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Author Topic: Bitcoin 50% take over warning idea  (Read 1494 times)
GuiltyBystander
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June 08, 2011, 04:42:05 PM
 #1

A lot of people have making threads about deepbit becoming too powerful and that they could theoretically take over.  So far, everything is just talking about the theory of an attack.  Deepbit/Tycho haven't actually done anything bad yet.  I'm kind of annoyed that people are pointing fingers and blaming Tycho for something he hasn't done.

I purpose someone build a piece of software or a website, that can detect an actual attack.  Here's a short list of ideas to detect an attack on the security of bitcoins.
  • Examine the block chain. Check for branches that already exist.  This won't tell us who is attacking it, but it would tell us if an attack is happening.  Of course you would want to ignore branches that only last 1 block because those can happen accidentally.
  • Perform a getWork request from all major pools.
    • Throw up a warning if they're asking you to work on an old block.
    • Throw up a warning if they're asking you to work on a block not in the chain.
For a 6 block confirmation attack, at the current block rate, with 50% hashing power, it would take 1.6-2 hours to double spend your coins.  This may not sound like much time, but I think it would be enough if a lot of the big players used it.  I'm sure sites like http://bitcoinwatch.com/ wouldn't mind having having another tool on the site to report when one pool is being evil.

I'm kind of poor bitcoin-wise, otherwise I would totally put a bounty on this.  Please keep this thread about building a detection scheme and less about the QQ of deepbit/tycho being evil or whatever.

And for reference to why 50% hashing power could be a problem, here's a link to the wiki.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Weaknesses#Attacker_has_a_lot_of_computing_power
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[Tycho]
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June 08, 2011, 04:44:57 PM
 #2

I'm kind of poor bitcoin-wise, otherwise I would totally put a bounty on this.  Please keep this thread about building a detection scheme and less about the QQ of deepbit/tycho being evil or whatever.
I already offered a bounty for such service (look for that topic), but only two forum members were interested and no one tried to create it.

Welcome to my bitcoin mining pool: https://deepbit.net - Both payment schemes (including PPS), instant payout, no invalid blocks !
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Coaster
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June 08, 2011, 04:53:54 PM
 #3

Most people don't actually understand Tycho is in as deep as all of us in his investment into BitCoins. The network is self-healing as mentioned before but a piece of software like this would further ensure this. All we can hope for is that Deepbit's node is communicating well with all the other ones and in order for Deepbit to be building as many blocks as it currently is, I would say it's connected perfectly fine. But as far as the "monitor Tycho because >50% = poisoned blocks and double spending through DeepBit network" I would just go and check block explorer and see how it's been quite efficient so far. BTCGuild & Deepbit both had an invalid block yesterday almost at exactly the same time.. I would say that the self-healing nature of BitCoin protocol is already at work and most people don't even notice.
Kudos Tycho.
GuiltyBystander
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June 08, 2011, 04:59:39 PM
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I'm kind of poor bitcoin-wise, otherwise I would totally put a bounty on this.  Please keep this thread about building a detection scheme and less about the QQ of deepbit/tycho being evil or whatever.
I already offered a bounty for such service (look for that topic), but only two forum members were interested and no one tried to create it.
Ah.  Should have searched first, but sometimes it's hard to know what terms to use.  Any extra bumps on this idea is a good thing imo. Here's Tycho's thread.
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=7622.0

Current bounty looks like 50+5+5+10 = 70 BTC.  With current exchange rates, that's about $2000 USD!

At that rate, I might have to go lookup the specs and take a shot at it myself Tongue
rezin777
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June 08, 2011, 05:11:23 PM
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This is good but it doesn't fix some of the other issues from large centralized pools.

This on the other hand does:

http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=9137.0
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