Apart from being one of the most iconic instruments in the FIFA 2010 World Cup, another vuvuzela is also recognized as the next-generation anonymity tool that protects users by creating NOISE. Yes, both mediums may inflict the same characteristics, but for a different purpose. While the original vuvuzela was created for the sole purpose of creating a rather discordant noise, the vuvuzela is a digital encryption that seeks to anonymize through cryptography.
Cryptography is the science of translating messages or information using algorithms and processes such as public key encryption. Despite the widespread popularity of the practice, these ciphers remain unbroken. But while encryption can keep certain information a secret, it cannot safeguard the identities of the sender and receiver.
In the digital world, details such as the IP addresses of computers traversing various networks and other metadata can unearth more than just the user’s identities of those communicating. Companies use metadata to conclude just about any information for targeted advertising, while intelligence and various law enforcement agencies collect and analyze such data for their own benefit.
Hence, anonymity is something that everyone requires alongside secrecy, for which the most polished instrument for the job is Tor. Tor permits users to browse the web without having to expose personal information. However, the system proves to have certain discrepancies that are hurdled by smarter programs. This is where the Vuvuzela enters.
To overcome the shortcomings of Tor, other anonymizing software approaches has been in production. While some may fix what Tor lacks, they fail to support the sort of usage and number of concurrent users that Tor can perform, which limits their effectiveness.
Meanwhile, Vuvuzela is immune to both traffic, analysis, and other forms of attack, while at the same time support a large number of active users. Similar to Tor, Vuvuzela works by encrypting as much metadata as possible, but it also adds noise that is geared to confuse attackers. As they are undifferentiated from actual messages, this forces out patterns of genuine communication that might otherwise put a user’s anonymity in danger.
Unlike other systems, Vuvuzela conveys its communication in fixed variables. Clients cannot send and receive messages, but instead, only one message can either be sent or received. This blocks the precise timing of information between senders and receivers, hiding the details from potential threats.
Another alteration is how the messages pass through. Tor messages travel from sender to receiver in a fixed sequence, while Vuvuzela employs a dead-drop system, where the sender leaves the message at a randomly selected memory destination on one of the servers, and during a later round, the recipient can collect the message.
Each and every message sent using Vuvuzela possess the same size, which is achieved by splitting messages that exceed the maximum capacity and padding messages that do not meet the minimum requirement. This avoids ill-motived individuals from using message size as clues to compromise user anonymity.
Hence, Vuvuzela is the first anonymizing system that is unaffected by large-scale network traffic analysis attacks, and which can also withstand millions of active users sending a lot of messages every second.