Hidden overlay networks: possibility study on Minecraft

Supervisor(s)Patrik Keller, MSc


A game, such as Minecraft, with thousands of public servers potentially can serve as underlay for a decentralized covert communication network. Given that hidden communication between players on the same server is generally possible, the goal of this thesis is to empirically evaluate whether hidden communication is possible across different servers. The thesis will be structured in three parts:

  1. Theoretical exploration of suitable communication networks (Overlay Networks, Delay Tolerant Networks, Pocket-Switched Networks)

  2. Design and implementation of a data-gathering tool that enables to answer the research question without sacrificing the players’ privacy.

  3. Analyses of the collected data and presentation of the results.


  • Scott, J. Social network analysis. Sage, 2017.
  • Hui, P., Chaintreau, A., Scott, J., Gass, R., Crowcroft, J., and Diot, C. Pocket Switched Networks and Human Mobility in Conference Environments. In SIGCOMM Workshop on Delay-Tolerant Networking. ACM, 2005, pp. 244–251.
  • Universität Innsbruck. Ressourcen für die Bearbeitung und Klärung von Fragen bei Ethik- und Datenschutz. 2018. https://www.uibk.ac.at/fakultaeten/social-and-political-sciences/forschung/ethik-datenschutz/ressourcen.html.
  • Adams, N. mcstatus: a Python class for checking the status of an enabled Minecraft server. 2017. https://github.com/Dinnerbone/mcstatus.