Skip to content

Byzantine Fault Tolerance for Peer-to-Peer Collaboration Software

A talk at KASTEL Distinguished Lecture Series, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, 19 Oct 2023


When developing web applications, the number one security rule is that the server should never trust anything it receives from clients. When developing peer-to-peer software, the equivalent rule is that a peer should never trust anything it receives from other peers. Unfortunately, many researchers working on peer-to-peer applications seem to have forgotten this rule. There have been efforts to build, for example, P2P equivalents of Google Docs, but they mostly assume trusted peers that correctly follow the protocol. A malicious peer can easily cause permanent inconsistencies in a document.

This talk will introduce our work-in-progress research on making collaboration software robust against malicious (Byzantine) peers. Hint: there are no consensus algorithms and no blockchains involved!