Peer-to-Peer Systems and Security


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  • Lecture takes place at official timeslots announced in TUMOnline
  • Virtual lectures via the BigBlueButton tool, see Moodle for more information
  • No compulsory attendance


Peer-to-Peer (P2P) systems provide an alternative architecture for networking applications. A core assumption of P2P systems is that services are provided in a highly or completely distributed manner. This contrasts with traditional client-server architectures where servers are centralized and are thus deemed privileged or essential components. Extensive decentralization in P2P systems results in new advantages and disadvantages. Without centralized components, fault tolerance of systems can be increased and former performance bottlenecks can be avoided. When designed carefully, P2P systems provide better scaling properties by e.g. distributing workload in the network. Moreover, due to the absence of centralized components, P2P systems are good candidates for providing extensive privacy properties to its users. Naturally, as we thread away from centralization in P2P systems, issues arise which could be efficiently solved by having centralized control. A prominent issue is that of attackers, who appear as benevolent peers but have malicious intent. This course serves to provide you the knowledge about existing P2P protocols and methods on how to enhance efficiency without sacrificing scalability and security.

Briefly, the following topics are treated:

  • P2P Basics
  • Unstructured and structured P2P Systems
  • Distributed Hash Tables
  • Identities and Authentication
  • Attacks in P2P
  • P2P Applications: Multicast, Size Estimation, Botnets, Random Peer Sampling
  • Anonymity
  • Blockchain based ledgers
  • Cryptocurrencies & E-cash


Programming experience in developing networking applications.

Project Work

In this course you will be asked to work on a project, implementing a P2P application. Please attend the first lecture for further information on the project and its scope of work.

Lecture Material and Information

Lecture material and up-to-date information is available via Moodle.