[bittorrent] Proposed Extension to Peer Protocol

David P. Mott dpmott at sep.com
Wed Nov 15 12:15:32 EST 2006

I realize that I'm taking this out of context, but... it seems like it 
would be useful on a number of different levels to document the 
shortcomings and weaknesses of the bittorrent protocol, possibly 
accompanied with the algorithms or safeguards that are commonly used to 
address them.

For instance, given a weakness that lends itself to a malicious attack, an 
entry in the WIKI would be useful if it were accompanied with a way to 
safeguard against that attack.

Other weaknesses may not open an implementation to attack, but may make 
something "harder"; these weaknesses could be listed with work-arounds or 
clever algorithms to achieve the desired goal.  (I'm thinking here of some 
research projects that work hard to get a view of the whole swarm, for 
instance.  There's also the "problem" of "downloading a single file in a 
multi-file torrent", which has already been solved).

Does anyone think that this would be a useful addition to the WIKI?

> From: "Alan McGovern" <alan.mcgovern at gmail.com>
> An evil peer could try and force you to do a lot of hashchecks, thats true.
> An evil peer could force you to do a huge amount of disk seeking by
> requesting 1 byte blocks from different pieces of the torrent. Hell, a peer
> could constantly send request messages followed by cancel messages to force
> you to read blocks into memory needlessly. Everything can be abused. The
> question is are the benefits worth it?

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