WF-Transformer: Learning Temporal Features for Accurate Anonymous Traffic Identification by Using Transformer Networks

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WF-Transformer: Learning Temporal Features for Accurate Anonymous Traffic Identification by Using Transformer Networks

Qiang Zhou; Liangmin Wang; Huijuan Zhu; Tong Lu; Victor S. Sheng

Website Fingerprinting (WF) is a network traffic mining technique for anonymous traffic identification, which enables a local adversary to identify the target website that an anonymous network user is browsing. WF attacks based on deep convolutional neural networks (CNN) get the state-of-the-art anonymous traffic classification performance. However, due to the locality restriction of CNN architecture for feature extraction on sequence data, these methods ignore the temporal feature extraction in the anonymous traffic analysis. In this paper, we present Website Fingerprinting Transformer (WF-Transformer), a novel anonymous network traffic analysis method that leverages Transformer networks for temporal feature extraction of traffic traces and improves the classification performance of Tor encrypted traffic. The architecture of WF-Transformer is specially designed for traffic trace processing and can classify anonymous traffic effectively. Furthermore, we evaluate the performance of WF-Transformer in both closed-world and open-world scenarios. In the closed-world scenario, WF-Transformer attains 99.1% accuracy on Tor traffic without defenses, better than state-or-the-art attacks, and archives 92.1% accuracy on the traces defended by WTF-PAD method. In the open-world scenario, WF-Transformer has better precision and recall on both defended and non-defended traces. Furthermore, WF-Transformer with a short input length (2000 cells) outperforms the DF method with a long input length (5000 cells).

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