A Forwarding Layer for Application-Level Peer-to-Peer Services

DARPA Contract N66001-02-1-8906
January 2001 to January 2004
Principal Investigator: Scott Michel

Project Summary

The FLAPPS project investigated the use of a toolkit approach to building peer networks for various purposes.  The FLAPPS toolkit eases the development of overlay peer networks by treating the problem of communcations among peers as an issue of routing.  Thus, the toolkit assists in the building of peer topologies, running routing protocols among the peers, and forwarding messages from peer to peer in a manner suited for the particular needs of individual peer networks.  Since any given peer network may have its own special requirements in any of these areas, FLAPPS allows customization of topology construction, routing protocols and forwarding behaviors.

Peer networks open new possibilities for DDoS attacks, particularly since each message sent in such a network typically requires much more handling than a simple IP packet.  Thus, participation in a peer network gives attackers a mechanism to amplify the effects of every attack packet they send to a machine.  FLAPPS can be used to counteract this effect.  It can spread traffic through the entire peer network, filter traffic, validate the source of the traffic, construct topologies less susceptible to DDoS attack, and use routing protocol features to speed recovery from attacks.