A survey of DHT security techniques

Guido Urdaneta*, Guillaume Pierre, Maarten van Steen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


Peer-to-peer networks based on distributed hash tables (DHTs) have received considerable attention ever since their introduction in 2001. Unfortunately, DHT-based systems have been shown to be notoriously difficult to protect against security attacks. Various reports have been published that discuss or classify general security issues, but so far a comprehensive survey describing the various proposed defenses has been lacking. In this article, we present an overview of techniques reported in the literature for making DHT-based systems resistant to the three most important attacks that can be launched by malicious nodes participating in the DHT: (1) the Sybil attack, (2) the Eclipse attack, and (3) routing and storage attacks. We review the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed solutions and, in doing so, confirm how difficult it is to secure DHT-based systems in an adversarial environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalACM computing surveys
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed hash tables
  • Eclipse attack
  • Peer-to-peer systems
  • Secure P2P routing and storage
  • Sybil attack


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