[talks] Harry Kalodner will present his general exam on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 12pm in CS 302.

Nicki Gotsis ngotsis at CS.Princeton.EDU
Tue May 10 17:02:19 EDT 2016

Harry Kalodner  will present his general exam on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 12pm in CS 302.

The members of his committee are Arvind Narayanan (adviser), Nick Feamster, and Aarti Gupta.

Everyone is invited to attend his talk, and those faculty wishing to remain for the oral exam following are welcome to do so.  His abstract and reading list follow below.


Bitcoin, initially designed as a system for the issuance and transfer of electronic cash, provides a foundation for the construction of complex and powerful applications. The underlying technology of Bitcoin, the blockchain, is a powerful tool to secure information and coordinate exchanges between mutually distrustful parties. New methods of analysis and system design must be developed to understand and make take advantage of these tools.

Namecoin is a cryptocurrency modeled after Bitcoin which implements a decentralized alternative to DNS. The public nature of blockchain technology provides direct visibility into how the system is used in practice. I discuss a number of techniques used to analyze the use and function of Namecoin. I then discuss some major pitfalls of Namecoin’s design and lessons that can be learned in the development of future systems.

Taking lessons from the design of Namecoin, I describe a proposed system, IPCoin, designed
to replace the centralized structure of the RPKI.  Currently a core group of central entities hold the power to disrupt the routing of packets on the internet. IPCoin provides a method of removing this centralization, thus minimizing the attack surface available for disrupting core functionality of the internet. IPCoin provides a system for the fair distribution of IP address ranges, the ability to securely control these ranges, and the easy auditing of the global consensus state of the system.

Reading List:


Ross J. Anderson. 2008. Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems (2 ed.). Wiley Publishing. (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 10, 21)

Larry L. Peterson and Bruce S. Davie. 2011. Computer Networks, Fifth Edition: A Systems Approach (5th ed.). Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA. (Chapters 1,2,3,4)

Arvind Narayanan. 2016. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. (Chapters 2, 3, 9, 10, 11)


1. Bitcoin:

Nakamoto, Satoshi. "Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system."

Joseph Bonneau, Andrew Miller, Jeremy Clark, Arvind Narayanan, Joshua A. Kroll, Edward W. Felten. "Research Perspectives and Challenges for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.” IEEE Security & Privacy, 2015.

Jeremy Clark, Joseph Bonneau, Edward W. Felten, Joshua A. Kroll, Andrew Miller, Arvind Narayanan. "On Decentralizing Prediction Markets and Order Books." WEIS 2014.

Sarah Meiklejohn, Marjoir Pomarole, Grant Jordan, Kirill Levchenko, Damon McCoy, Geoffrey M. Voelker, Stefan Savage. "A fistful of bitcoins: Characterizing payments among men with no names." In Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), pages 127–140, New York, 2013. ACM

Muneeb Ali, Jude Nelson, Ryan Shea, Michael J. Freedman. "Blockstack: Design and Implementation of a Global Naming System with Blockchains.” To appear in USENIX ATC’16.

Meni Rosenfeld. "Overview of colored coins." http://bitcoil.co.il/BitcoinX.pdf, December 2012.

2. BGP and RPKI

K. Butler, T. Farley, P. McDaniel and J. Rexford. "A survey of BGP security issues and solutions." Proc. IEEE, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 100-122, 2010

M. Lepinski and S. Kent, “An Infrastructure to Support Secure Internet Routing,” IETF, RFC 6480, February 2012.

Danny Cooper , Ethan Heilman , Kyle Brogle , Leonid Reyzin , Sharon Goldberg. "On the risk of misbehaving RPKI authorities." Proceedings of the Twelfth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, p.1-7, November 21-22, 2013. College Park, Maryland

Ethan Heilman , Danny Cooper , Leonid Reyzin , Sharon Goldberg. "From the consent of the routed: improving the transparency of the RPKI." Proceedings of the 2014 ACM conference on SIGCOMM, August 17-22, 2014, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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