Enhancing the Performance and Security of Anonymous Communication Networks

Enhancing the Performance and Security of Anonymous Communication Networks

Enhancing the Performance and Security of Anonymous Communication Networks

Tor’s anonymity network is one of the most widely used anonymity networks online, it consists of thousands of routers run by volunteers. Tor preserves the anonymity of its users by relaying the traffic through a number of routers (called onion routers) forming a circuit. The current design of Tor’s transport layer suffers from a number of problems affecting the performance of the network. Several researches proposed changes in the transport design in order to eliminate the effect of these problems and improve the performance of Tor’s network. However, the performance of Tor’s network is still limits the adoption of Tor by many users. In our research, we are proposing two main approaches to enhance the performance of Tor’s anonymity network. 1) We address the transport layer issues in Tor’s network by introducing QuicTor; with QUIC protocol replacing the TCP/TLS for the transport layer. 2) We also address the queue management issues at Tor’s application layer by proposing the following solutions:

  • An optimization-based technique to ensure global proportional fairness.
  • Average rate based proportional fair heuristic.
  • Reinforcement Learning based scheduling approach


Lead Principal Investigator (LPI):

Principal Investigators (PI):

  • Dr. Aiman Erbad, Co-Supervisor, Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Dr. Mashael AlSabah, Collaborator, Qatar Computing Research Institute


  • Dr. Amr Mohamed, Collaborator, Qatar University


  • Lamiaa Basyoni, PhD candidate, Computer Science and Engineering Department, Qatar University (Email: lamiaa@qu.edu.qa)


  • L. Basyoni, A. Erbad, M. Alsabah, N. Fetais and M. Guizani, “Empirical Performance Evaluation of QUIC Protocol for Tor Anonymity Network,” 2019 15th International Wireless Communications & Mobile Computing Conference (IWCMC), 2019, pp. 635-642, doi: 10.1109/IWCMC.2019.8766609.
  • L. Basyoni, N. Fetais, A. Erbad, A. Mohamed and M. Guizani, “Traffic Analysis Attacks on Tor: A Survey,” 2020 IEEE International Conference on Informatics, IoT, and Enabling Technologies (ICIoT), 2020, pp. 183-188, doi: 10.1109/ICIoT48696.2020.9089497.
  • L. Basyoni, A. Erbad, A. Mohamed, A. Refaey and M. Guizani, “Proportionally Fair approach for Tor’s Circuits Scheduling,” 2020 International Symposium on Networks, Computers and Communications (ISNCC), 2020, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1109/ISNCC49221.2020.9297310.

Media & Dates


  • Started: March 2018
  • Ends: March 2022

Funding (if applicable)

Funded By:

  • Not Applicable

Collaborating Institution(s)

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Source Code (if applicable)

  • Available upon request