Title: Neighbourhood failures in covert communication network topologies

Authors: Timothy Nix; Riccardo Bettati

Addresses: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10996, USA ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Abstract: A covert communications network (CCN) is a connected, overlay, peer-to-peer network to support communications within a group in which the survival of the group depends on: a) confidentiality and anonymity of the communications; b) concealment of participation in the network to both other members of the group and external eavesdroppers; c) resilience against disconnection. Anonymity is protected using source rewriting in which the network addresses are changed at each hop along the network path. Network membership is concealed through topology restrictions where each participant has limited knowledge of the network addresses of other participants. Resilience requires increased connectivity to protect against disconnection due to neighbourhood failure. In this paper, we propose measures for determining the suitability of both deterministic and random topologies for use in covert communication networks, and use these measures to analyse the suitability of various types of graphs.

Keywords: covert communication networks; CCNs; covert communications; anonymity networks; membership concealment; network topology; peer-to-peer networks; P2P networks; random graphs; Erdös-Rényi graphs; Barabási-Albert graphs; neighbourhood failures; confidentiality; disconnection resilience.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCSE.2016.078442

International Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, 2016 Vol.13 No.2, pp.132 - 146

Received: 03 May 2014
Accepted: 22 Aug 2014

Published online: 19 Aug 2016 *

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