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Paper Review - Examining How the Great Firewall Discovers Hidden Circumvention Servers

03 Sep 2019

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Examining How the Great Firewall Discovers Hidden Circumvention Servers

Roya Ensafi , David Fifield , Philipp Winter , Nick Feamster , Nicholas Weaver , Vern Paxson, Examining How the Great Firewall Discovers Hidden Circumvention Servers, Proceedings of the 2015 ACM Conference on Internet Measurement Conference, October 28-30, 2015, Tokyo, Japan DOI:

Research motivation

Though researchers have provided a comprehensive understanding of how the Great Firewall of China’s (GFW) works and the first insight of active probing system alongside with GFW, there are still unexplained questions remained about the implementation of active probing, such as the different types of probing, the physical structure of the system. This paper is motivated to answer these questions by developing a deep understanding of the nature of active probing system with several network measurements.

Research goals

In this paper, the researchers aim to better understand how the active probing system conducts against serval privacy tools and censorship circumvention systems. Based on that, they seek to answer questions as following:

Research methods

The researchers investigate the nature of active probing by conducting several experiments on various datasets. There are four datasets in total, they are described as following:

The obvious limitation of the methodology is Server Logs, which is also acknowledged by the authors, that is they do not record as much valuable information to answer the research questions as key evidence.

Research results

From my view, the most significant progress for the research community is:

Overall personal summary

Though I think this paper gives a little bit too much information in a wide range of parts of GFW that it does not focuse on diving into a key point, it is still a valuable paper for GFW study in terms of their findings considering GFW is such a huge (and powerful) system.

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