Securing Structured Overlays Against Identity Attacks

Report ID: 
Krishna P. N. Puttaswamy, Ben Y. Zhao and Haitao Zheng
2008-01-01 04:00:00


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 (KBR) 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 light-weight 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 light-weight than prior techniques, and highly effective at detecting and avoiding both single node and colluding attacks under a variety of conditions.


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