Failure Model and Security

FUSE is designed to handle node crashes and arbitrary network failures, but not malicious behavior. The appli- cation we built using FUSE handles malicious behavior through redundancy above the FUSE layer by using mul- tiple content distribution trees.

FUSE assumes a network failure model consisting of any pattern of packet loss, duplication or re-ordering. This includes simultaneous network partitions and even an ad- versary dropping packets based on their content. For any network failure, FUSE guarantees that all parties agree whether or not a failure has occurred. Our FUSE im- plementation routes all FUSE and overlay messages over TCP connections. Our implementation handles arbitrary packet loss and re-ordering, but only handles duplication to the extent that TCP does. It would be straightforward to extend our implementation to handle arbitrary duplica- tion by incorporating digital signatures and timestamps, though we have not yet done so. This extension would also prevent tampering with message contents. FUSE’s ability to handle packet loss is not dependent on using a reliable transport layer, such as TCP. Alternative FUSE implementations could use unreliable transport layers, such as UDP. Using a different transport would present different performance characteristics that many applica- tion developers would want to be aware of.

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