Wednesday, July 29, 2009

First conclusions 4.1 Only Pure P2P!

We have now been introduced to P2P networks and have observed most possible
attacks. So what are the first conclusions we can make at this point?
First of all, when designing a P2P network, it is of utmost importance not to
use a mixed P2P model. As soon as we enter any kind of notion of hierarchy,
we automatically present a target. If a node is more important, more trusted
or better connected than other nodes, then an attacker can use this to his advantage.
This permits malicious users to attack the the network strategically,
which is far more dangerous. If there is absolutely no hierarchical structure,
then the network presents no strategic targets because of it’s uniformity.
Paper [4] studies for example the effects of super-nodes have on worm propagation
in Gnutella. In Gnutella, normal nodes connect to supernodes which are
in turn connected to each other, acting as a kind of “highway”. It is shown [19]
they play a significant role in the worm propagation in the network, even without
being specifically targeted at the beginning. What better target to launch
a Sybil attack then such supernodes? Of course, pure P2P is much harder to
implement and also slower than the hierarchical approach: the implementation
of node querying is easy if all nodes sign in on a central server.

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