This paper presents novel statistical algorithms for protecting the iTrust information retrieval network against malicious attacks. In iTrust, metadata describing documents, and requests containing keywords, are randomly distributed to multiple participating nodes. The nodes that receive the requests try to match the keywords in the requests with the metadata they hold. If a node finds a match, the matching node returns the URL of the associated information to the requesting node. The requesting node then uses the URL to retrieve the information from the source node. The novel detection algorithm determines empirically the probabilities of the specific number of matches based on the number of responses that the requesting node receives. It also calculates the analytical probabilities of the specific numbers of matches. It compares the observed and the analytical probabilities to estimate the proportion of subverted or non-operational nodes in the iTrust network using a window-based method and the chi-squared statistic. If the detection algorithm determines that some of the nodes in the iTrust network are subverted or non-operational, then the novel defensive adaptation algorithm increases the number of nodes to which the requests are distributed to maintain the same probability of a match when some of the nodes are subverted or non-operational as compared to when all of the nodes are operational. Experimental results substantiate the effectiveness of the detection and defensive adaptation algorithms for protecting the iTrust information retrieval network against malicious attacks.
- Malicious attack