Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Computer Science

Advisor/Chair:

Ming Li

Abstract

Tor hidden services are anonymous servers of unknown location and ownership who can be accessed through any Tor-enabled web browser. They have gained popularity over the years, but still suer from major usability challenges due to their cryptographicallygenerated non-memorable addresses. In response to this difficulty, in this work we introduce the Onion Name System (OnioNS), a privacy-enhanced distributed DNS that allows users to reference a hidden service by a meaningful globally-unique veriable domain name chosen by the hidden service operator. We introduce a new distributed self-healing public ledger and construct OnioNS as an optional backwards-compatible plugin for Tor on top of existing hidden service infrastructure. We simplify our design and threat model by embedding OnioNS within the Tor network and provide mechanisms for authenticated denial-of-existence with minimal networking costs. Our reference implementation demonstrates that OnioNS successfully addresses the major usability issue that has been with Tor hidden services since their introduction in 2002.

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