Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Bitcoin The Internet Communications Network Networking Privacy Security The Almighty Buck Technology

ISPs Could Take Down Large Parts of Bitcoin Ecosystem If They Wanted To (bleepingcomputer.com) 72

An anonymous reader writes: A rogue ISP could take down large parts of the Bitcoin ecosystem, according to new research that will be presented in two weeks at the 38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Jose, USA. According to the researchers, there are two types of attack scenarios that could be leveraged via BGP hijacks to cripple the Bitcoin ecosystem: hijacking mining proceeds, causing double-spending errors, and delaying transactions. These two (partition and delay) attacks are possible because most of the entire Bitcoin ecosystem isn't as decentralized as most people think, and it still runs on a small number of ISPs. For example, 13 ISPs host 30% of the entire Bitcoin network, 39 ISPs host 50% of the whole Bitcoin mining power, and 3 ISPs handle 60% of all Bitcoin traffic. Currently, researchers found that around 100 Bitcoin nodes are the victims of BGP hijacks each month.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

ISPs Could Take Down Large Parts of Bitcoin Ecosystem If They Wanted To

Comments Filter:
  • Isn't the point of (successful) attack/hijacking, whatever, NOT to be detected and identified ?
    Just the other day, some Russian ISP routed what, most of Visa & Mastercard traffic through their servers or something... happens often.. sometimes mistake, sometimes maybe not, but still they cannot keep doing it indefinitely.

    Yeah ?

    • Isn't the point of (successful) attack/hijacking, whatever, NOT to be detected and identified ?

      Einstein stated: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

      Knocking out an enemy's ability to wage war by any means has always been part of the show. Poison their wells, print up tons of counterfeit currency to wreck their economy, catapult dead bubonic plague corpses over their walls, destabilize their government by exposing their leaders getting blow jobs in their offices or throwing "Golden Shower" parties in fancy fo

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09, 2017 @03:51AM (#54382729)

    Bitcoin has plenty of problems that need, but these issues aren't them.

    This article describes fairly generic things and jumps to insane conclusions, eg:

    "These attacks can be used to sneakily siphon off some of the mining proceeds into an attacker’s account."

    This sort of statement is totally wrong and not backed up by how that can work (It can't)

  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2017 @03:51AM (#54382731) Homepage
    ISPs Could Take Down Large Parts of ANY Ecosystem If They Wanted To.
    They can divert or block any traffic it's flowing through.
    And there's little the users can do against it.
    So that article isn't bringing anything new!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Oh it's going to be so much fun once net neutrality is gone, isn it?

      • No. No it isn't going to be fun .. Can't they just for once, think of something nice to do for their Internet users?? All I hear is bad news regarding technology. Tell me, is it more profitable to be evil??
    • What's new is how anyone can bring themselves to hurt bitcoin. Ok, so maybe that isn't so out of this world.

      Why would anyone hate bitcoin?

      Without bitcoin there wouldn't be so much need for electricity power generation. And your power bill goes up and your bandwidth goes down because bitcoin is an artificial consumer of resources. The consumption is artificial because much of the effect of the consumption is pure garbage. Mining bitcoins is basically acquiring bitcoins by lottery. bitcoin is a casino. What d

      • by codebonobo ( 2762819 ) on Tuesday May 09, 2017 @06:37AM (#54383071)

        The mining computation should be changed to calculate for folding@home.

        Bitcoins security model is dependent upon a PoW which must have a very granular difficulty adjustment where blocks are discovered on a Poisson Distribution curve. Searching for primes or folding@home would not fulfill this requirement. Additionally, It is necessarily wasteful as part of bitcoins security model due to the fact that real costs must be sunk into attacking the currency instead of simply bootstrapping it to some other task you would be doing anyways for no added cost.

        The great news is that most mining these days is using unused excess hydroelectric from Chinese dams and the heat can be recycled. Additionally, the "wasted" energy need not scale with the price of bitcoin as originally expected due to the fact that payment channels can heavily subsidize block reward with tx fees and the security of the network will depend both upon decentralized LN nodes being subsidized(which use practically no electricity) by sharing tx fees with miners

        If this holds true, who would ever want to spend bitcoin for anything?So bitcoin mining would be pointless if there will be fewer and fewer transactions. People just want to buy and hold. Unless what they buy will not appreciate. Then they dump and run. That makes bitcoin mining pointless because bitcoins wouldn't be worth anything.

        All this fear could dissipate if bitcoin mining were to calculate useful results. People would be encouraged to use bitcoin in their lives because the mining actually benefits everyone.

        This is an often repeated fear from Keynesian economists that high deflation will cause hoarding and a "deflationary death spiral in bitcoin" , The data shows the opposite, during periods of high appreciation(deflationary adoption bubbles) bitcoin users give more to charity and spend more on goods and services. This is thought to be because of the wealth effect , where users feel more comfortable spending because they feel more wealthy due to them being wealthier in reality. This is also similar to purchasing a laptop that will become obsolete in 6months to 1 year, one always knows the next model will be released in the future but realizes they still need a laptop now and will spend the money regardless.

        That makes bitcoin mining pointless because bitcoins wouldn't be worth anything.

        Have you seen the price lately? Please check the 8 year returns , 1 year returns , and 1 week returns. Bitcoin stopped being simply used for speculation a very long time ago and now is has a circular economy of users who have an inelastic demand that need bitcoin to survive. Yes, plenty of speculating (when did saving money become such a naughty word?) , but the real life utility is undeniable as well for whitemarket or blackmarket use cases.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by ThirdPrize ( 938147 )

          People hoard BC because you can't really do anything else with it. Most shops and sites dont accept it. You can gamble but then its the casino hoarding rather than you. ;) BC is an elegant solution in search of a problem.

          • This may have been true in 2010 but much has changed since than. An inelastic demand indicates a client base who depends upon bitcoin regardless of price, premium over spot, or tx fees. This is principally driven by darknet markets of drugs, prostitution, online gambling, capital flight, and ransomeware. There are also whitemarket use cases like saving 18% off everything on amazon (not including the savings I make from appreciation) but it is the blackmarket that gives bitcoin its true utility. Sometimes th
            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              Bitcoin is still garbage. I've got jade worth more than any bitcoin could ever hope to be.

              • I suggest you stay away and don't buy any bitcoin for a few years and than check back when you are ready to re-evaluate.
                • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                  Come back to me when you've got bitcoins worth 9 million USD [sothebys.com]

                  I guarantee you'll never hit that.

                  • Where can I purchase a bunch of these bracelets so I can use them on the darknet markets or do I need to still meet the dealer in a dangerous back alley with one of these bracelets? What should I call them; Bracelet coins? How divisible are they? Is each bracelet easily checked for legitimacy to avoid counterfeits? Are they all fungible with one another? Is their a liquid exchange where I can exchange these bracelets easily? Thanks in advance for the info on introducing me to your new currency!
                    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

                      >Where can I purchase a bunch of these bracelets so I can use them on the darknet markets

                      Same place all the Bitscam is: China.

                      Darknet markets? Son, real people use live black markets. Much harder to trace.

        • Bitcoin is already sort of a Gold Standard. Because the release of new bitcoins that can algorithmically be mined is limited and the current valuation and pervasiveness of bitcoins in general, it's a better standard than any currency, where they could just manipulate the course by printing more money or buying more gold.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Have you seen the price lately? Please check the 8 year returns , 1 year returns , and 1 week returns.

          But what good are returns if you never actually get anything from Mining.
          I've left Bitcoin installs running for weeks and never gotten a single Satoshi. No way it's paying for the electricity bill.

          So why do _I_ join up and give my support to the blockchain network? So far the only explanation that I see is "it's cool" or "it might be useful later". This is the fundamental design flaw with the Bitcoin netwo

          • But what good are returns if you never actually get anything from Mining. I've left Bitcoin installs running for weeks and never gotten a single Satoshi. No way it's paying for the electricity bill.

            So why do _I_ join up and give my support to the blockchain network?.

            Bitcoin mining is very professional and competitive. You need to mine in a pool (I suggest p2pool), use a modern ASIC, and have access to very cheap electricity to be profitable. There are many other ways to support bitcoin besides mining like running a full node, buying bitcoins, contributing code, writing manuals , peer review, education, ect...

            • by mysidia ( 191772 )

              How much of a reward or TX fee do you get for running a full public node, compared to mining?

              • Full nodes currently are not subsidized, but there is a new development which is almost ready called Lightning network which will allow full nodes to be both subsidized and tx capacity to dramatically increase. Segwit upgrade will increase the network capacity from ~7 Transactions per second to ~14 TPS and thereafter LN payment channels will both subsidize LN full nodes and but increase the network transaction throughput to millions of transactions per second.
          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            No way it's paying for the electricity bill.

            If you CPU mine outside a pool; It's still cheaper than a lottery ticket, and your chances of winning are similar.

        • by mysidia ( 191772 )

          The great news is that most mining these days is using unused excess hydroelectric from Chinese dams and the heat can be recycled.

          Great, so Bitcoin is another subsidy for electricity producers, and a way to convert excess energy into cash. Since miners need the cheapest electricity possible for this conversion to be profitable, they're bound to place their operation wherever there is a supply glut and weak demand.

          • Yes, and because China has overbuilt infrastructure at the moment they have an excess of unused Hydro that they can use to mine so the ASIC farms are built right next to the hydro companies and Bitcoin essentially becomes a more efficient battery for them by converting energy into fungible value.
        • The mining computation should be changed to calculate for folding@home.

          Bitcoins security model is dependent upon a PoW which must have a very granular difficulty adjustment where blocks are discovered on a Poisson Distribution curve. Searching for primes or folding@home would not fulfill this requirement. Additionally, It is necessarily wasteful as part of bitcoins security model due to the fact that real costs must be sunk into attacking the currency instead of simply bootstrapping it to some other task you would be doing anyways for no added cost.

          Something that might work is to put the folding@home finished results into a distributed queue. All results will be accepted and the queue is distributed to ensure that no one can sneak to the front of the line. In short, the difficulty idea ought to be dismissed.

          For one thing, bitcoin miners ought to be assigned difficult tasks, because they will be rewarded for their efforts. Anyone can do folding@home even for no reward so in essence, bitcoin mining is paid work. Indeed, any bitcoin miner can do some che

      • Why would anyone hate bitcoin?

        Maybe because it's not bank-controlled?
        Maybe because it's not government-controlled?
        Maybe because of both?

      • You should look into something called GridCoin, which is based on BOINC work.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Title could easily have been "ISPs Could Take Down Large Parts of Online Banking Ecosystem If They Wanted To".

  • If you need to collude with 39 ISP to block 50% of the traffic, if a SINGLE packet reaches another node it will propagate. This is complete theoretical attack and both not achievable and non-realistic. Even if 90% of the nodes are corrupted, at some point the block will be propagated.
    • The problem with this theory, is that you forget that land cables are still bottlenecked by being land cables. Connection across the ocean and between nations is also bottlenecked, where the former is extremely bottlenecked compared to the latter.
      I.E If you block of what is essentially New Yorks sea cables, you add more than 100 ping for anything that would cross the chokepoint for both sides.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      the point is that you need to hijack 39 BGP routes, not collude with 39 ISPs ... and the partition attack stops blocks from propagating.... RTFA
  • Almost anything could be substituted and it would still work... A rogue BILLIONAIRE could take down large parts of the FIAT ecosystem, according to new research that will be presented in two weeks at the 38th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Jose, USA. According to the researchers, there are two types of attack scenarios that could be leveraged via BILLIONAIRE hijacks to cripple the FIAT ecosystem: hijacking earnings, causing double-spending errors, and delaying transactions. These two (partit
  • They could also disrupt Paypal, Visa and other systems.

    That's why we need net neutrality. DO comment to the FCC.

    gofccyourself.com

  • a thing is the absolute control over it.
  • Wrong (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    These attacks can be used to sneakily siphon off some of the mining proceeds into an attacker’s account.

    Wrong. Mining proceeds are protected by a private key. Nothing an ISP can do will reveal that private key, thus they cannot siphon proceeds.

  • Note: The US government took down currency and it caused the great depression.

  • Is it possible to short Bitcoin?

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.

Working...