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Agyaat: mutual anonymity over structured P2P networks

Aameek Singh (College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Bugra Gedik (College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Ling Liu (College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 March 2006




To provide mutual anonymity over traditionally un‐anonymous Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) based Peer‐to‐Peer overlay networks, while maintaining the desired scalability and guaranteed lookup properties of the DHTs.


Agyaat uses a novel hybrid‐overlay design, a fully decentralized topology without any trusted proxies. It anonymizes both the querying and responding peers through the use of unstructured topologies, called clouds, which are added onto the structured overlays. In addition, it regulates the cloud topologies to ensure the guaranteed location of data and scalability of routing. A unique characteristic of the design is the ability of users to tradeoff between desired anonymity and performance. The paper presents a thorough performance and anonymity analysis of the system, and also analyzes few anonymity compromising attacks and countermeasures.


The results indicate that Agyaat is able to provide mutual anonymity while maintaining the scalability of lookups, affecting the costs only by a constant factor.

Research limitations/implications

While Agyaat is able to meet its mutual anonymity and performance goals, there exist other security vulnerabilities like possible Denial‐of‐Service (DoS) attacks, both due to its design and the underlying DHT overlay. This is fertile ground for future work.


Agyaat uses a novel topology architecture and associated protocols that are conducive to providing mutually anonymous services.



Singh, A., Gedik, B. and Liu, L. (2006), "Agyaat: mutual anonymity over structured P2P networks", Internet Research, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 189-212.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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