Measurement and mitigation of BitTorrent leecher attacks

Prithula Dhungel, Di Wu, Keith W. Ross

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the recent past, anti-P2P companies have successfully curtailed the distribution of targeted content over a number of P2P file-sharing systems, including Kazaa and eDonkey. More recently, anti-P2P companies have begun to attack BitTorrent. In this paper, we analyze the resilience of BitTorrent leechers to two different kinds of attacks: the connection attack and the piece attack. We present the results of both passive and active measurements. Using passive measurements, we performed a detailed analysis of a recent album that is under attack, and identified the behavior of attackers. For our active measurements, we developed a crawler that contacts all the peers in any given swarm, determines whether the swarm is under attack, and identifies the attack peers in the swarm. We used the crawler to analyze 8 top box-office movies. Based on the measurement results, we discovered that BitTorrent architecture is fundamentally resilient to Internet leecher attacks. Finally, we also propose defense mechanisms to further mitigate the attacks and evaluate their effectiveness using trace-driven simulation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1852-1861
    Number of pages10
    JournalComputer Communications
    Issue number17
    StatePublished - Nov 15 2009


    • BitTorrent Attack
    • Defense Mechanism
    • Security

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Networks and Communications


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