Document Type thesis Author Name Whitney, Justin D Email Address ripple at alum.wpi.edu URN etd-092905-183353 Title The Wisdom of Crowds as a Model for Trust and Security in Peer Groups Degree MS Department Computer Science Advisors Fernando C. Colon Osorio, Advisor Murali Mani, Reader Michael A. Gennert, Department Head Keywords threshold cryptography file sharing security peer to peer p2p trust Date of Presentation/Defense 2005-09-26 Availability unrestricted
Traditional security models are out of place in peer networks, where no hierarchy ex- ists, and where no outside channel can be relied upon. In this nontraditional environment we must provide traditional security properties and assure fairness in order to enable the secure, collaborative success of the network. One solution is to form a Trusted Domain, and exclude perceived dishonest and unfair members.
Previous solutions have been intolerant of masquerading, and have suffered from a lack of precise control over the allocation and exercise of privileges within the Trusted Domain. Our contribution is the introduction of a model that allows for controlled access to the group, granular control over privileges, and guards against masquerading. Contin- ued good behavior is rewarded by an escalation of privileges, while requiring an increased commitment of resources. Bad behavior results in expulsion from the Trusted Domain. In colluding with malicious nodes, well behaved nodes risk losing privileges gained over time; collusion is thereby discouraged.
We implement our solution on top of the Bouncer Toolkit, produced by Narasimha et al. , as a prototype peer to peer network. We make use of social models for trust from , and rely on new cryptographic primitives from the ﬁeld of Threshold Cryptography. We present the results of an experimental analysis of its performance for a number of thresholds, and present observations on a number of important performance and security improvements that can be made to the underlying toolkit.
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