HORNET: Encrypted High Speed Anonymous TOR Alternative

Sectivenet.com posted about Hornet, a high speed alternative to TOR. The original post can be found HERE. Should be interesting to see how well this works since TOR is known to be limited with throughput speeds.

For many years until now,Tor has been the favorite option to maintain anonymity on the Internet.  Tor was initially developed  by the US Naval Research Lab and works based on ‘onion routing’ principles. Even though it handles over 2 Million user on its network daily comprising mostly journalists, activists, law enforcement and hackers etc ,Tor has its faults. It is often slow and frustrating because its performance is based on the number of systems that make up the network. HORNET aims to resolve this issue.HORNET: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer.

High-speed onion routing network HORNET is capable of handling anonymous traffic at speeds of more than 93 Gbps while maintaining privacy.The new anonymous network is built by researcher Chen Chen of Carnegie Mellon University, along with Daniele Enrico Asoni, Adrian Perrig and David Barrera of the Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology, and George Danezis of University College London.

Hornet Is Better Than Tor

The research team who developed HORNET,in their n a paper (PDF) titled HORNET: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer, says it is a low-latency onion routing system that enables end-to-end anonymous channels with a quicker and more secure alternative to Tor.

“[HORNET] is designed to be highly efficient,” reads the paper, “instead of keeping state at each relay, connection state (such as onion layer decryption keys) is carried within packet headers, allowing intermediate nodes to quickly forward traffic for large numbers of clients.”

Hornet Claims Higher Speed(93Gbps) and Security. 

HORNET does not keep per-session states or”perform computationally expensive operations for data forwarding,”  thus allowing to scale as required with no limitations,speeding upto 93Gbps.

Hornet offloads session states to end hosts by default, encrypting each packet to reduce the risk of data leaks.

The paper states:

“It is designed to be highly efficient: instead of keeping state at each relay, connection state (such as onion layer decryption keys) is carried within packet headers, allowing intermediate nodes to quickly forward traffic for large numbers of clients.

For all data packets within the session, Hornet nodes use only symmetric cryptography to retrieve their state, process the AHDR and onion-decrypt (or encrypt) the payload.”

If a user is targeted and at more than one node is compromised, users can still be pursued through confirmation attacks — attacks based on monitoring traffic streams and packet flows to track a user. However, the security bar is raised as an attacker must control “a significant percentage of ISPs” in multiple geopolitical areas — while keeping such surveillance quiet — in order to spy on the alternative Tor network’s users effectively.

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One thought on “HORNET: Encrypted High Speed Anonymous TOR Alternative”

  1. Hello people,

    Hornet software has been released already? I cannot find it, only news and the paper that introduces the concept. See ya.

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