Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
da Costa Cordeiro W. L., Santos F. R., Barcellos M. P., Gaspary L. P., Kavalionak H., Guerrieri A., Montresor A. Making puzzles green and useful for adaptive identity management in large-scale distributed systems. In: Computer Networks - The International Journal of Computer and Telecommunications Networking, vol. 95 (February 2016) pp. 97 - 114. Elsevier, 2016.
Various online systems offer a lightweight process for creating accounts (e.g., confirming an e-mail address), so that users can easily join them. With minimum effort, however, an attacker can subvert this process, obtain a multitude of fake accounts, and use them for malicious purposes. Puzzle-based solutions have been proposed to limit the spread of fake accounts, by establishing a price (in terms of computing resources) per identity requested. Although effective, they do not distinguish between requests coming from presumably legitimate users and potential attackers, and also lead to a significant waste of energy and computing power. In this paper, we build on adaptive puzzles and complement them with waiting time to introduce a green design for lightweight, long-term identity management; it balances the complexity of assigned puzzles based on the reputation of the origin (source) of identity requests, and reduces energy consumption caused by puzzle solving. We also take advantage of lessons learned from massive distributed computing to come up with a design that makes puzzle-processing useful. Based on a set of experiments, we show that our solution provides significant energy savings and makes puzzle-solving a useful task, while not compromising effectiveness in limiting the spread of fake accounts.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389128615004818
DOI: 10.1016/j.comnet.2015.12.005
Subject Peer-to-peer networks
Identity management
Computational puzzles
Sybil attack
D.4.6 Security and Protection
C.2.4 Distributed Systems

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