Browse Prior Art Database

Extending Protection on Wireless Devices Against Traffic Analysis

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000130432D
Publication Date: 2005-Oct-31
Document File: 1 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This invention addresses the problem of traffic analysis. Traffic analysis is defined by Bruce Schneier as "the analysis of encrypted messages: where they come from, where they go to, how long they are, when they are sent, how frequent or infrequent they are, whether they coincide with outside events like meetings, and more." One common method for handling traffic analysis is to send messages at a specified period regardless of whether or not you had useful information to send. So, for example, you would send a message every hour regardless of whether the message contained useful content. This solution would prevent a lot of traffic analysis but would prevent the parties from communicating in real time since they would have to wait until the specified period. Obviously, this is less than optimal. Another solution would be set a period of time and then randomly send messages during that period of time. So, for example, you would set your period of time to be one hour and then in that hour send a random number of messages. Each message would also be of a random length. This solution would allow the communicating parties to send messages in real time because the attacker would not be able to distinguish between random messages and real messages. Extending this solution to work with a wireless handheld there are two enhancements. We could provide wired network traffic analysis protection where random messages are created by the e-mail server on one end and dropped by the e-mail server on the other end providing traffic analysis over the wired network without incurring any wireless network charges. As well, we could provide wireless network protection by having the device generate the random messages and then the device on the other end would drop them when they arrive. It would be best if the devices only showed non-random messages (messages with real content) to the actual users.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 74% of the total text.

TRAFFIC ANALYSIS PROTECTION

Extending Protection on Wireless Devices Against Traffic Analysis

Disclosed Anonymously

This invention addresses the problem of traffic analysis.  Traffic analysis is defined by Bruce Schneider as "the analysis of encrypted messages: where they come from, where they go to, how long they are, when they are sent, how frequent or infrequent they are, whether they coincide with outside events like meetings, and more."

One common method for handling traffic analysis is to send messages at a specified period regardless of whether or not you had useful information to send.  So, for example, you would send a message every hour regardless of whether the message contained useful content.  This solution would prevent a lot of traffic analysis but would prevent the parties from communicating in real time since they would have to wait until the specified period.  Obviously, this is less than optimal.

Another solution would be set a period of time and then randomly send messages during that period of time.  So, for example, you would set your period of time to be one hour and then in that hour send a random number of messages.  Each message would also be of a random length.  This solution would allow the communicating parties to send messages in real time because the attacker would not be able to distinguish between random messages and real messages.

Extending this solution to work with a wireless handheld there are two enhancements.  We could provide w...