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					                                               Distributed Systems
                                               Prof. Dr.-Ing. Torben Weis

            Security and Virtual Worlds
Two software projects for computer game development and for IT security will be presented
by the Distributed Systems group from the University of Duisburg-Essen at CeBIT:
Massively Multiuser Online Games (MMOGs) such as World of Warcraft usually use a high-
performance central server. Maintaining such a server is highly cost-intensive.
Therefore the Distributed Systems
group develops in the context of the
peers@play project a peer-to-peer-
based system for MMOGs which
does not need a central high-
performance server. Without such
a server, a peer-based system has
the potential of being highly cost-
effective. In peers@play the
resources of all participants are used
to maintain the entire system. Ideally
a peer-based system can scale
indefinitely as long as every
participant introduces at least as
many resources as he is using.
However, creating a peer-based
system and coordinating the
participating computers so that all
have the same view of the world, is
significantly more difficult. All data
and information must be permanently redistributed in the network if a participant leaves the
network or new ones join. The researchers working together with Prof. Torben Weis are
close to finding a solution: They have developed an early prototype based on a peer-to-peer
system, which is presented at their booth on the CeBIT.
Cryptography is an essential element in order to protect data, for example during online
banking or mobile telephony. The e-learning program CrypTool is used around the world for
teaching cryptography. The researchers of the Distributed Systems group participate in the
development of the successor. CrypTool 2 enables the user to experiment with cryptographic
components in a graphic design view and simulate their functioning. This contributes to the
purpose of sharpening the user’s awareness about the security of different applications.
Apart from this, the software also serves as platform to examine scientific concepts, for
example peer-based distributed cryptanalysis. With this approach any number of PCs can
be interconnected and utilise the joint computing power.

      University of Duisburg-Essen                   Phone: +49 (0) 203 379 4210
      Faculty of Engineering                         Fax: +49 (0) 203 379 4363
      Distributed Systems                            E-mail:
      Bismarckstr. 90 (BC)                           Home:
      47057 Duisburg

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