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WASTE

From Academic Kids

For other uses of the word, see Waste (disambiguation).

WASTE is a peer-to-peer and friend-to-friend protocol and piece of software developed by Justin Frankel at Nullsoft in 2003. WASTE is an acronym for "We Await Silent Tristero's Empire", a reference to Thomas Pynchon's novel The Crying of Lot 49 in which W.A.S.T.E. was a underground postal service. It was subsequently removed from distribution by AOL, Nullsoft's parent company. The original page was replaced with a warning and revocation of the GPL (which is not possible under the terms of the GPL license). It is currently being further developed as a SourceForge project.

WASTE behaves similarly to a virtual private network by connecting to a group of trusted computers, as determined by the users. It employs heavy encryption to ensure that third parties cannot decipher the messages being transferred. The same encryption is used to transmit and receive instant messages, chat, and files, maintain the connection, and browse and search. There is also an optional "Saturate" feature which adds random traffic, making traffic analysis more difficult. The nodes (each a trusted connection) automatically determine the lowest latency route for traffic and, in doing so, load balance. This also improves privacy, because packets often take different routes.

A "WASTE ring" can be formed by individuals sharing their RSA public keys and connecting to the ring (private and public keys are generated by WASTE from the random seeds of mouse movement). Once someone can see one person in the ring, that person can see everyone' virtual ID (nicknames and public key hashes) in the ring as long as the default setting for public keys to be shared among trusted hosts remains true.

The suggested size for a WASTE ring is 10-50 nodes.

WASTE listens to incoming connections on port 1337 (by default). You can now specify another listening port by adding a line like "port=2345" in the "Default.pr0" config file. When adding a new connection, the syntax IP:port specifies a friend who listens to a non-default port (e.g. 192.168.10.100:2345).

A cross-platform (including Linux, MacOS, Posix and Windows) beta version of WASTE using the latest WxWidgets is now downloadable from SourceForge (see external links below).

VIA released a fork of WASTE under the name PadlockSL, but removed the webpage for PadlockSL after a few weeks. The GUI is written in QT and the Client is available for Linux and Windows.

Contents

Strengths

  • Secured through the trade of RSA public keys, allowing for safe and secure transfers with trusted hosts

Shortcomings

  • No forwarding cache: when a user forwards a file between 2 friends, he doesn't keep a copy of this file in a cache. So the next time someone asks for this file, he has to download it again. This can lead to big scability problems when users communicate through long chains of in-between nodes.
  • The cross-platform beta version (based on wxWidgets) has many bugs and is barely usable (see SourceForge bug list below)

See also

External links

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