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Carbon: trusted auditing for P2P distributed virtual environments

John L. Miller and Jon Crowcroft


Many Peer-to-Peer Distributed Virtual Environments (P2P DVE’s) have been proposed, but none are widely deployed. One significant barrier to deployment is lack of security. This paper presents Carbon, a trusted auditing system for P2P DVE’s which provides reasonable security with low per-client overhead. DVE’s using Carbon perform offline auditing to evaluate DVE client correctness. Carbon audits can be used to catch DVE clients which break DVE rules – cheaters – so the DVE can punish them. We analyze the impact of applying Carbon to a peer-to-peer game with attributes similar to World of Warcraft. We show that 99.9% of cheaters – of a certain profile – can be caught with guided auditing and 2.3% bandwidth overhead, or 100% of cheaters can be caught with exhaustive auditing and 27% bandwidth overhead. The surprisingly low overhead for exhaustive auditing is the result of the small payload in most DVE packet updates, compared to the larger aggregate payloads in audit messages. Finally, we compare Carbon to PeerReview, and show that for DVE scenarios Carbon consumes significantly less resources – in typical cases by an order of magnitude – while sacrificing little protection.


Publication typeTechReport
InstitutionUniversity of Cambridge
OrganizationComputing Laboratory
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