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Author Topic: Hacking Bitcoin  (Read 2780 times)
Dabs
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March 22, 2013, 02:28:45 PM
 #21

Humanity is good. But humanity is also bad. There are good people, but the bad people exist. Reality makes us realize that we do not live in a paradise, that strong men will attempt to take advantage of weaker men.

There is a saying, Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

But open discussion about bitcoin security (and about any other security) is good. Cryptography is an example field where obscurity is generally frowned upon except secrets that must remain secrets (like private keys and passwords.)

The good thing is that we are civilized. Civilization is the restraint of power.

As a parent, if you come near my child or get too close, I will kill you. But most of the time, I have no reason to so I won't. This is evident in the animal kingdom. Don't get too close to baby bear, or mama bear will kill you. Kill first, talk later. But animals are neither good nor bad (at least they are not evil in the same sense that humans can be evil or bad.) They just are. That's their nature.

Anyway, the topic was about hacking bitcoin. So ... one way I have seen is to force another fork by creating bad blocks on purpose. I don't know if that will work, but the fork happened "naturally". What if some group keeps doing it on purpose repeatedly.

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March 22, 2013, 03:06:01 PM
 #22

Bitcoin has two major parts: cryptocurrency and p2p network. I think we will see attacks against p2p part (DoS, identity leak, censorship etc) in near future.

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March 24, 2013, 09:16:30 PM
 #23

It seems foolish to believe that no one is trying to find a way to damage the bitcoin economy.  Governments, central banks, payment processors, credit card companies, ... the list goes on and on of entities whose bottom line is threatened by bitcoin.

So I wonder if it would be a good idea to start having open discussions about the same things that they are likely discussing in private.  For example, is there a way to exploit the vulnerability of the pre-0.8 clients to fork the chain?  Of course this seems dangerous.  Anyone who read the Hunger Games books remembers Gale's concern about a new kind of attack that was later exploited.

When I was in college I played chess and I always enjoyed discussing my moves and plans openly.  Part of the reason for this is that my ability to handle complexity was a bit stronger than that of others, so I got to help them see the fixes I was planning to put them in.  I imagine that everyone I played, along with myself, got much better at chess because of this openness.

Part of the reason I am comfortable openly discussing possible avenues for hacking our economy is that I have faith in humans.  For the most part, people are good.  The more we learn, the better we get along, generally.  The bitcoin community can win converts from those threatened by it at a rate much higher than they can win converts from us, simply because bitcoin respects individuals, places responsibility for their dealings squarely in their own hands, and does not rely on coercion of any kind.

Before those of us who have answers for the following question make them public, perhaps it would be a good idea to discuss whether or not publicizing them is wise.  I think it is, but that is based on a faith in human beings that I admit may be misplaced.  (If it is, my world will change, but it will be difficult to convince me.)

If you're comfortable letting the world know about Bitcoin's vulnerabilities, what are they and how should we expect those threatened by it to leverage them?  (And how will we therefore protect ourselves from them?)

I don't see a reason to discuss bitcoin security.

Bitcoin is a lot more secure than computers in general, in short if a cybercriminal wanted to steal bitcoins he would most likely rewrite your homephone firmware, phish your information, install a trojan or malware than sabotaging the network itself.








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March 24, 2013, 09:27:04 PM
 #24

I don't see a reason to discuss bitcoin security.

Bitcoin is a lot more secure than computers in general, in short if a cybercriminal wanted to steal bitcoins he would most likely rewrite your homephone firmware, phish your information, install a trojan or malware than sabotaging the network itself.
I wasn't really worried about individual theft.  What concerns me is the system as a whole.  The transaction fees that protect against spam are a good example of a solution to a foreseen problem, but transaction spam doesn't hurt individuals on their own, it just makes the whole system less useful, which is what the threatened industries would want.

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March 25, 2013, 07:32:26 AM
 #25

I read an article just the other day about a hacker that used a botnet of nearly 500,000 compromised machines, he used them to run ping requests to build up the most detailed map of the internet,


If a hacker can have that many bots under his command then bitcoin is not safe yet, if an attacker could flood nodes with block download requests of fake / malformed transaction relays i'm sure it could be a sucessfull DDOS, I don't know what steps there are in the code to protect from this, because bitcoin is distributed devs may think its less vulnerable to DOS attacks but is it really? Anyway it's probably been thought about and isn't really a priority atm.

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