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Author Topic: Hostile action against the bitcoin infrastracture  (Read 19427 times)
FreeMoney
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January 27, 2011, 12:32:35 PM
 #81

It would be an expensive heater lol.


Yes, but it might even pay you to run it!

You could blow people's mind with this. "Here, this heater costs $800, it doesn't get all that hot, but it costs less than nothing to run."


I wonder what the best gpu to use for it would be ....

something that gets really hot ?  Cheesy

Something that can take the heat for a long time. Of course the point will be to blow the heat away from the thing and onto your feat, but I expect it'll still get pretty hot.

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January 27, 2011, 12:39:55 PM
 #82

the worlds first upgradeable foot rest with built in foot warming  Smiley
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January 27, 2011, 01:22:57 PM
 #83

I would love to have one of these bitcoin heaters. It would boot directly into Bitcoin, and be shutdown simply by turning off the power. It would maybe have a handle attached for ease of transporting.

It should have solid state storage for robustness: probably just an internal USB socket that can take a 4GB USB flash drive (or maybe even two USB sockets in hot-swap RAID configuration for robustness and ease of backup).

Ideally it would look like this, but some of these ideas would work too.
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January 31, 2011, 03:01:10 PM
 #84

There was one other attack against bitcoin, I've tried to write about it already, and somebody else explained the problem much better.  But I can't remember where, I've looked and I can't find the forum post.

Is essence it is this (MiB=Men-in-Black):

1. MiB surreptitiously and slowly buy up lots of GPU's (reasonably cheaply - the entire BTC mining community is equivalent to about 200Ghps, one 5870 ~ 0.5Ghps, => only 400 5870s required, cost ~ $200k).
2. everybody rejoices - the BTC network is getting stronger!
3. MiB approach and exceed 50% of entire BTC net.
4. When MiB have, say, 80% of mining, they start to reject blocks generated by anyone else.  First slowly, but increasing.
5. Eventually, most, or all, blocks generated only by MiB.
6. Community realises what's happened!  Panic!  Releases new client to blacklist MiB's cluster.
7. MiB have already thought of this and have their cluster instantly distributed to new IP addresses, apparently from many different countries etc, behind Tor if you like.
8. MiB use other methods to eliminate anyone else with any significant mining power.

Result:
1. MiB now verify *all* transactions.  MiB introduce a fee (=tax) on all transactions.  MiB introduce some bureaucracy which must be followed before obtaining a BTC address, certainly requiring some form of ID.
2. MiB now know exactly how much you earn, and when, and who you got it from.
3. BTC's originating from a transaction pre-MiB are rejected until transferred to a new MiB-approved address in the presence of an MiB official.
4. In short, BTC gives *unprecedented* economic power to MiB, exactly the opposite of what it sought to achieve.

Sorry if this attack has already been discounted, I'm an irregular visitor to the forum, and I can't find the previous threads discussing it.  Please link there if you can.
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January 31, 2011, 04:08:59 PM
 #85

There was one other attack against bitcoin, I've tried to write about it already, and somebody else explained the problem much better.  But I can't remember where, I've looked and I can't find the forum post.

They wouldn't need to do it slowly. There's no way to block an attacker that has more than 50% of the computational power.

They wouldn't have control forever, though. It'd just be "downtime" for Bitcoin until control is regained.

1NXYoJ5xU91Jp83XfVMHwwTUyZFK64BoAD
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January 31, 2011, 05:53:56 PM
 #86

They wouldn't need to do it slowly. There's no way to block an attacker that has more than 50% of the computational power.
They wouldn't have control forever, though. It'd just be "downtime" for Bitcoin until control is regained.
I know the attacker with >50% power.  But I'm talking about an attack that does not destroy confidence in bitcoin, just surreptitiously gaining power until it's too late to stop without everyone involved abandoning all their bitcoins and the bitcoin economy while STILL maintaining the BTC economy, just with MiB imposed taxes.  Of course, if there is a multitude of parallel cryptographic currencies, then no problem.  But if bitcoin is the only one...  Tell me, what defense could the BTC community take against someone with >50% of the power, how would you regain control?  IP blacklists hardcoded in the client?  "Legitimate user" signing keys?
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January 31, 2011, 06:42:28 PM
 #87


This seems like the most plausible attack to me also. I think the response will be up to Bitcoin's descendant currencies, in which incentives will be coded for all participants to be generators. This would naturally involve coded disincentives for generator farms and collectives that exist and weaken Bitcoin now.

The farms and collectives are already making one of the main strengths of Bitcon - a p2p decentralized currency network - not much more than a misleading advertising talking point. It's becoming more and more centralized, as more and more independent miners are forced out of generation, or into collectives...

There is little incentive for farms, collectives, and botnet to cheat. However, there are large incentive for the government to do so.

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January 31, 2011, 07:00:09 PM
 #88

Maybe next time around we could try a different proof of work.

Could one for example hash a video showing the human operator at their console along with the stream of keystrokes and joystick and mouse etc movements, providing an audit trail demonstrating how hard it really was to generate the magickal bonusses to be associated with the supposedly awesome magickal sword their efforts might conceivably gain for them should they turn out to be the killer of the boss monster in the main-chain timeline of the truly once you kill that boss that boss is dead universe in which they and other awesome workers perform the work of eliminating bosses and their minions?

-MarkM- (From a Freeciv Galactic Milieu perspective, I'd guess the Hacker nation might be the people to ask such things of...)


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January 31, 2011, 10:08:39 PM
 #89

There was one other attack against bitcoin, I've tried to write about it already, and somebody else explained the problem much better.  But I can't remember where, I've looked and I can't find the forum post.

Is essence it is this (MiB=Men-in-Black):

Sorry if this attack has already been discounted, I'm an irregular visitor to the forum, and I can't find the previous threads discussing it.  Please link there if you can.

I assume this attack is technically feasible, but the one problem I see is that it discounts the way government works. If they do take action against Bitcoin, it will probably be open and direct. They will legislate and demonize it, as they do with anything they don't like.
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February 01, 2011, 08:33:47 AM
 #90

I assume this attack is technically feasible, but the one problem I see is that it discounts the way government works. If they do take action against Bitcoin, it will probably be open and direct. They will legislate and demonize it, as they do with anything they don't like.
I think wikileaks has clearly shown us that governments have no problems with taking secret and indirect action when it suits them.  I suppose my question is, *if* MiB should attack bitcoin as I described, *would* it give them unprecedented power over the economy?  What defences against this attack exist, short of *everybody* in the BTC network buying a quad 5970 setup (or whatever gives most !/$ at that time).  Would that even be enough against MiB dedicated special-purpose custom-built superhashers?  There's an idea, how cheap would it be to build dedicated purpose hardware just for hashing.  GPU's are great, but they're not specifically designed to perform integer hash ops.  Surely we could do better?  Anyone?

Quote from: imanikin
more and more independent miners are forced out of generation, or into collectives...
resistance is futile :-)
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February 01, 2011, 08:35:21 AM
 #91

They wouldn't need to do it slowly. There's no way to block an attacker that has more than 50% of the computational power.
They wouldn't have control forever, though. It'd just be "downtime" for Bitcoin until control is regained.
I know the attacker with >50% power.  But I'm talking about an attack that does not destroy confidence in bitcoin, just surreptitiously gaining power until it's too late to stop without everyone involved abandoning all their bitcoins and the bitcoin economy while STILL maintaining the BTC economy, just with MiB imposed taxes.  Of course, if there is a multitude of parallel cryptographic currencies, then no problem.  But if bitcoin is the only one...  Tell me, what defense could the BTC community take against someone with >50% of the power, how would you regain control?  IP blacklists hardcoded in the client?  "Legitimate user" signing keys?

Regaining control is as simple as regaining the majority of network power.  This kind of attack is dependent upon either honest node operators not noticing the shift in computational powers, or simply not reacting.  Neither case is particularly likely, but the idea that honest nodes wouldn't be able to quickly respond once such a takeover of the system was apparent is silly. There are numerous major players just on this forum that would have the ability to quickly add power to the network, if they had some compelling reason to do so at a loss, by purchasing & setting up bitcoin daemons on 'the cloud'.  There are quite a few people with much to lose under such a situation as may be willing to spend some of that in order to protect the remainder, and many more still willing to contribute to that end to protect their own smaller nesteggs.  Ultimately, it then all comes back to how long can an attacker maintain the advantage; and which group can continue to commit escalating resources, the coordinated attacker or the collective of honest bitcoin nodes.  No matter how much computational power any particular government may have, it is practically impossible for any single government to be able to possess >50% of all the computational power of the Internet combined, or even >50% of all the computational power available to all of the world's governments combined.  Bear in mind also, if Bitcoin is bad for the nation on top of the fiat currency scheme (USA) then it is, more likely than not, good for almost all of the others.  A slow moving attack upon the Bitcoin network from one government is likely to prompt the (open or cladestine) support of many other governments eventually.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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February 01, 2011, 11:58:00 AM
 #92

Once it comes down to some kind of war like that, the economics of different methods and approaches and tools of war presumably start to enter into the matter.

One advantage of a war of processing power over a war of intercontinental ballistic missiles, from leftist perspectives that consider peacenicks doves and such to be a form of leftness, might be an appearance of less direct medical-triage type "damage" amongst the "collateral damage" of such tools/methods.

One think I liked about using Freeciv was it's inclusion of "nations" that actually correspond to some of the "nations" currently existing on Earth. Splits in the "chain" could actually have use, as until each "nation" has a currency in the system splits might be as good a means as any of implementing a "new" currency, and contrariwise each time a split occurs if there are any "nations" that do not yet have a chain of their own they could adopt one of the branches of the split.

From some perspectives splitting chains could look much more appealing than actually sending soldiers off to die or even battlebots off to be forcibly dismantled or maybe even co-opted.

Basing proof of work on work more do-able by machines than by humans though seems a kind of capitalism-biassed approach ab initio, is it a deliberate attempt to ensure those who employ robots an advantage over those who employ humans?

-MarkM-

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April 24, 2011, 05:58:20 AM
 #93

Since you are using p2p filesharing networks as an analogy...

Government crackdowns actually stengthened the p2p filesharing ecosystem instead of weakening it.

Government crackdowns acted like something of an evolutionary pressure; for every filesharing network that was successfully destroyed, a new generation of better, stronger ones sprang up.

Napster relied on a single centralised server. The government  shut down the server. Result? Several Napster clones that could support multiple servers. Then the government started taking down servers one by one. Result? Serverless technology. Then the government started prosecution of individual users. Result? Proliferation of VPN providers and pseudonymous p2p. And so on....

I doubt we would have a lot of innovative technologies today (eg. i2p, tor, bittorrent) if governments simply had left Napster alone.  Talking about unintended consequences!

Conclusion:

Government may succeed in destroying the current block chain. It may even succeed in destroying the current implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. But it will never destroy the source code, the meme, the spirit, and the community. The p2p cryptocurrency genie is out of the bottle.

The one thing I doubt is that the p2p bitcoin community is as strong as the p2p file sharing community. A p2p copyright infringer gets free movies, music, books and computer applications for life. A p2p bitcoin member gets a vague notion that they are somehow propping up their own freedoms.

I used to think that people would not accept the erosion of privacy by corporations tracking our every move on the web.. turns out many people are fine with this, as long as they get their equivalent of "the dancing bear", they don't mind relinquishing all their rights. I've learned, that in today's age, when push comes to shove, most people are pretty thin skinned.

So, what I think will happen, is after the US government has cleared it with all the lobbyists and other people of importance, they'll do a domain name seizure of mtgox.com, as well as some other sites, probably 3 to 6 months from now. Then, all the commercial vendors that accept bitcoin will start to dry up, rather then be targeted.

The value of bitcoin will plummet. People will be afraid to run clients, and besides, without the "dancing bear", why would they?

So, bitcoin will then go underground, and be used primarily for illegal activities. It may hang on, it may be replaced with something else. It's too far in the future to know exactly what will happen. But I don't think that it stands a chance in the current shape and form against the powers that be.

What do you guys think?
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April 24, 2011, 06:39:30 AM
 #94


The one thing I doubt is that the p2p bitcoin community is as strong as the p2p file sharing community. A p2p copyright infringer gets free movies, music, books and computer applications for life. A p2p bitcoin member gets a vague notion that they are somehow propping up their own freedoms.

I used to think that people would not accept the erosion of privacy by corporations tracking our every move on the web.. turns out many people are fine with this, as long as they get their equivalent of "the dancing bear", they don't mind relinquishing all their rights. I've learned, that in today's age, when push comes to shove, most people are pretty thin skinned.

LOL.

Bitcoin is economically more valuable than USD in some ways. In some way it is not.

But we only do it for freedom? Naw.

Quote
So, what I think will happen, is after the US government has cleared it with all the lobbyists and other people of importance, they'll do a domain name seizure of mtgox.com, as well as some other sites, probably 3 to 6 months from now. Then, all the commercial vendors that accept bitcoin will start to dry up, rather then be targeted.

Worried about domain seizure? Somebody came up with namecoin to solve that problem.

The exchange shutdown threat is already known by the community as a problem. Not sure if somebody is working on the problem though someone always propose a solution. However, it's hard for the currency to have a decentralized exchange system because the lack of critical mass.

Did you read http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/anonymous-money-needs-an-anonymous-exchange yet?

Remember, the bitcoin community knows more about the weakness and strength of the technology more than anybody in the world. Any criticism or problem you think you might have for bitcoin, the community probably already knows.

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April 24, 2011, 04:58:46 PM
 #95

LOL.

Bitcoin is economically more valuable than USD in some ways. In some way it is not.

But we only do it for freedom? Naw.

The point is that the P2P bitcoin network is not nearly as strong as a P2P filesharing network, which is a huge problem. Sure, if you happen to be the few with thousands of dollars invested in bitcoin, you really want it to succeed. But if the government cracks down, there is no great incentive for people to want to *buy* bitcoin which is the only thing that gives the market value.


Worried about domain seizure? Somebody came up with namecoin to solve that problem.

The exchange shutdown threat is already known by the community as a problem. Not sure if somebody is working on the problem though someone always propose a solution. However, it's hard for the currency to have a decentralized exchange system because the lack of critical mass.

Did you read http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/anonymous-money-needs-an-anonymous-exchange yet?

Remember, the bitcoin community knows more about the weakness and strength of the technology more than anybody in the world. Any criticism or problem you think you might have for bitcoin, the community probably already knows.

I just read the anonymous exchange.. it revolves around the idea that the public is going to be interested in sending in a photocopy of their ATM card and pin to a random person who has declared himself a bitcoin exchange. Not likely.

namecoin.. maybe, one day, years from now that would have an effect. But not today.

So, I don't see anything here that would refute my prediction.
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April 25, 2011, 05:44:21 AM
 #96

LOL.

Bitcoin is economically more valuable than USD in some ways. In some way it is not.

But we only do it for freedom? Naw.

The point is that the P2P bitcoin network is not nearly as strong as a P2P filesharing network, which is a huge problem. Sure, if you happen to be the few with thousands of dollars invested in bitcoin, you really want it to succeed. But if the government cracks down, there is no great incentive for people to want to *buy* bitcoin which is the only thing that gives the market value.


Worried about domain seizure? Somebody came up with namecoin to solve that problem.

The exchange shutdown threat is already known by the community as a problem. Not sure if somebody is working on the problem though someone always propose a solution. However, it's hard for the currency to have a decentralized exchange system because the lack of critical mass.

Did you read http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/anonymous-money-needs-an-anonymous-exchange yet?

Remember, the bitcoin community knows more about the weakness and strength of the technology more than anybody in the world. Any criticism or problem you think you might have for bitcoin, the community probably already knows.

I just read the anonymous exchange.. it revolves around the idea that the public is going to be interested in sending in a photocopy of their ATM card and pin to a random person who has declared himself a bitcoin exchange. Not likely.

namecoin.. maybe, one day, years from now that would have an effect. But not today.

So, I don't see anything here that would refute my prediction.


There are bitcoin exchanges on tor and i2p.

I can also see services for cash buying of bitcoins getting a massive boost if other methods are prevented. Can a government prevent you from sending cash in an envelope ?

also #bitcoin-otc is a p2p exchange with no server anywhere.
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April 25, 2011, 07:45:58 AM
 #97

So, what I think will happen, is after the US government has cleared it with all the lobbyists and other people of importance, they'll do a domain name seizure of mtgox.com, as well as some other sites, probably 3 to 6 months from now. Then, all the commercial vendors that accept bitcoin will start to dry up, rather then be targeted.

What do you guys think?

Worked for poker, right?
  http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/86247.html

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April 25, 2011, 01:33:49 PM
 #98


So, I don't see anything here that would refute my prediction.


Don't need to refute it.  It's an opinion.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 25, 2011, 08:18:39 PM
 #99

Regardless if some people out there are willing to send cash in an envelope or give someone a copy of their ATM card, I don't think most of the general public will.

I think this is the biggest problem, in order for BTC to really succeed, it has to get in the hands of as many people as possible, and the current options are not good enough.

Since the hurdle of transferring large amounts of cash is really difficult, it would probably be better to work on really small amounts.

Here is an idea on that... suppose

1. the 0.01 minimum transfer limit built into the current BTC clients was eliminated, and was pushed back to the ultimate limit of 0.000001. I know you can technically do this, but the current clients don't let this happen.
2. a service was setup where people could mine for bitcoin with a more predictable, constant flow rate, so they'd get 0.000001 bitcoins per minute or something, which would be siphoned off by the main server.

If online games started using very small amounts of bitcoin as currency, you now have an easy way to trade it. That'll never happen as long as sub-penny amounts can't be traded.

I mean there is, what a $6 million float out there? Hardly a world currency. If BTC wants to be one of the big currencies, it should to start acting like one, and treat 0.000001 bitcoins not as a meaningless small value, but a tangible one. It's like if a country that was aiming for the started up with a brand new fiat currency where the smallest value is $1,000,000 bills.

Sorry about the negativity.. I think it's a really good idea and there is a lot of value to it. I'm thinking about investing in it, which is why I voiced these concerns. But, I'd like to see some adequate defense against hostile action, and there doesn't seem to be any, right now.

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April 25, 2011, 08:24:34 PM
 #100

Regardless if some people out there are willing to send cash in an envelope or give someone a copy of their ATM card, I don't think most of the general public will.

I think this is the biggest problem, in order for BTC to really succeed, it has to get in the hands of as many people as possible, and the current options are not good enough.

Since the hurdle of transferring large amounts of cash is really difficult, it would probably be better to work on really small amounts.

Here is an idea on that... suppose

1. the 0.01 minimum transfer limit built into the current BTC clients was eliminated, and was pushed back to the ultimate limit of 0.000001. I know you can technically do this, but the current clients don't let this happen.
2. a service was setup where people could mine for bitcoin with a more predictable, constant flow rate, so they'd get 0.000001 bitcoins per minute or something, which would be siphoned off by the main server.

If online games started using very small amounts of bitcoin as currency, you now have an easy way to trade it. That'll never happen as long as sub-penny amounts can't be traded.

I mean there is, what a $6 million float out there? Hardly a world currency. If BTC wants to be one of the big currencies, it should to start acting like one, and treat 0.000001 bitcoins not as a meaningless small value, but a tangible one. It's like if a country that was aiming for the started up with a brand new fiat currency where the smallest value is $1,000,000 bills.

Sorry about the negativity.. I think it's a really good idea and there is a lot of value to it. I'm thinking about investing in it, which is why I voiced these concerns. But, I'd like to see some adequate defense against hostile action, and there doesn't seem to be any, right now.



.000001 bitcoins is meaningless right now.  Change it when we need to.
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