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Blockchain-based Trusted VNF Package Repository

MA
State: completed by Manuel Keller

The blockchain technology [3] has been receiving much attention from the industry, academia, and general public. This attention is the result of the many properties that this technology is able to provide. Two of such properties are the immutability of the data and the decentralization of the data. The former ensures that once the data is included in the blockchain, it cannot be altered or removed; while the latter provides high availability of the data, i.e., the data will be available if at least one peer is holding a copy of the blockchain.

The concept of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) proposes to host physical middleboxes in generic hardware using virtualization technologies, such as Virtual Machines (VMs) [1]. With this virtualization approach, these newly created Virtual Network Functions (VNF) can be rapidly deployed in the network infrastructure. However, one problem related to this deployment is that the network administrator has to trust in the developer (or vendor) of the package used to create the VNF [2]. This is because that the VNF might contain vulnerabilities or malicious code. Thus, a solution to this problem could be to rely on the blockchain technology to develop a distributed and trust VNF package repository, where participants are able to register, rate and, in extreme cases, repudiate VNF packages.


The goal of this thesis is to research how to develop a blockchain-based VNF package repository. This repository will contain hashes of VNF packages that can be trusted or repudiated by the blockchain participants; non-participants can verify hashes to check the status of the VNF package. In this sense, a public permissioned blockchain would be the most appropriate. Moreover, distributed file systems could be investigated to store VNF packages.

References:

[1] Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). White Paper, october 2012. Available at https://portal.etsi.org/nfv/nfv\_white\_paper.pdf Accessed 09 January, 2018.

[2] ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); NFV Security; Security and Trust Guidance. Available at https://docbox.etsi.org/ISG/NFV/Open/Publications_pdf/Specs-Reports/NFV-SEC%20003v1.2.1%20-%20GR%20-%20Security%20and%20Trust%20Guidance.pdf Accessed 19 April, 2018.
[3] S. Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Available at http://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf Accessed 09 May, 2018

30% Design, 60% Implementation, 10% Documentation
Blockchain basics, Python/Javascript/Java, Linux

Supervisors: Dr. Eder John Scheid, Muriel Figueredo Franco

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