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Securing Structured Overlays against Identity Attacks

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3 Author(s)
Puttaswamy, K.P.N. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Haitao Zheng ; Zhao, B.Y.

Structured overlay networks can greatly simplify data storage and management for a variety of distributed applications. Despite their attractive features, these overlays remain vulnerable to the Identity attack, where malicious nodes assume control of application components by intercepting and hijacking key-based routing requests. Attackers can assume arbitrary application roles such as storage node for a given file, or return falsified contents of an online shopper's shopping cart. In this paper, we define a generalized form of the Identity attack, and propose a lightweight detection and tracking system that protects applications by redirecting traffic away from attackers. We describe how this attack can be amplified by a Sybil or Eclipse attack, and analyze the costs of performing such an attack. Finally, we present measurements of a deployed overlay that show our techniques to be significantly more lightweight than prior techniques, and highly effective at detecting and avoiding both single node and colluding attacks under a variety of conditions.

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 10 )