Title: On the (un)reliability of eavesdropping

Authors: Eric Cronin, Micah Sherr, Matt Blaze

Addresses: Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA. ' Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA. ' Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Abstract: We investigate the reliability of current generation eavesdropping tools and show that obtaining |high fidelity| transcripts is harder than previously assumed. Even in situations highly favourable to the eavesdropper, simple unilateral countermeasures are shown to be sufficient to prevent all tested systems from reliably reconstructing communicated messages. Less than a third of the tested systems report irregularities, and 45% incorrectly interpret covertext chosen by the sending party. Unlike cryptography or steganography, the techniques introduced require no cooperation by the communicating parties and, in some case, can be employed entirely by a third party not involved in the communication at all.

Keywords: eavesdropping reliability; electronic interception; eavesdropping countermeasures; network anti-forensics; network forensics; security.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2008.017223

International Journal of Security and Networks, 2008 Vol.3 No.2, pp.103 - 113

Published online: 19 Feb 2008 *

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