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Whether it is port scans, spam, or distributed denial-of-service attacks from botnets, unwanted traffic is a fundamental problem in all networked systems. Although proof-of-work has been proposed as a mechanism for thwarting such attacks, few proof-of-work systems have been successfully deployed. One of the problems in the proof-of-work approach is that the systems that issue and verify puzzles are typically located at or near the server edge. Rather than eliminate the denial-of-service problem, such approaches merely shift the problem from the service itself to the proof-of-work systems protecting the service. As a result, adversaries can disable services by flooding the issuer, by flooding the verifier, or by flooding all of the network links that lead to the issuer and verifier.
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