IOTA Implements Mana to Defend Against Sybil Attacks




IOTA Foundation has implemented Mana, a new reputation system that is integrated into pollen, to defend against Sybil attacks. A blog post that explains how Mana works was published some hours ago by William Sanders, a member of IOTA Foundation.

According to Sanders, a Sybil attack is a malicious attack on a peer-to-peer (p2p) network, where a person or an organization tries to take over a network with the aid of multiple identities to control several nodes or accounts.

Similarly, Mana can be described as a mechanism that ensures the consensus result makes the right decisions when two conflicting transactions are voted on.

The blog post reads in part as follows:

“When a value transaction is processed, a quantity called mana will be “pledged” to a specified node ID. This quantity is related to the amount of IOTA moved into the transaction. The mana pledged to each node ID is stored as an extension of the ledger.”

Amount of Mana in a Transaction is Equal to the Amount of MIOTA

The blog post further pointed out that the amount of Mana in a complete transaction is the same as the amount of MIOTA involved in a transaction. As Sanders highlights, this creates a system that is capable of differentiating trusted nodes from new and malicious nodes:

“The only way to gain Mana is to convince some token holder to pledge it to you. In this sense, mana is Delegated Proof of Token Ownership. Mana, therefore, provides adequate Sybil protection because it is difficult to acquire it in arbitrary amounts.”

The mathematician also stated that Mana can be calculated within the IOTA 2.0 implementation in two different ways. The first way is to have the Mana equal to the same amount of MIOTA tokens in a transaction.

According to Sanders, “The second way mana can be calculated (“mana 2”) is an augmentation of mana 1 which includes not only a delegated proof of ownership but also proof of node activity. Mana 2 has a predictable evolution over time, in the sense that it is not affected by additional token transfers.”

However, the team has implemented both options in GoShimmer, in order to study and know which choice among the two will perform better.

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