Cooperative Security for Network Coding File Distribution

MSR-TR-2004-137 |

IEEE/Infocom Barcelona

Peer-to-peer content distribution networks can suffer from malicious participants that intentionally corrupt content. Some systems such as BitTorrent verify blocks with traditional cryptographic signatures and hashes. However, these techniques do not apply well to more elegant systems that use network coding techniques for efficient content distribution. Architectures that use network coding are prone to jamming attacks where the introduction of a few corrupted blocks can quickly result in a large number of bad blocks propagating through the system. Identifying such bogus blocks is difficult and requires the use of homomorphic hashing functions, which are computationally expensive. This paper presents a practical security scheme for network coding that reduces the cost of verifying blocks on-the-fly while efficiently preventing the propagation of malicious blocks. In our scheme, users not only cooperate to distribute the content, but (well-behaved) users also cooperate to protect themselves against malicious users by informing affected nodes when a malicious block is found. We analyze and study such cooperative security scheme and introduce elegant techniques to prevent DoS attacks. We show that the loss in the efficiency caused by the attackers is limited to the effort the attackers put to corrupt the communication, which is a natural lower bound in the damage of the system.