SiamHAN: IPv6 Address Correlation Attacks on TLS Encrypted Traffic via Siamese Heterogeneous Graph Attention Network


Tianyu Cui, Gaopeng Gou, Gang Xiong, Zhen Li, Mingxin Cui, and Chang Liu, Institute of Information Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and School of Cyber Security, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences


Unlike IPv4 addresses, which are typically masked by a NAT, IPv6 addresses could easily be correlated with users' activity, endangering their privacy. Mitigations to address this privacy concern have been deployed, making existing approaches for address-to-user correlation unreliable. This work demonstrates that an adversary could still correlate IPv6 addresses with users accurately, even with these protection mechanisms. To do this, we propose an IPv6 address correlation model – SiamHAN. The model uses a Siamese Heterogeneous Graph Attention Network to measure whether two IPv6 client addresses belong to the same user even if the user's traffic is protected by TLS encryption. Using a large real-world dataset, we show that, for the tasks of tracking target users and discovering unique users, the state-of-the-art techniques could achieve only 85% and 60% accuracy, respectively. However, SiamHAN exhibits 99% and 88% accuracy.

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@inproceedings {274677,
author = {Tianyu Cui and Gaopeng Gou and Gang Xiong and Zhen Li and Mingxin Cui and Chang Liu},
title = {{SiamHAN}: {IPv6} Address Correlation Attacks on {TLS} Encrypted Traffic via Siamese Heterogeneous Graph Attention Network},
booktitle = {30th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-24-3},
pages = {4329--4346},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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