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NANOG Meeting Presentation Abstract

Telex: Anticensorship in the Network Infrastructure
Meeting: NANOG54
Date / Time: 2012-02-07 12:00pm - 12:30pm
This item is webcast
Room: California Ballroom
Presenters: Speakers:

Eric Wustrow, University of Waterloo

Eric Wustrow is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan in Computer Security, working with Professor J. Alex Halderman. His research focuses on developing technologies to support freedom and government transparency throughout the world. Previously, he has worked to expose vulnerabilities in insecure electronic voting systems in the US and abroad, and has developed new tools and techniques for circuventing Internet censorship in countries such as Iran and China.

J. Alex Halderman, University of Michigan

J. Alex Halderman is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, where his research spans applied computer security and tech-centric public policy. Dr. Halderman has studied topics ranging from web security, data privacy, digital rights management, and cybercrime to technological aspects of intellectual property law and government regulation. He is known for helping to introduce the "cold-boot attack," which breaks encryption by literally freezing a computer's memory, and for exposing Sony’s "rootkit" DRM and other harmful copy-protection technologies. A noted expert on electronic voting security, Dr. Halderman demonstrated the first voting machine virus and helped perform California's "top-to-bottom" electronic voting review. With students at Michigan, he revealed that China's Green Dam Youth Escort censorship software made users vulnerable to remote code execution. His recent work includes the first independent security analysis of India's electronic voting machines, and "hacking" into the District of Columbia's proposed Internet ballot return system. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University.
Abstract: Telex is a new approach to resisting state-level Internet censorship. Rather than attempting to win the cat-and-mouse game of finding open proxies, we leverage censors’ unwillingness to completely block day-to-day Internet access. In effect, Telex converts innocuous, unblocked websites into proxies, without their explicit collaboration. We envision that friendly ISPs would deploy Telex stations on paths between censors’ networks and popular, uncensored Internet destinations. Telex stations would monitor seemingly innocuous flows for a special “tag” and transparently divert them to a forbidden website or service instead. We propose a new cryptographic scheme based on elliptic curves for tagging TLS handshakes such that the tag is visible to a Telex station but not to a censor. In addition, we use our tagging scheme to build a protocol that allows clients to connect to Telex stations while resisting both passive and active attacks. We also present a proof-of-concept implementation that demonstrates the feasibility of our system, and encourage ISPs and interested researchers to talk to us about future collaboration.
Files: youtubeTelex: Anticensorship in the Network Infrastructure
pdfWustrow(PDF)
Sponsors: None.

Back to NANOG54 agenda.

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    Speakers:
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    Speakers:
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