- COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS Journal
- February 2008
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- Despite the advantages offered by pure Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks (e.g. robustness and fault tolerance), a crucial requirement is to guarantee basic security properties, such as content authenticity and integrity, as well as to enforce appropriate access control policies. These mechanisms would pave the way for new models in which content providers can exert some control over the replication and file sharing process. However, the extremely decentralized nature of these environments makes impossible to apply classic solutions that rely on some kind of fixed infrastructure, typically in the form of on-line trusted third parties (TTP). In this paper, we introduce a suite of protocols for content authentication and access control in pure P2P networks based on attribute certificates that does not rely on the existence of a public key infrastructure (PKI), privilege management infrastructure (PMI), or any other form of centralized authority. We provide an analysis concerning the efficiency (computational effort and communication overhead) and the security of our proposal.