Friday, March 27, 2020
12:00 PM
Zoom Meeting ID: 540 499 764
Ghada Almashaqbeh
Building Secure Distributed Services and Resource Markets
The evolution of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has provided potential new templates for reshaping large-scale distributed systems and services. Cryptocurrencies implement an open-access, decentralized currency exchange medium, and their blockchains provide public verifiability and auditing without placing trust in any party. Such features can be exploited in P2P-based resource exchange paradigms to creating a market that rewards for the correct service in a distributed way.

In this talk, I will focus on one type of such services; online content delivery. The escalating demand for this service drove content publishers to look for non-traditional content distribution solutions, such as peer-assisted models. The goal is to reduce costs, while enjoying higher flexibility than can be offered by traditional, infrastructure-based, content distribution networks (CDNs). I will present a cryptocurrency-based bandwidth market, called CacheCash, that allows publishers to dynamically build CDNs tailored to their needs. I will discuss the security and efficiency challenges that face the creation of such a distributed market. Then, I will show the modules devised in CacheCash to handle these issues, which cover threat modeling, micropayments, accounting attacks in peer-assisted CDNs, service-payment exchange, and a set of cryptographic and game theoretic security defenses.

Ghada Almashaqbeh is a Cryptographer at NuCypher. Her research interests cover cryptography, security, and distributed systems. Broadly, she works on interdisciplinary projects that combine knowledge from various fields toward the design of secure systems and protocols. Ghada received her PhD from Columbia in 2019, advised by Allison Bishop and Tal Malkin. Before joining NuCypher, she cofounded CacheCash, a startup that came out of her PhD thesis work.