Aastha Mehta

Assistant Professor

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A differentially private network traffic shaping framework (2023)

Many Internet applications depend exclusively on end-to-end encryption of network traffic as the primary means to guarantee the users' privacy. However, encryption alone cannot prevent network side-channel attacks--leaks of sensitive information through the sizes and timing of network packets. We present NetShaper, a traffic shaping framework to mitigate network side-channel attacks. NetShaper’s traffic shaping provides differential privacy guarantees, allowing users to adjust the trade-off between privacy guarantees and bandwidth overhead according to their specific requirements. We design NetShaper as a modular tunnel endpoint that can be deployed anywhere along the path of traffic. We implement a simulator to assess the privacy and bandwidth trade-offs of our framework and demonstrate its applicability in a video streaming and a web service and its effectiveness in thwarting state-of-the-art network side-channel attacks.

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