1993-01-09 - Cascading Aliases

Header Data

From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 3ca1675112ccd3863489c2641af2c6f7d11e5c3b1c46ffda9fce54712d9abe23
Message ID: <9301092049.AA03501@netcom2.netcom.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1993-01-09 20:49:59 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 9 Jan 93 12:49:59 PST

Raw message

From: mjr@netcom.com (Matthew Rapaport)
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 93 12:49:59 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Cascading Aliases
Message-ID: <9301092049.AA03501@netcom2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

The discussion just above between Karl, Hal, Johan, and myself, has
made me realize that the standard "bounce back" behavior of all the
alias servers I've used so far actually defeates the purpose of remailer
chains no matter how one embeds the forwarding information.

When any person *first* replies to or originates mail across a remailer
chain, a new alias is generated at each hop (however many). So far, that
is good, a "most conservative assumption" approach, and it provides
easily for reply channel maintenance. The problem is that each machine
also reflects its new alias back along the chain to the message
originator thereby revealing the entire chain to the message originator,
something that might not be desirable to the party on the other side.

The solution is very simple, just stop bouncing the new alias
information back along the chain. This can not HURT anyone using the
alias/remailer system because you never need to know what your aliases
are as the conversion and forwarding process is automatic. If someone
needs, for some reason to KNOW his alias for a given system (or all of
them) on *his/her* chain, he/she can easily arrange to ping the server
at the appropriate level.

Besides not hurting any current operations, Stopping the *automatic*
reply to sender about a new alias helps to secure everything a great
deal more because it hides the "other guy's" chain, something that both
parties might reasonably expect.

matthew rapaport     Philosopher/Programmer At Large      KD6KVH
           mjr@netcom.com     70371.255@compuserve.com