This condemnation of all hierarchical structures also makes us reject reputationbased
systems. Nodes in such systems have a “reputation” determined by all
other nodes . Typically, each node will publish a list of the nodes it trusts,
making it impossible for a node to change its own reputation by itself. Before
initiating a download, a node will first check the reputation of the node it wants
to download from and then decide whether to pursue or not. In a sense, the
higher the reputation, the more importance a node has.
While this might seem like a good direction, we will argue that, as it introduces a notion of hierarchy, this approach constitutes a weakness. The problem is
that nodes with a bigger reputation have more powers than other nodes. Other
nodes will tend to trust them more and they are able to influence other nodes’
reputation more effectively. An attacker simply needs a little patience and wait
for one of his nodes to gain sufficient trust in order to launch his attack. If
the attacker deploys many malicious nodes as it is often the case, they can give
each other a high reputation making them all trustworthy. Finally, other famous
nodes constitute strategic targets as they will be able to spread the attack for
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