The internet is amazingly robust, but like any complex network is still prone to the occasional failure. A fresh analysis using network theory talks about why the dark net – the invisible underbelly of the regular internet, invisible to search engines – is less vulnerable to problems. The teachings found out could help inform the appearance of more strong communications networks in the future.
The normal internet’s design is deliberately decentralized, which makes it very stable under normal circumstances. Think of each site or server as a node, linked to varied nodes around it, which often link to even more nodes, and so on. Take out a node or two here or there and the community continues to function just fine. But this construction also makes it more vulnerable to a matched attack: take out many nodes at once, as happens during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, and the effect can be catastrophic disappointment that cascades through the entire network.
The dark net is much less susceptible to such directed attacks, because of its unique structure. Manlio De Domenico and Alex Arenas at Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragons, Spain, used data from the Internet Research Labrador at the University of California, Los Angeles, to build their own model of the dark net. These people ran simulations to see how it might react to three failure scenarios: randomly node failures, targeted assaults on specific nodes, and cascading failures throughout the network.
They found that an attack on the dark net would need to hit four times as many nodes to cause a cascading failure as on the regular internet. This stems from its use of “onion routing”, a technique for relaying information that hides data in many layers of encryption. Instead of connecting a user’s computer directly to a host server, onion routing bounces the information through various intermediary nodes before delivering it to the desired location. This halts a trigger from spreading so widely.
Powerful connections :
Another reason for the dark net’s resilience is its insufficient something called the “rich-club effect”. In the regular internet, powerful nodes link more readily with other powerful nodes, creating what Simon DeDeo at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, words a “smoky back room” of “network elites”. An attack on one such node can induce the failure of others, which can in change lead to cascading disappointment across the network. Typically the dark net does not have this high level of online connectivity between powerful nodes.
“This is [another] one of the things that make it more robust to attack, inches says DeDeo.”The network elites are definitely more spread out. In fact, the elites appear to be avoiding each other. Inch
This particular model of the darkish net somewhat resembles a so-called “small-world network”, through which several heavily attached nodes link clusters of smaller local nodes – similar to how major air traffic hubs connect smaller local airports. Each systems display similar strength to devastating failure, although in-depth reviews have yet to be completed. Lso are configuring the whole internet to be able to as robust as the dark net would be prohibitively expensive, but De Domenico thinks the pair’s work could still offer practical insights. “It is possible to rethink next-generation upgrades and the design of more localized communication networks, like the intranets of large companies, inches he says.
Journal reference: Physical Review E, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.95.022313