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Article

Rechained: Sybil-Resistant Distributed Identities for the Internet of Things and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

by 1,*,† and 2,†
1
Institute of Computer Science, University of Goettingen, 37077 Goettingen, Germany
2
Institute for Software and Systems Engineering, Clausthal University of Technology, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Hong-Ning Dai
Sensors 2021, 21(9), 3257; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093257
Received: 22 February 2021 / Revised: 23 April 2021 / Accepted: 30 April 2021 / Published: 8 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain for Trustworthy Internet of Things)
Today, increasing Internet of Things devices are deployed, and the field of applications for decentralized, self-organizing networks keeps growing. The growth also makes these systems more attractive to attackers. Sybil attacks are a common issue, especially in decentralized networks and networks that are deployed in scenarios with irregular or unreliable Internet connectivity. The lack of a central authority that can be contacted at any time allows attackers to introduce arbitrary amounts of nodes into the network and manipulate its behavior according to the attacker’s goals, by posing as a majority participant. Depending on the structure of the network, employing Sybil node detection schemes may be difficult, and low powered Internet of Things devices are usually unable to perform impactful amounts of work for proof-of-work based schemes. In this paper, we present Rechained, a scheme that monetarily disincentivizes the creation of Sybil identities for networks that can operate with intermittent or no Internet connectivity. We introduce a new revocation mechanism for identities, tie them into the concepts of self-sovereign identities, and decentralized identifiers. Case-studies are used to discuss upper- and lower-bounds for the costs of Sybil identities and, therefore, the provided security level. Furthermore, we formalize the protocol using Colored Petri Nets to analyze its correctness and suitability. Proof-of-concept implementations are used to evaluate the performance of our scheme on low powered hardware as it might be found in Internet of Things applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: Internet of Things; Identity; security; authentication; Sybil attack; blockchain; self sovereign identity Internet of Things; Identity; security; authentication; Sybil attack; blockchain; self sovereign identity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bochem, A.; Leiding, B. Rechained: Sybil-Resistant Distributed Identities for the Internet of Things and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks. Sensors 2021, 21, 3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093257

AMA Style

Bochem A, Leiding B. Rechained: Sybil-Resistant Distributed Identities for the Internet of Things and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks. Sensors. 2021; 21(9):3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093257

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bochem, Arne, and Benjamin Leiding. 2021. "Rechained: Sybil-Resistant Distributed Identities for the Internet of Things and Mobile Ad Hoc Networks" Sensors 21, no. 9: 3257. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21093257

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