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Conference Paper

PeerReview: practical accountability for distributed systems


Haeberlen,  Andreas
Group P. Druschel, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Max Planck Society;

Kuznetsov,  Petr
Max Planck Society;


Druschel,  Peter
Group P. Druschel, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Max Planck Society;

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Haeberlen, A., Kuznetsov, P., & Druschel, P. (2007). PeerReview: practical accountability for distributed systems. In SOSP’07: proceedings of the 21st ACM Symposium on (pp. 175-188). New York, NY: ACM.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-8C76-8
We describe PeerReview, a system that provides accountability in distributed systems. PeerReview ensures that Byzantine faults whose effects are observed by a correct node are eventually detected and irrefutably linked to a faulty node. At the same time, PeerReview ensures that a correct node can always defend itself against false accusations. These guarantees are particularly important for systems that span multiple administrative domains, which may not trust each other. PeerReview works by maintaining a secure record of the messages sent and received by each node. The record is used to automatically detect when a node's behavior deviates from that of a given reference implementation, thus exposing faulty nodes. PeerReview is widely applicable: it only requires that a correct node's actions are deterministic, that nodes can sign messages, and that each node is periodically checked by a correct node. We demonstrate that PeerReview is practical by applying it to three different types of distributed systems: a network filesystem, a peer-to-peer system, and an overlay multicast system.