Peer-to-Peer System-Based Active Worm Attacks: Modeling and Analysis


Recent active worm propagation events show that active worms can spread in an automated fashion and flood the Internet in a very short period of time. Due to the recent surge of peer-to-peer (P2P) systems with large numbers of users, P2P systems can be a potential vehicle for the active worms to achieve fast worm propagation in the Internet. In this paper, we address the issue of the impacts of active worm propagation on top of P2P systems. In particular: (1) we define a P2P system based active worm attack model and study two attack strategies (an off-line and on-line strategy) under the defined model; (2) we develop an analytical approach to analyze the propagation of active worms under the defined attack models and conduct an extensive study to the impacts of P2P system parameters, such as size, topology degree, and the structured/unstructured properties on active worm propagation. Based on numerical results, we observe that a P2P-based attack can significantly worsen attack effects (improve attack performance), and we observe that the speed of worm propagation is very sensitive to P2P system parameters. We believe that our work can provide important guidelines in design and control of P2P systems as well as overall active worm defense.


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Active Worm Attacks; P2P System

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2005 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communication Society, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2005