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IOTA Foundation Implements a Reputation System Against Sybil Attacks

The IOTA Foundation–the non-profit promoting the blockless ledger system focusing on the under-explored but yet critical Internet-of-Things (IoT) and the machine economy, has implemented a reputation system used to identify trust nodes and arrest Sybil attack sfollowing the launch of Mana on Sept 28.

The IOTA Reputation System ahead of Coordicide

Mana is a vital, intermittent step before IOTA 2.0 where the team will power off the central coordinator. 

William Sanders, a mathematician with the IOTA Foundation, says Mana is a “tool that is used in various roles in the network.” It is a way of protecting the distributed system against Sybil attacks and for congestion control.

A Sybil attack is a known vector in the blockchain scene that overly relies on its distributed nodes for security and for transaction confirmation both of which contribute to a robust, censorship-resistant platform. 

However, when an agent or a group tries to conceal their identities for majority control of the network trusted nodes, they would be actively executing a Sybil attack. 

The result of a Sybil attack–where majority control is on the hands of a centralized entity with malicious intention, is a network congestion and probably double spends.

How Mana Protects Against Sybil Attacks

To prevent this from happening in IOTA–a fragile platform that still relies on a central coordinator and recovering from an attackthat saw the main node switched off, freezing transactions, the implementation of a Mana will be through a reputation system enabling consensus even when there are conflicting transactions. 

As such, when there is congestion, Mana will determine which node can or can’t write on the base layer. When a transaction is processed, a quantity of mana tokens related to the amount of IOTA moved will be “pledged” twice to the node ID—” once for the modules dealing with consensus, and again for the congestion control”, and will be stored as an extension of the ledger.

Notably, the Mana token will remain related to the IOTA token but will exist differently providing enough protection against nefarious agents. The only way an entity will obtain “mana” tokens will be by convincing other token holders to pledge on their behalf.

Earlier, As reported of the foundation’s deployment of phase 1 of the Chrysalis network upgrade

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