Ethiopia Introduces Deep Packet Inspection
The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation, which is the sole telecommunication service provider in Ethiopia, has deployed or begun testing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) of all Internet traffic. We have previously analyzed the same kind of censorship in China, Iran, and Kazakhstan.
Reports show that Tor stopped working a week ago -- even with bridges configured. Websites such as gmail, facebook, twitter, and even tor project, continue to work. The graphs below show the effects of this deployment of censorship based on Deep Packet Inspection:
An analysis of data collected by a volunteer shows that they are doing some sort of TLS fingerprinting. The TLS server hello, which is sent by the Tor bridge after the TLS client hello, never reaches the client. We don't know exactly what they are fingerprinting on, but our guess is that it is either the client hello or the server hello. An illustration can be found in this network flow diagram.
A few days ago, we published a blog post exposing the use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to filter all Internet traffic in Ethiopia, including connections to the Tor network. We concluded that they are doing some sort of TLS fingerprinting, but had not been able to figure out exactly what they are fingerprinting on. Since then, we have managed to determine exactly how Ethiopia blocks Tor and we have developed a workaround. We will publish a full technical analysis very soon.
The long-term solution for Tor users in Ethiopia is to use the Obfsproxy Tor Browser Bundle. The bundles are, unfortunately, not up to date at the moment, but this is something we are working on (see #5937 for details). In the meantime, try using one of the following three bridges: