Counter-RAPTOR: Safeguarding Tor Against Active Routing Attacks

Yixin Sun, Anne Edmundson, Nick Feamster, Mung Chiang, Prateek Mittal

Tor is vulnerable to network-level adversaries who can observe both ends of the communication to deanonymize users. Recent work has shown that Tor is susceptible to the previously unknown active BGP routing attacks, called RAPTOR attacks, which expose Tor users to more network-level adversaries. In this paper, we aim to mitigate and detect such active routing attacks against Tor. First, we present a new measurement study on the resilience of the Tor network to active BGP prefix attacks. We show that ASes with high Tor bandwidth can be less resilient to attacks than other ASes. Second, we present a new Tor guard relay selection algorithm that incorporates resilience of relays into consideration to proactively mitigate such attacks. We show that the algorithm successfully improves the security for Tor clients by up to 36% on average (up to 166% for certain clients). Finally, we build a live BGP monitoring system that can detect routing anomalies on the Tor network in real time by performing an AS origin check and novel detection analytics. Our monitoring system successfully detects simulated attacks that are modeled after multiple known attack types as well as a real-world hijack attack (performed by us), while having low false positive rates.

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