zhao is an active researcher in distributed computing, real-time systems, computer networks, and cyber security. An IEEE Fellow, he has published numerous technical papers, holds two patents, has served on the editorial boards of several technical journals, and he currently chairs the IEEE TC on Real-Time Systems. He is the founding director of the Texas A&M Center of Information Security and Assurance.

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