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MPLS Overlays: Design, Implementation and Application to Anonymous Networking

TitleMPLS Overlays: Design, Implementation and Application to Anonymous Networking
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBattaglino, D., C. Kiraly, and S. Teofili
Conference NameICT-MobileSummit 2008
Date Published06/2008
PublisherIIMC International Information Management Corporation
Conference LocationStockholm, Sweden
ISBN Number978-1-905824-08-3

Modern anonymous (Mix) networks typically rely on fast virtual
circuits initially set-up by means of slow and computationally-demanding onion
routing. To the best of our knowledge, all solutions proposed to date, including
the topmost known Tor, rely on custom label switching protocols. This paper
shows how a widely employed standard protocol, specifically the Multi-Protocol
Label Switching, can be extended to provide label-switching for layer-3 Mix
networks. Anonymization is achieved through a specifically devised header
forging/compression functionality (but the same feature can also be employed
for overhead reduction in non-anonymous overlays). A modular design of the
MPLS-based packet forwarding overlay component is proposed, and a proof-ofconcept
working implementation is developed in the Linux kernel. The
implementation further supports external access to the MPLS overlay through
off-the-shelf proxying functionalities (SOCKS). The proposed integration of
MPLS directly above the IP layer is a further step towards standard-based
layer-3 anonymous networking, relying on IPsec as overlay-link-level data
protection protocol.