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Volume 15 / Issue 2

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-015-02-0465


The Topology Change Attack: Threat and Impact

Mahdi Amine Abdelouahab (University of Technology of Compiegne, France)

Abdelmadjid Bouabdallah (University of Technology of Compiegne, France)

Mohamed Achemlal (Orange Labs, France)

Sylvie Laniepce (Orange Labs, France)

Abstract: Peer to peer (P2P) network has received in past few years a significant attention, especially such file sharing network as eDonkey [Kulbak and Kirkpatrick, 2005] or BitTorrent [Cohen 2008]. The shift from the classical client-server based paradigm of the Internet, with a clear distinction between information providers and consumers, towards consumers sharing information among each other led to the rise of the P2P paradigm. This distributed architecture, enables users to share content autonomously; Information remains at end-users' computers at the edge of the Internet and is not gathered and organized at central servers. While P2P has emerged as a new hot communication concept among the Internet users, security concerns still taking its first steps. The deployment of classic security protocols to provide services such as node authentication, content integrity or access control, presents several difficulties, most of them are due to the decentralized nature of these environments and the lack of central authorities. The fast emergence and the open nature of P2P applications, make appearing new attacks, so it is extremely important to study them and develop new counter measurements. Furthermore, existing studies focus on attacks that disrupt the overlay functioning and does not take in account their impact on ISPs (Internet Service Provider) infrastructure. In this paper, we present the Topology Change Attack [Abdelouahab et al. 2008] that harms the underlying networks (ISPs infrastructure) by unbalancing the P2P workload repartition. In order to evaluate and validate the TCA impact, we developed a new cycle-based simulator which simulates eDonkey clients hosted on different ISPs. The obtained results are very interesting and show the increasing of inter-ISPs traffic when a Topology Change Attack is conducted.

Keywords: PeerSim, attack, file sharing application, peer-to-peer, topology change

Categories: C.2