Cooperation in Open, Decentralized, and Heterogeneous Computer Networks

TitleCooperation in Open, Decentralized, and Heterogeneous Computer Networks
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsNeumann, A., Leandro Navarro, and L. Cerdà i Alabern
Academic DepartmentComputer Architecture
Number of Pages148
Date Published12/2017
KeywordsCommunity networks, cooperation, decentralized security, Mesh networks, multi-topology, routing, trust

Routing in open and decentralised networks relies on cooperation. However, the participation of unknown nodes and node administrators pursuing heterogeneous trust and security goals is a challenge. Community-mesh networks are good examples of such environments due to their open structure, decentralised management, and ownership. As a result, existing community networks are vulnerable to various attacks and are seriously challenged by the obligation to find consensus on the trustability of participants within an increasing user size and diversity. We propose a practical and novel solution enabling a secured but decentralised trust management. This work presents the design and analysis of securely-entrusted multi-topology routing (SEMTOR), a set of routing-protocol mechanisms that enable the cryptographically secured negotiation and establishment of concurrent and individually trusted routing topologies for infrastructure-less networks without relying on any central management. The proposed mechanisms have been implemented, tested, and evaluated for their correctness and performance to exclude non-trusted nodes from the network. Respective safety and liveness properties that are guaranteed by our protocol have been identified and proven with formal reasoning. Benchmarking results, based on our implementation as part of the BMX7 routing protocol and tested on real and minimal (OpenWRT, 10 Euro) routers, qualify the behaviour, performance, and scalability of our approach, supporting networks with hundreds of nodes despite the use of strong asymmetric cryptography.