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Computer networks are becoming increasingly decentralized. No single entity controls the entire system; therefore, no entity can compel compliance. Peer-to-peer file sharing systems connect users to exchange information, yet lack a hierarchical organization so they can increase efficiency and avoid single points of failure. Wireless sensor networks are assembled from large numbers of interchangeable, low-cost devices and scattered into an area of interest to perform surveillance or monitoring tasks. The opportunities and challenges presented by cooperation extend to attack and defense in distributed networks. It can be easy for attacker-controlled devices to covertly collude to carry out attacks, by sharing key material for instance.
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