[p2p-hackers] ease of use in a decentralized communication system

Alen Peacock alenlpeacock at gmail.com
Fri Jun 23 18:22:50 UTC 2006


Couldn't you use usernames as keys into a DHT that contains the users'
public keys (perhaps a parallel DHT to the one that you already have
that does service lookups)?  Of course you'd have to have some way to
resolve namespace clashes, maybe using a petname scheme?  And you'd
have to figure out how to discourage malicious poisoning of username
keys to public key values, but you'd have to do that in a centralized
architecture, too.

BTW, when you say that posession of the user's public key allows you
to get a VNC connection, you're talking about an pre-authenticated
session, right?  When I first read your description, it sounded like
all one needed was the user's public key, and they'd have free reign
on that user's box. ;)

Alen


On 6/23/06, K.S.Sreeram <sreeram at tachyontech.net> wrote:
> Hi All
>
> As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I'm working on a decentralized
> communication system, where every user is identified by his RSA key. A
> DHT is used to map the user's public key to his network location (ip
> address). A user's contact list basically is just a list of public keys.
>
> It has a pretty easy to use GUI, where I can just right click on any
> contact and choose 'Remote Desktop', and I get a secure NAT/firewall
> friendly VNC session established. Similarly secure chat and filetransfer
> are available too.
>
> One of the biggest stumbling blocks that will hinder mass adoption of
> this product is the fact that users need to manually exchange their
> public keys (e.g thru email), before they can communicate with each other.
>
> I'm at a loss of ideas on how to tackle this problem. Right now i'm
> contemplating having a central key-server (some what like pgp key
> servers), which is used to fetch public keys when a user adds contacts.
> This is probably the simplest approach, but it does break the technical
> purity of a 'completely decentralized system'.
>
> Does anybody have any ideas on how this ease-of-use problem can be solved?
>
> Regards
> Sreeram
>
>
>
>
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