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Question: Are Botnets Afraid of ASICs?
Yes, hijacked GPUs are now outdated - 27 (73%)
Yes, but for another reason - 2 (5.4%)
No - 8 (21.6%)
Total Voters: 37

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Author Topic: Are Botnets Afraid of ASICs?  (Read 2689 times)
sounds
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February 05, 2013, 03:23:15 AM
 #1



Click on the image to see the most up-to-date statistics.

It may just be amazing luck, but "unknown" is getting 49% of the blocks in the last 24 hours. "Unknown" is unknown but assume most of the hashing is done by botnets.

Are they trying to get as much BTC as they can before the difficulty increases? Are they running scared?
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Aseras
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February 05, 2013, 03:26:28 AM
 #2

Unknown on blockchain.info is not botnets, it's mostly other pools that were relayed differently. This has been known for a long time.

Botnets will stop bothering bitcoin when the profit goes away, or they find something more profitable to do with them.
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February 05, 2013, 03:30:37 AM
 #3

You mean P2Pool?
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February 05, 2013, 03:44:36 AM
 #4



Click on the image to see the most up-to-date statistics.

It may just be amazing luck, but "unknown" is getting 49% of the blocks in the last 24 hours. "Unknown" is unknown but assume most of the hashing is done by botnets.

Are they trying to get as much BTC as they can before the difficulty increases? Are they running scared?

Just a guess...  botnets are probably 10-15% of the hashrate. 

ASICs will make botnets irrelevant. 

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February 05, 2013, 04:04:56 AM
 #5

The blockchain.info pool share information is incorrect, as it is incorrectly assumed that the first IP to broadcast a block to the blockchain.info node is the miner who mined it. Misleading, and a huge time waster for this forum.

Try http://blockorigin.pfoe.be/chart.php - there the "unknown" is ~14% for the past 2016 blocks.
Besides, why wouldn't botnet machines contribute to a legitimate pool?

While most of "information" OP is based on is wrong, the conclusion is inevitably correct: yes, botnet operators will lose their profits when ASICs start arriving. In practical terms, this hasn't happened yet, but it is a matter of weeks.

They're there, in their room.
Your mining rig is on fire, yet you're very calm.
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February 05, 2013, 04:09:20 AM
 #6

Just as an observation from a pool owner:

The majority of botnets are mining on pools.  They get tossed around [banned] from one to another like a game of hot potato due to how much load they put on the server vs how much they actually contribute.  And yes, they are definitely afraid of ASICs.  I've had two botnet operators beg to be not be banned again because they were getting banned from every pool and they didn't have much time left to make any money now that ASICs are coming.

RIP BTC Guild, April 2011 - June 2015
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February 05, 2013, 04:17:07 AM
 #7

Just as an observation from a pool owner:

The majority of botnets are mining on pools.  They get tossed around [banned] from one to another like a game of hot potato due to how much load they put on the server vs how much they actually contribute.  And yes, they are definitely afraid of ASICs.  I've had two botnet operators beg to be not be banned again because they were getting banned from every pool and they didn't have much time left to make any money now that ASICs are coming.
If they managed to build botnet, why they can't manage to build own pool(s)?
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February 05, 2013, 04:18:22 AM
 #8

They aint mad, they still have LTC!  Grin

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February 05, 2013, 04:29:05 AM
 #9

Just as an observation from a pool owner:

The majority of botnets are mining on pools.  They get tossed around [banned] from one to another like a game of hot potato due to how much load they put on the server vs how much they actually contribute.  And yes, they are definitely afraid of ASICs.  I've had two botnet operators beg to be not be banned again because they were getting banned from every pool and they didn't have much time left to make any money now that ASICs are coming.
If they managed to build botnet, why they can't manage to build own pool(s)?

Botnets are easy to make.  You can buy it for almost no money if you know how to spread it yourself.  Additionally, pools that can handle a botnet are significantly difficult to make.  You'll run into significant scaling problems trying to support a botnet.  Additionally, botnets tend to be only 5-100 GH/s.  Very few have ever grown much beyond that.  It's much easier to join a pool and just get regular payments than run your own pool, especially when there are so many options/backups to use.

RIP BTC Guild, April 2011 - June 2015
sounds
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February 05, 2013, 05:03:46 AM
 #10

The blockchain.info pool share information is incorrect, as it is incorrectly assumed that the first IP to broadcast a block to the blockchain.info node is the miner who mined it. Misleading, and a huge time waster for this forum.

Try http://blockorigin.pfoe.be/chart.php - there the "unknown" is ~14% for the past 2016 blocks.
Thank you for pointing this out. Sorry, I definitely learned more about the subject.

Is there a chart like blockorigin.pfoe.be that calculates based on fewer than a 2016 block history? 2 weeks is a long time.
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February 05, 2013, 05:30:56 AM
 #11

The blockchain.info pool share information is incorrect, as it is incorrectly assumed that the first IP to broadcast a block to the blockchain.info node is the miner who mined it. Misleading, and a huge time waster for this forum.

Try http://blockorigin.pfoe.be/chart.php - there the "unknown" is ~14% for the past 2016 blocks.
Thank you for pointing this out. Sorry, I definitely learned more about the subject.

Is there a chart like blockorigin.pfoe.be that calculates based on fewer than a 2016 block history? 2 weeks is a long time.

2 weeks is not a long time, it's actually a good marker.  The shorter you look, the less meaningful the chart.  Blockchain's 24/48/96 [even though the 48/96 are broken half the time] are useless for getting meaningful data because luck can show a pool twice as large as they should be, or less than half as big as they should be.

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February 08, 2013, 03:11:03 AM
 #12

Just as an observation from a pool owner:

The majority of botnets are mining on pools.  They get tossed around [banned] from one to another like a game of hot potato due to how much load they put on the server vs how much they actually contribute.  And yes, they are definitely afraid of ASICs.  I've had two botnet operators beg to be not be banned again because they were getting banned from every pool and they didn't have much time left to make any money now that ASICs are coming.
If they managed to build botnet, why they can't manage to build own pool(s)?

Botnets are easy to make.  You can buy it for almost no money if you know how to spread it yourself.  Additionally, pools that can handle a botnet are significantly difficult to make.  You'll run into significant scaling problems trying to support a botnet.  Additionally, botnets tend to be only 5-100 GH/s.  Very few have ever grown much beyond that.  It's much easier to join a pool and just get regular payments than run your own pool, especially when there are so many options/backups to use.

managing a botnet pool shouldn't be anymore difficult than a normal pool imo... but then making it difficult to track down would be the trick... all the more reason they'd be using p2pool.

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February 08, 2013, 03:18:34 AM
 #13



Click on the image to see the most up-to-date statistics.

It may just be amazing luck, but "unknown" is getting 49% of the blocks in the last 24 hours. "Unknown" is unknown but assume most of the hashing is done by botnets.

Are they trying to get as much BTC as they can before the difficulty increases? Are they running scared?

I'm sure they are scared, but why would they only want to make as many BTC as possible now? I'd think they would always want to be profiting as much as possible, rain or shine, no?
sounds
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February 08, 2013, 11:24:05 AM
 #14

Yes, except there's a point where flogging your botnet for the maximum BTC output could result in marginal bots going down for good.

Now that there's nothing to lose because ASICs are on the rise, flog your botnet.
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February 08, 2013, 02:32:37 PM
 #15

Ah, I see your point, although I'd call it premature for them to resort to that just now. 2-3 weeks from now it might be a better idea, or about a week before whenever BFL starts shipping might be a better time for scorched earth policy on their botnets.
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February 08, 2013, 02:37:03 PM
 #16

Is there a chart like blockorigin.pfoe.be that calculates based on fewer than a 2016 block history? 2 weeks is a long time.

Remember mining has a random element to it. A small pool getting "lucky" and finding 5 blocks in the time they normally find one isn't that rare and would massively skew the results if looking at say last 144 blocks (~1 day). 
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February 08, 2013, 02:38:41 PM
 #17

Ah, I see your point, although I'd call it premature for them to resort to that just now. 2-3 weeks from now it might be a better idea, or about a week before whenever BFL starts shipping might be a better time for scorched earth policy on their botnets.

Botnets don't really lose nodes that fast and there really is nothing out there which is as profitable or consistent in revenue then bitcoin mining for botnets.  Even if you knew difficulty wasn't going to put you out of the game for another two months it would make sense to start sacrificing nodes and maxing short term profits. 
Raize
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February 11, 2013, 04:33:29 PM
 #18

I've followed one botnet herder's address closely now over the last 4 months after he was identified on the forums. He's very small time, but he appears to be spending coin on SR pretty much right away. I would not be surprised if others are like him, selling on various black market forums, Gox, or just converting their hashes into hashish. If ASIC development continues to diminish their roles, I further suspect that we're going to start to see more hoarding akin to the Fall and Spring 2011 periods, with a lull similar to the Winter 2011 period inbetween.

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February 11, 2013, 04:57:44 PM
 #19

Botnets will stop bothering bitcoin when the profit goes away, or they find something more profitable to do with them.

This.

Botnets are stolen resources, so anything we can do to incentivize them away from bitcoin is useful.


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February 13, 2013, 02:03:38 PM
 #20

Difficulty projections are in the high 3 million or low 4 million for the next adjustment, so botnets can probably continue to generate coins.

Hopefully soon the ASICs will push difficulty up enough botnets will lose interest.
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