Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3.2 File Poisoning

File poisoning attacks operate on the data plane and have become extremely
commonplace in P2P networks. The goal of this attack is to replace a file in the
network by a false one. This polluted file is of course of no use.
It has been reported [7][8][9], that the music industry have massively released
false content on P2P networks. Moreover, companies such as Overpeer1 or Retsnap
2 publicly offer their pollution-based services to the entertainment industry
as a way for protecting copyrighted materials.
In order to attack by file poisoning, malicious nodes will falsely claim owning a
file, and upon a request will answer with a corrupt file. For a certain amount
of money, Overpeer or Retsnap will release huge amounts of fake copies of a file
on their servers. Moreover, all messages passing through malicious node can be
poisoned (similar to a man-in-the-middle attack). These factors may give the
poisoned file a high availability, making it more attractive to download the true

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