A Secure Peer-to-Peer Application Framework

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School of Science | Doctoral thesis (monograph) | Defence date: 2015-02-02
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Aalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 14/2015
The nature of the Internet has changed dramatically. From a modest research network, it has evolved into one of the most important fabrics of our modern society, affecting the lives of billions each day. We rely on it for everything from performing our daily chores to accessing rich media and keeping in touch with our friends. Despite this change, service provisioning has largely remained intact. Services are provided in a centralized manner, resulting in bottlenecks and vulnerable collections of, often unwittingly, submitted sensitive information. Peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies have the potential to provide a better alternative for future networking. P2P services distribute the load from a single node to a network of peers, relying on the resources of the end-users themselves. Not only does it remove the bottlenecks, it has the potential to provide a more personal and safe networking environment. In this dissertation, we inspect the feasibility and implications of a generic, cross-application, P2P framework. We present the design and implementation of a framework that uses existing infrastructure and advanced networking protocols to create a secure environment. Using this framework, applications are able to benefit from P2P networking without having to deploy new infrastructure or implement complex connection- and identity management. Users benefit from using a single, strong, cross-application identity management and having better control over their data. This improves the trust within the system and enables new ways of dealing with security threats. We demonstrate the feasibility of the framework by evaluating the performance and usability of the prototype implementation. This provides a model for future networking applications and insight into the security and usability issues these will face.
Supervising professor
Nurminen, Jukka K., Prof., Aalto University, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Finland
Thesis advisor
Gurtov, Andrei, Prof., Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Finland
peer-to-peer, security, mobility, identity management, application frameworks
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