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Conference Papers Year : 2011

EphPub: Toward Robust Ephemeral Publishing


The increasing amount of personal and sensitive information disseminated over the Internet prompts commensurately growing privacy concerns. Digital data often lingers indefinitely and users lose its control. This motivates the desire to restrict content availability to an expiration time set by the data owner. This paper presents and formalizes the notion of Ephemeral Publishing (EphPub), to prevent the access to expired content. We propose an efficient and robust protocol that builds on the Domain Name System (DNS) and its caching mechanism. With EphPub, sensitive content is published encrypted and the key material is distributed, in a steganographic manner, to randomly selected and independent resolvers. The availability of content is then limited by the evanescence of DNS cache entries. The EphPub protocol is transparent to existing applications, and does not rely on trusted hardware, centralized servers, or user proactive actions. We analyze its robustness and show that it incurs a negligible overhead on the DNS infrastructure. We also perform a large-scale study of the caching behavior of 900K open DNS resolvers. Finally, we propose Firefox and Thunderbird extensions that provide ephemeral publishing capabilities, as well as a command-line tool to create ephemeral files.
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Dates and versions

hal-00748213 , version 1 (05-11-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00748213 , version 1


Claude Castelluccia, Emiliano de Cristofaro, Aurélien Francillon, Mohamed Ali Kaafar. EphPub: Toward Robust Ephemeral Publishing. Network Protocols (ICNP), 2011 19th IEEE International Conference on, Oct 2011, Vancouver, Canada. pp.165--175. ⟨hal-00748213⟩
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