Routing in the Dark: Scalable Searches in Dark P2P Networks. presented at BlackHatUSA 2005

by Oskar Sandberg, Ian Clarke,


Summary : It has become apparent that the greatest threat toward the survival of peer to peer, and especially file sharing, networks is the openness of the peers themselves towards strangers. So called "darknets"—encrypted networks where peers connect directly only to trusted friends—have been suggested as a solution to this. Some, small-scale darknet implementations such a Nullsofts WASTE have already been deployed, but these share the problem that peers can only communicate within a small neighborhood.
Utilizing the small world theory of Watts and Strogatz, Jon Kleinbergs algorithmic observations, and our own experience from working with the anonymous distributed data network Freenet, we explore methods of using the dynamics of social networks to find scalable ways of searching and routing in a darknet. We discuss how the results indicating the human relationships really form a "small world", allow for ways of restoring to the darknet the characteristics necessary for efficient routing. We illustrate our methods with simulation results.
This is, to our knowledge, the first time a model for building peer to peer networks that allow for both peer privacy and global communication has been suggested. The deployment of such networks would offer great opportunities for truly viable peer to peer networks, and a very difficult challenge to their enemies.