For the project, Wallach and Druschel will focus on security for Pastry, a peer-to-peer system developed jointly between Rice and Microsoft, but is applicable to other peer-to-peer systems, such as CAN, Chord and Tapestry. Druschel originated Pastry as a joint research effort with Antony Rowstron of Microsoft Research during a sabbatical in 2000.
"When all nodes in the peer-to-peer system follow the protocols correctly the system can recover from node failures, and even limited network failures," Wallach explained. "However, if some of the peer-to-peer nodes choose to behave in a malicious fashion, they could potentially compromise the entire peer-to-peer system."
The research centers on a variety of security issues with peer-to-peer systems, including the security of the routing and messaging infrastructure as well as building in economic incentives for users to actually participate in peer-to-peer networks, contrasting with current peer-to-peer systems that allow some users to be 'free riders' on the network, without contributing their resources to the common good.
Microsoft Research has been a member of the Computer Science Department's Corporate Affiliates Program since 2000.
February 13, 2003