Malicious-and Accidental-Fault Tolerance for Internet Applications
IST Research Project IST-1999-11583
1 January 2000 - 28 February 2003

Check out a summary of the project, or browse through the original project proposal.

MAFTIA involved experts from 5 countries and 6 organisations. The Industrial Advisory Board provided valuable feedback on the work of the project.

Research was organised into six workpackages.

Find out more about the key scientific results and achievements, and the benefits of this research collaboration.

Final Workshop
Held at Newcastle University, 18-19 February, 2003.

All the MAFTIA deliverables in one place.

A list of MAFTIA-related papers published by members of the project.


The goal of the MAFTIA project was to investigate the 'tolerance paradigm' for security systematically, with the aim of proposing an integrated architecture built on this paradigm, and realising a concrete design that can be used to support the dependability of many applications.

MAFTIA used fault tolerance techniques to build dependable systems that are intrusion tolerant, that is, able to continue providing a secure service, despite the presence of malicious faults, i.e. deliberate attacks on the security of the system. The project's major innovation was a comprehensive approach for tolerating both accidental faults and malicious attacks in large-scale distributed systems, including attacks by external
hackers and by corrupt insiders. To the best of our knowledge, MAFTIA
was the first project that uniformly applied the 'tolerance paradigm' to the dependability of complete large-scale applications in a hostile environment and not just to single components of such systems.

There were three main areas of work:

  • the architecture of MAFTIA: providing a framework that ensures the dependability of distributed applications in the face of a wide class of faults and attacks;
  • the design of mechanisms and protocols: providing the required building blocks to implement large scale dependable applications - this will be addressed by means of four subclasses of objectives:
    • dependable middleware;
    • large scale intrusion detection systems;
    • dependable trusted third parties; and
    • distributed authorisation mechanisms
  • the verification and assessment of our work: rigorously defining the basic concepts developed by MAFTIA and verifying results of the work on dependable middleware.

In order to achieve these goals, it was necessary to gather international expertise across a wide range of disciplines, and the success of the project was due to what was described as the 'uniquely synergistic relationship' that developed between the partners during the project.