5 votes

What are your thoughts on this name system?

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4 comments

  1. [3]
    DataWraith
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    If you're distributing files based on public/private keys, the Hypercore protocol does that fine. Your added value proposal seems to be in human-memorable names. I'm not sure if I understand...

    If you're distributing files based on public/private keys, the Hypercore protocol does that fine. Your added value proposal seems to be in human-memorable names.

    I'm not sure if I understand completely what you're proposing, but on the surface this sounds incredibly dangerous. If anybody can claim a name, and then the name can be usurped by simply spending more compute power than the original owner, you can take an existing name and their files, usurp the name, and replace the files with stealthy malware.

    This also seems to run afoul of Zooko's triangle; I think you really need a blockchain (such as Namecoin) to solve that problem.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Comment deleted by author
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      1. [2]
        DataWraith
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        That's a noble goal, but I don't think it works with human-readable names. You have to pay for some form of bookkeeping (e.g. Namecoin's Proof of Work or Domain Name Registars). Otherwise the name...

        One of the objectives I had in addition to simply decentralisation was to avoid involving money for having an identity.

        That's a noble goal, but I don't think it works with human-readable names. You have to pay for some form of bookkeeping (e.g. Namecoin's Proof of Work or Domain Name Registars). Otherwise the name can be usurped.

        As for distributing malware, the system makes sure to save files strictly as .txt.

        In your example the .txt file contains an IP address. What if I replace that IP address with, say, a phishing site?

        The downside of this idea is the constant risk of an attacker obtaining the computing power to take over your identity. But this change will be detectable since all files are signed and the attacker will have a different public key than yours.

        Doesn't that defeat the entire purpose though? If I have to get the public key from a trusted source in order to detect tampering, I could just use the public key directly without the associated name. It's true that I could detect when someone usurps a name -- if I trust the previous owner -- but that doesn't help for things like hosting websites, where new people constantly come in.

        A potential solution would be a mechanism that allows a node to "ask" the network if it's the current owner of its identity and have it do this periodically.

        I'm not sure how that helps. If someone else owns the name now, I can do nothing about it, except try to out-compute them again. Trusted contacts will already know my true public key, but new people will be sent to the potentially malicious new owner's site.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
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          1. DataWraith
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            I think that's called Trust on first use. The Wikipedia article has a good rundown of how different applications make use of the principle and its strengths and weaknesses. The big problem with it...

            I think that's called Trust on first use. The Wikipedia article has a good rundown of how different applications make use of the principle and its strengths and weaknesses.

            The big problem with it is that it only works if you're actually talking to me on the phone on the first call, which isn't guaranteed, since someone could have ursurped the name. Then you'd suspect me to be the fraud when I actually answer the second call. :)

            3 votes
  2. joplin
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    "File names" on what OS/file system? The OS I use allows a different set than many other popular OSes, so this sounds like a potential source of incompatibilities.

    the only format rules they need to adhere to are the same ones that apply to file names.

    "File names" on what OS/file system? The OS I use allows a different set than many other popular OSes, so this sounds like a potential source of incompatibilities.