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KaZaA: Behind the Scenes. Shreeram Sahasrabudhe Lehigh University [email protected] Fasttrack network. Created in Mar 2001, Fasttrack was a software company that developed a software library for a P2P network. KaZaA was their first application to use the library.

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Kazaa behind the scenes

KaZaA: Behind the Scenes

Shreeram Sahasrabudhe

Lehigh University

[email protected]

Fasttrack network
Fasttrack network

  • Created in Mar 2001, Fasttrack was a software company that developed a software library for a P2P network.

  • KaZaA was their first application to use the library.

  • Today, Grokster and iMesh are other licensed clients of the Fasttrack network.

Why fasttrack
Why Fasttrack?

  • KaZaA has over 200million downloads and shows over 4 million users online at any time.

  • It’s a closed protocol

  • All Traffic is encrypted

  • Minimal information available about the network – scalability, robustness and operation.

What we know

{File 1?}

{File 1?}

Search query

{File 1?}

Peer 2: File 1

GET File 1

What we know?

  • 2-tier Architecture: nodes & supernodes

  • Supernodes are high bandwidth users who aid searches of neighborhood nodes.




Peer 1

Peer 2

Peer 3

File 2

File 4

File 5

File 1

File 3

File 6

File 3

File 7

File 10

  • A detailed study was done earlier by…?? RIAA of course

Project idea goals
Project Idea / Goals

  • To understand how the Fasttrack network works.

  • No focus on cryptanalysis of the traffic.

  • Understand behavior (communication, allocation etc.) of supernodes.

  • Establish patterns in supernode communication.


  • Ran KaZaA software on a lab machine for about 4 weeks.

  • Using a custom packet sniffer we logged the packet information such as: Date & Time of Packet, Source Address, Destination address and Protocol.

  • Analyzed the log files using Perl scripts to give us detailed report of each log file:

    • Total Unique Destination IP Addresses

    • List of destination IP addresses and number of packets sent to each.

    • Total Unique Source IP Addresses

    • List of source IP addresses and number of packets received from each.

  • Besides this, we also analyzed the traffic during the login of KaZaA.

Install login observations
Install & Login Observations

  • The available KaZaA setup file is just a web install.

  • During setup, it connects to a peer and downloads the KaZaA install file – kmd210.exe

  • Each time you try to install it connects to a new peer with varying download speeds.

    At login

  • Connects to a central login server rr1.kazaa.com (7 IP addresses) in Denmark.

  • Sends information like country, client, version etc.

  • Immediately after, the peer sends ICMP ping messages to about 4 – 5 other peers.

  • Those who reply to these messages are then contacted by a separate TCP connection on specific destination ports.

  • The purpose of this communication seems to be to let the peer know of a port to contact us.

  • On repeated attempts to login – different sets of peers are contacted!

  • If none of the peers reply to initial ping messages then a different set of peers are sent UDP packets. Then the same procedure as above.

Traffic analysis and observations
Traffic Analysis and Observations about 4 – 5 other peers.

  • Parsed the list of IP addresses in each report to get their frequency.

  • About 7 address were communicating with our machine on a regular basis for over 4 days. (3 from Lehigh ;), 3 from other universities and 1 broadband)

  • These were our candidates for supernodes.

  • Also, our node had reached the status of Guru (309 points). A new node starts with a status of medium (100 points).

  • We were now set to do further detailed analysis with an improved packet sniffer when …

The traffic stopped
…the Traffic Stopped! about 4 – 5 other peers.

This is not the first of its kind
This is about 4 – 5 other peers.not the first of its kind.

  • The giFT project, a relatively big project, was successful in reverse engineering the Fasttrack protocol.

  • Fasttrack changed their protocol (and encryption) and things were back to where they started.

  • Currently two projects are working on this task:

    • Project Fasttrack www.projectfasttrack.com

    • RapidRoad www.rapidroad.tk

  • None of the above companies have released any public software or documentation to validate their claimed progress.

Queries? about 4 – 5 other peers.

Thank You!