Networks where each participant is equally privileged, called peer-to-peer network, have a long history even reaching back to the birth of the Internet. While it was in use before, it only started to gain widespread popularity after the launch of consumer-level broadband internet services.
The first application that brought the fame for the peer-to-peer technology was Napster, released in 1999, which was followed by Kazaa and other similar products after it has closed. Although these applications were developed with filesharing in mind, the number of use-cases for this technology have been steadily increasing.
Nowadays the most used peer-to-peer protocol is the BitTorrent protocol, which, based on a number of research, makes up for 30% of the whole Internet upstream traffic. While the filesharing happens between the users in this protocol, a server was needed for keeping track who shares which torrent. This problem was addressed in later expansions of the original protocol.
In my research, I’m going to investigate the BitTorrent protocol and the DHT network added as an extension protocol, which is a fundamental part of many other completely decentralized peer-to-peer system. I will look for possible weaknesses in the system, which could be used for attacks against the whole network or another system. I will also analyze the effects of the DHT used in the BitTorrent protocol (referred to as Mainline-DHT or MLDHT) through various simulations. My goal is to assess the effectiveness of the whole system, and to have a runnable Android application which can be used as a BitTorrent client.