The Sybil attack aims to breach the privacy of blockchain transactions. In 2020, a mysterious attacker is targeting crypto called Monero, a cryptocurrency focused on private transactions. Monero managed to halt the attack, but some private information of user accounts was leaked in the process. This has prompted a number of crypto companies to create their own security protocols to combat Sybil. However, even those measures aren’t enough.
Sock puppetry is a practice where one person uses several identities to make a point. This is against community norms and generally unethical. Sock puppets are often used to market a product or company, which makes them seem desperate. In addition, their pranks tend to make them look unreliable and lacking in value. This is one reason why sock puppetry has been called an “indirect form of advertising.”
The sock puppets are often referred to as strawmen, and these are typically used to promote a point of view and create negative sentiment. Since sock puppets are sexy, they will often behave in an unintelligent manner and attempt to discredit legitimate accounts. This is a common practice in Internet trolls, as the creation of these puppets aims to make an opponent look foolish.
While there have been several ways to mitigate the risks of Sybil attacks, one of the most common is to implement a system that requires identity verification. This will enforce the “one entity per person” rule. It is also possible to use a pseudonym party for identity verification in a permissionless blockchain or cryptocurrency network. Such a system will ensure anonymity and ensure that each human participant has only one vote. Another method of mitigating the risks of Sybil attacks is to implement a system called Kademlia.
A Sybil attack is an attempt to hijack an online community by presenting multiple identities. By posing as multiple distinct nodes, the adversary can gain disproportionate control over the community and influence the outcome of voting events. Consequently, multiple identities are often called “sockpuppets” in online communities. There are several known methods of preventing Sybil attacks, including personhood validation and social trust graph algorithms. Application-specific defenses are also available.
Social trust graph techniques
To find a trustworthy Sybil, we can use a method to rank Sybils. The underlying technique uses a modified short random walk that starts from a non-Sybil node and computes the probability of landing on each node after k steps. The landing probability is analogous to the strength of the trust relationship between a node and a neighbor. The walk’s probability distribution is then treated as a process of trust propagation.
The underlying concept of these techniques is based on two fundamental assumptions: first, they assume that both sides have sparse connectivity. This implies that most Sybils have relatively few friends. In addition, these methods assume that the two regions are perfectly homophilic. In other words, a Sybil connected to a Sybil is not a bad candidate. Therefore, Sybils should be less likely to be connected to other users.
A key part of identity verification is the validation of the entity or user. This is often done in a number of ways. Some of these methods require the user to provide personal details, but others simply require them to perform a CAPTCHA test or chat with another user. Pseudonym parties are another method of identity verification that relies on previous identities. They are also useful in preventing sybil attacks and other masked hostile entities.
Despite the importance of human verification, a flawed algorithm can be highly problematic. The fact that humans are not perfect observers of human actions makes it possible for two reviewers to come to two different conclusions about the same user, even if they look at the same set of data. For example, a reviewer fluent in Chinese might have noticed gibberish in a Github profile. A non-fluent Chinese speaker may not have seen gibberish, and vice versa.