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A peer-to-peer (P2P) storage system allows a network of peer computers to increase the availability of their data by replicating it on other peers in the network. In such networks, a central challenge is preventing "freeloaders", or nodes that use disproportionately more storage on other peers than they contribute to the network. While several existing systems claim to solve this problem, we show that all known approaches are vulnerable to various attacks by either a single greedy peer or a small group of peers. To address this problem, we describe a robust distributed system to account for the storage activities of each peer. We analyze the security of this system, prove that it is secure under a much stronger attack model than previous work, and evaluate the efficiency of a prototype implementation.
Date of Conference: 2006