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+@cindex Key Concepts
+@node Key Concepts
+@chapter Key Concepts
+In this section, the fundamental concepts of GNUnet are explained.
+@c FIXME: Use @uref{, research papers}
+@c once we have the new bibliography + subdomain setup.
+Most of them are also described in our research papers.
+First, some of the concepts used in the GNUnet framework are detailed.
+The second part describes concepts specific to anonymous file-sharing.
+* Authentication::
+* Accounting to Encourage Resource Sharing::
+* Confidentiality::
+* Anonymity::
+* Deniability::
+* Peer Identities::
+* Zones in the GNU Name System (GNS Zones)::
+* Egos::
+@end menu
+@cindex Authentication
+@node Authentication
+@section Authentication
+Almost all peer-to-peer communications in GNUnet are between mutually
+authenticated peers. The authentication works by using ECDHE, that is a
+DH (Diffie---Hellman) key exchange using ephemeral elliptic curve
+cryptography. The ephemeral ECC (Elliptic Curve Cryptography) keys are
+signed using ECDSA (@uref{, ECDSA}).
+The shared secret from ECDHE is used to create a pair of session keys
+@c FIXME: Long word for HKDF. More FIXMEs: Explain MITM etc.
+(using HKDF) which are then used to encrypt the communication between the
+two peers using both 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
+and 256-bit Twofish (with independently derived secret keys).
+As only the two participating hosts know the shared secret, this
+authenticates each packet
+without requiring signatures each time. GNUnet uses SHA-512
+(Secure Hash Algorithm) hash codes to verify the integrity of messages.
+@c FIXME: A while back I got the feedback that I should try and integrate
+@c explanation boxes in the long-run. So we could explain
+@c "man-in-the-middle" and "man-in-the-middle attacks" and other words
+@c which are not common knowledge. MITM is not common knowledge. To be
+@c selfcontained, we should be able to explain words and concepts used in
+@c a chapter or paragraph without hinting at Wikipedia and other online
+@c sources which might not be available or accessible to everyone.
+@c On the other hand we could write an introductionary chapter or book
+@c that we could then reference in each chapter, which sound like it
+@c could be more reusable.
+In GNUnet, the identity of a host is its public key. For that reason,
+man-in-the-middle attacks will not break the authentication or accounting
+goals. Essentially, for GNUnet, the IP of the host has nothing to do with
+the identity of the host. As the public key is the only thing that truly
+matters, faking an IP, a port or any other property of the underlying
+transport protocol is irrelevant. In fact, GNUnet peers can use
+multiple IPs (IPv4 and IPv6) on multiple ports --- or even not use the
+IP protocol at all (by running directly on layer 2).
+@c FIXME: "IP protocol" feels wrong, but could be what people expect, as
+@c IP is "the number" and "IP protocol" the protocol itself in general
+@c knowledge?
+@c NOTE: For consistency we will use @code{HELLO}s throughout this Manual.
+GNUnet uses a special type of message to communicate a binding between
+public (ECC) keys to their current network address. These messages are
+commonly called @code{HELLO}s or @code{peer advertisements}.
+They contain the public key of the peer and its current network
+addresses for various transport services.
+A transport service is a special kind of shared library that
+provides (possibly unreliable, out-of-order) message delivery between
+For the UDP and TCP transport services, a network address is an IP and a
+GNUnet can also use other transports (HTTP, HTTPS, WLAN, etc.) which use
+various other forms of addresses. Note that any node can have many
+different active transport services at the same time,
+and each of these can have a different addresses.
+Binding messages expire after at most a week (the timeout can be
+shorter if the user configures the node appropriately).
+This expiration ensures that the network will eventually get rid of
+outdated advertisements.
+@footnote{Ronaldo A. Ferreira, Christian Grothoff, and Paul Ruth.
+A Transport Layer Abstraction for Peer-to-Peer Networks
+Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Cluster Computing
+and the Grid (GRID 2003), 2003.
+@cindex Accounting to Encourage Resource Sharing
+@node Accounting to Encourage Resource Sharing
+@section Accounting to Encourage Resource Sharing
+Most distributed P2P networks suffer from a lack of defenses or
+precautions against attacks in the form of freeloading.
+While the intentions of an attacker and a freeloader are different, their
+effect on the network is the same; they both render it useless.
+Most simple attacks on networks such as @command{Gnutella}
+involve flooding the network with traffic, particularly
+with queries that are, in the worst case, multiplied by the network.
+In order to ensure that freeloaders or attackers have a minimal impact
+on the network, GNUnet's file-sharing implementation (@code{FS} tries
+to distinguish good (contributing) nodes from malicious (freeloading)
+nodes. In GNUnet, every file-sharing node keeps track of the behavior
+of every other node it has been in contact with. Many requests
+(depending on the application) are transmitted with a priority (or
+importance) level. That priority is used to establish how important
+the sender believes this request is. If a peer responds to an
+important request, the recipient will increase its trust in the
+responder: the responder contributed resources. If a peer is too busy
+to answer all requests, it needs to prioritize. For that, peers do
+not take the priorities of the requests received at face value.
+First, they check how much they trust the sender, and depending on
+that amount of trust they assign the request a (possibly lower)
+effective priority. Then, they drop the requests with the lowest
+effective priority to satisfy their resource constraints. This way,
+GNUnet's economic model ensures that nodes that are not currently
+considered to have a surplus in contributions will not be served if
+the network load is high.
+@footnote{Christian Grothoff. An Excess-Based Economic Model for Resource
+Allocation in Peer-to-Peer Networks. Wirtschaftsinformatik, June 2003.
+@c 2009?
+@cindex Confidentiality
+@node Confidentiality
+@section Confidentiality
+Adversaries (malicious, bad actors) outside of GNUnet are not supposed
+to know what kind of actions a peer is involved in. Only the specific
+neighbor of a peer that is the corresponding sender or recipient of a
+message may know its contents, and even then application protocols may
+place further restrictions on that knowledge. In order to ensure
+confidentiality, GNUnet uses link encryption, that is each message
+exchanged between two peers is encrypted using a pair of keys only
+known to these two peers. Encrypting traffic like this makes any kind
+of traffic analysis much harder. Naturally, for some applications, it
+may still be desirable if even neighbors cannot determine the concrete
+contents of a message. In GNUnet, this problem is addressed by the
+specific application-level protocols. See for example the following
+sections @pxref{Anonymity}, @pxref{How file-sharing achieves Anonymity},
+and @pxref{Deniability}.
+@cindex Anonymity
+@node Anonymity
+@section Anonymity
+* How file-sharing achieves Anonymity::
+@end menu
+Providing anonymity for users is the central goal for the anonymous
+file-sharing application. Many other design decisions follow in the
+footsteps of this requirement.
+Anonymity is never absolute. While there are various
+scientific metrics@footnote{Claudia Díaz, Stefaan Seys, Joris Claessens,
+and Bart Preneel. Towards measuring anonymity.
+that can help quantify the level of anonymity that a given mechanism
+provides, there is no such thing as "complete anonymity".
+GNUnet's file-sharing implementation allows users to select for each
+operation (publish, search, download) the desired level of anonymity.
+The metric used is the amount of cover traffic available to hide the
+While this metric is not as good as, for example, the theoretical metric
+given in scientific metrics@footnote{likewise},
+it is probably the best metric available to a peer with a purely local
+view of the world that does not rely on unreliable external information.
+The default anonymity level is @code{1}, which uses anonymous routing but
+imposes no minimal requirements on cover traffic. It is possible
+to forego anonymity when this is not required. The anonymity level of
+@code{0} allows GNUnet to use more efficient, non-anonymous routing.
+@cindex How file-sharing achieves Anonymity
+@node How file-sharing achieves Anonymity
+@subsection How file-sharing achieves Anonymity
+Contrary to other designs, we do not believe that users achieve strong
+anonymity just because their requests are obfuscated by a couple of
+indirections. This is not sufficient if the adversary uses traffic
+The threat model used for anonymous file sharing in GNUnet assumes that
+the adversary is quite powerful.
+In particular, we assume that the adversary can see all the traffic on
+the Internet. And while we assume that the adversary
+can not break our encryption, we assume that the adversary has many
+participating nodes in the network and that it can thus see many of the
+node-to-node interactions since it controls some of the nodes.
+The system tries to achieve anonymity based on the idea that users can be
+anonymous if they can hide their actions in the traffic created by other
+Hiding actions in the traffic of other users requires participating in the
+traffic, bringing back the traditional technique of using indirection and
+source rewriting. Source rewriting is required to gain anonymity since
+otherwise an adversary could tell if a message originated from a host by
+looking at the source address. If all packets look like they originate
+from one node, the adversary can not tell which ones originate from that
+node and which ones were routed.
+Note that in this mindset, any node can decide to break the
+source-rewriting paradigm without violating the protocol, as this
+only reduces the amount of traffic that a node can hide its own traffic
+If we want to hide our actions in the traffic of other nodes, we must make
+our traffic indistinguishable from the traffic that we route for others.
+As our queries must have us as the receiver of the reply
+(otherwise they would be useless), we must put ourselves as the receiver
+of replies that actually go to other hosts; in other words, we must
+indirect replies.
+Unlike other systems, in anonymous file-sharing as implemented on top of
+GNUnet we do not have to indirect the replies if we don't think we need
+more traffic to hide our own actions.
+This increases the efficiency of the network as we can indirect less under
+higher load.@footnote{Krista Bennett and Christian Grothoff.
+GAP --- practical anonymous networking. In Proceedings of
+Designing Privacy Enhancing Technologies, 2003.
+@cindex Deniability
+@node Deniability
+@section Deniability
+Even if the user that downloads data and the server that provides data are
+anonymous, the intermediaries may still be targets. In particular, if the
+intermediaries can find out which queries or which content they are
+processing, a strong adversary could try to force them to censor
+certain materials.
+With the file-encoding used by GNUnet's anonymous file-sharing, this
+problem does not arise.
+The reason is that queries and replies are transmitted in
+an encrypted format such that intermediaries cannot tell what the query
+is for or what the content is about. Mind that this is not the same
+encryption as the link-encryption between the nodes. GNUnet has
+encryption on the network layer (link encryption, confidentiality,
+authentication) and again on the application layer (provided
+by @command{gnunet-publish}, @command{gnunet-download},
+@command{gnunet-search} and @command{gnunet-gtk}).
+@footnote{Christian Grothoff, Krista Grothoff, Tzvetan Horozov,
+and Jussi T. Lindgren.
+An Encoding for Censorship-Resistant Sharing.
+@cindex Peer Identities
+@node Peer Identities
+@section Peer Identities
+Peer identities are used to identify peers in the network and are unique
+for each peer. The identity for a peer is simply its public key, which is
+generated along with a private key the peer is started for the first time.
+While the identity is binary data, it is often expressed as ASCII string.
+For example, the following is a peer identity as you might see it in
+various places:
+@end example
+You can find your peer identity by running @command{gnunet-peerinfo -s}.
+@cindex Zones in the GNU Name System (GNS Zones)
+@node Zones in the GNU Name System (GNS Zones)
+@section Zones in the GNU Name System (GNS Zones)
+@c FIXME: Explain or link to an explanation of the concept of public keys
+@c and private keys.
+@c FIXME: Rewrite for the latest GNS changes.
+GNS@footnote{Matthias Wachs, Martin Schanzenbach, and Christian Grothoff.
+A Censorship-Resistant, Privacy-Enhancing and Fully Decentralized Name
+System. In proceedings of 13th International Conference on Cryptology and
+Network Security (CANS 2014). 2014.
+zones are similar to those of DNS zones, but instead of a hierarchy of
+authorities to governing their use, GNS zones are controlled by a private
+When you create a record in a DNS zone, that information is stored in your
+nameserver. Anyone trying to resolve your domain then gets pointed
+(hopefully) by the centralised authority to your nameserver.
+Whereas GNS, being fully decentralized by design, stores that information
+in DHT. The validity of the records is assured cryptographically, by
+signing them with the private key of the respective zone.
+Anyone trying to resolve records in a zone of your domain can then verify
+the signature of the records they get from the DHT and be assured that
+they are indeed from the respective zone.
+To make this work, there is a 1:1 correspondence between zones and
+their public-private key pairs.
+So when we talk about the owner of a GNS zone, that's really the owner of
+the private key.
+And a user accessing a zone needs to somehow specify the corresponding
+public key first.
+@cindex Egos
+@node Egos
+@section Egos
+@c what is the difference between peer identity and egos? It seems
+@c like both are linked to public-private key pair.
+Egos are your "identities" in GNUnet. Any user can assume multiple
+identities, for example to separate their activities online. Egos can
+correspond to "pseudonyms" or "real-world identities". Technically an
+ego is first of all a key pair of a public- and private-key.