Attacks on peer-to-peer networks
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Many peer-to-peer networks are under constant attack by people with a variety of motives.

Examples include:

  • poisoning attacks (e.g. providing files whose contents are different than the description)
  • denial of service attacks (attacks that may make the network run very slowly or break completely)
  • defection attacks (users or software that make use of the network without contributing resources to it)
  • insertion of viruses to carried data (e.g. downloaded or carried files may be infected with viruses or other malware)
  • malware in the peer-to-peer network software itself (e.g. distributed software may contain spyware)
  • filtering (network operators may attempt to prevent peer-to-peer network data from being carried)
  • identity attacks (e.g. tracking down the users of the network and harassing or legally attacking them)
  • spamming (e.g. sending unsolicited information across the network- not necessarily as a denial of service attack)
  • Most attacks can be defeated or controlled by careful design of the peer-to-peer network and through the use of encryption. P2P network defense is in fact closely
  • related to the "Byzantine Generals Problem". However, almost any network will fail when the majority of the peers are trying to damage it, and many protocols may be
  • rendered impotent by far fewer numbers.
How can I ensure that Children are safe with P2P Networking?
  • Children need guidance before they start and when they are using P2P programs and networks.
  • Ensure you understand the potential dangers of P2P networking and have knowledge of how P2P communities work.
  • Investigate the popular P2P programs or the particular one which your children wish to use.
  • Determine the level of parental controls you can apply to the P2P program. Some have virus protection and adult filter capabilities installed with them.
  • Determine whether your normal Internet filter program lets you manage access to P2P networks. You may be able to configure it to help with your P2P network access.
  • Parent's guides are written for many popular P2P programs. Make yourself aware of these.
  • Discuss issues such as netiquette, copyright and privacy with children and explain how common sense Internet safety rules apply in P2P communities.
  • Use monitoring software to keep track of online activity. Monitor such things as amounts of downloads and time spent online.
Search through online websites to keep up to date with advances in P2P technologies. If you are not convinced children will remain safe using the P2P program installed on your home computer, search for another one more suitable with better parental controls on it.