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Author Topic: Upgrading to 0.15.1 over public WiFi  (Read 488 times)
Jet Cash
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November 22, 2017, 01:56:34 PM
 #1

As some of you know, I've been running a full node over public WiFi for more than a couple of years. I put of upgrading to the latest version of core until all the fork and segwit controversy died down. I synchronise my wllet every day, and it is usually a pretty quick operation, but recently I've noticed that it has become pretty slow, and it can take up to an hour to pick up 8 peers. I believe that the latest core will disconnect some nodes if they are out of date. I've just upgraded to the version linked on Bitcoin Talk, and it was a really quick and esy option, apart from the transaction pool update, and that took a while. I did it in one hit, but it looks as if you can pause the update and return to it if you don't have time to stay on the connection.

The end result is that I now pick up 8 connections very quickly, and the blockchain synchronises faster than ever. I suggest that if you run a Bitcoin node over public WiFi, you should upgrade as soon as you can. Make sure you are connected to a power source though, I'm not prepared to test recovery from a power failure whilst it is updating. Smiley

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November 22, 2017, 06:24:36 PM
 #2

As some of you know, I've been running a full node over public WiFi for more than a couple of years. I put of upgrading to the latest version of core until all the fork and segwit controversy died down. I synchronise my wllet every day, and it is usually a pretty quick operation, but recently I've noticed that it has become pretty slow, and it can take up to an hour to pick up 8 peers. I believe that the latest core will disconnect some nodes if they are out of date. I've just upgraded to the version linked on Bitcoin Talk, and it was a really quick and esy option, apart from the transaction pool update, and that took a while. I did it in one hit, but it looks as if you can pause the update and return to it if you don't have time to stay on the connection.

The end result is that I now pick up 8 connections very quickly, and the blockchain synchronises faster than ever. I suggest that if you run a Bitcoin node over public WiFi, you should upgrade as soon as you can. Make sure you are connected to a power source though, I'm not prepared to test recovery from a power failure whilst it is updating. Smiley

How come you can pick up a public WiFi signal strong enough to provide a viable blockchain download? The blockchain is currently 142 GB. If I had to download 142 GB over the public WiFi  signals hat I have it would take way too much time to catch up. I wish I had free public WiFi at reach that had good speed but im stuck with what I have so I can't. It would be cool to have the anonymity provided by public WiFi (given that you are using an VPN).
aleksej996
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November 22, 2017, 10:17:33 PM
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Yeah, the latest version has some serious improvements for syncing.
As far as I understand, spent transaction outputs where downloaded twice or something, once in the transaction that placed coins on it and the second time when they were spent. So we get syncing that is like twice as fast in the most recent major release.
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November 23, 2017, 05:04:27 AM
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How come you can pick up a public WiFi signal strong enough to provide a viable blockchain download? The blockchain is currently 142 GB. If I had to download 142 GB over the public WiFi  signals hat I have it would take way too much time to catch up. I wish I had free public WiFi at reach that had good speed but im stuck with what I have so I can't. It would be cool to have the anonymity provided by public WiFi (given that you are using an VPN).

When I started my node, I tried downloading the blockchain, but gave up after about a week. I finished the download on a cable connection. Once you have the blockchain on a local store - Winchester or external SSD, I've used both. Then you can keep up to date as long as you don't leave it for more than 3 or 4 days. Obviously you need a WiFi service that lets you open the Bitcoin port, and many places don't allow that. I'm in a supermarket right now, and I can't use FTP or Bitcoin here. I think it's short sighted to block Bitcoin nodes, especially as they have a money changing service here.

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November 24, 2017, 07:27:01 PM
 #5

I just saw these news and remember this thread:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoins-worth-100k-stolen-over-public-wireless-network/

Quote
VIENNA — Austrian police say cyber thieves transferred Bitcoins worth more than 100,000 euros, or $117,000, from a man's account while he was logged in on a restaurant's public wireless network.

A police statement Wednesday says the Bitcoins were moved to an "unknown, non-traceable account" after the unidentified 36-year old logged in southeast of the city of Innsbruck on Tuesday to check the value of his digital currency.

It remains unclear whether the victim's account was already hacked before he logged on to the unsecured network, the police statement reported.


I wonder what happened there. Probably logged in into some type of online wallet like blockchain.info or an exchange? who knows. Take care when dealing with transactions in a public wifi, you never know.
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November 24, 2017, 08:02:30 PM
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He probably left his wallet open whilst he went to the loo.

I use xe.com to check the value of Bitcoin, and that has mothing to do with my wallet of course.

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aleksej996
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November 25, 2017, 12:48:40 PM
 #7

I would rather say that someone just grabbed his cookies or credentials from thin air. It is a trivial task, I can do it in my sleep.
It sounds like indeed he was using an online wallet, which probably didn't have HSTS support.
To be honest tho if he used Windows, which the poor guy probably did, he could have been hacked by a basic script-kiddie as there are many vulnerabilities in SMB protocol these days, which just needs an attacker to be on your LAN.

That should be a warning to people now more then ever as there are no secure Wifi connections anymore due to the Krack attack.
Eventually router vendors will start selling updated routers which will eventually reach the common population, but just a year ago I could see a decent percentage of people still using WEP, so it might take few decades.
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November 25, 2017, 01:00:13 PM
 #8

I would rather say that someone just grabbed his cookies or credentials from thin air. It is a trivial task, I can do it in my sleep.
It sounds like indeed he was using an online wallet, which probably didn't have HSTS support.
To be honest tho if he used Windows, which the poor guy probably did, he could have been hacked by a basic script-kiddie as there are many vulnerabilities in SMB protocol these days, which just needs an attacker to be on your LAN.

That should be a warning to people now more then ever as there are no secure Wifi connections anymore due to the Krack attack.
Eventually router vendors will start selling updated routers which will eventually reach the common population, but just a year ago I could see a decent percentage of people still using WEP, so it might take few decades.
So it's not safe to use bitcoin and other crypto over public WiFi?
What about VPN?
Can VPN steal bitcoin too?
aleksej996
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November 25, 2017, 01:11:22 PM
 #9

I would rather say that someone just grabbed his cookies or credentials from thin air. It is a trivial task, I can do it in my sleep.
It sounds like indeed he was using an online wallet, which probably didn't have HSTS support.
To be honest tho if he used Windows, which the poor guy probably did, he could have been hacked by a basic script-kiddie as there are many vulnerabilities in SMB protocol these days, which just needs an attacker to be on your LAN.

That should be a warning to people now more then ever as there are no secure Wifi connections anymore due to the Krack attack.
Eventually router vendors will start selling updated routers which will eventually reach the common population, but just a year ago I could see a decent percentage of people still using WEP, so it might take few decades.
So it's not safe to use bitcoin and other crypto over public WiFi?
What about VPN?
Can VPN steal bitcoin too?

It is absolutely safe if you use it right, as it was intended. Online wallets aren't really wallets, they are banks with a new name. You are trusting someone with your money, you trust in their honesty and their capability to keep them safe. And online wallets, just like banks, have a horrible track record on security. This is why Bitcoin exists in the first place, it is weird how people get into Bitcoin and completely miss the most simple basic point of it, "own your money".

Using a software wallet like Bitcoin Core, or even Electrum, is absolutely safe over public wifi, VPN or Tor. The money never leaves your PC, so it is always safe if your computer is safe. And if your PC is not safe, then not even God can help you, everything you ever got in touch with in cyberspace is gone.

Run your own wallet, your own software, your own OS. Don't trust someone else with your security, they neither care nor are capable of helping you.
You can't make a person safe if they insist on running in front of cars, they need to take security in their own hands.
There is no reason not to run Linux and software wallets. The stupid reasons people think exist are mostly spread by fearful and the ones who profit form it.
They are afraid of something small and normal like the smallest change that they can get use to in ten minutes, but are not afraid of actual real problems where they can lose everything in a second and are only safe for as long as their luck runs, which is never too long.
Jet Cash
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November 25, 2017, 02:07:45 PM
 #10

Here is a random thought.

I've got a notebook with Windows 10 on it, and a netbook with Ubuntu, Both were running core wallets with no problems. The Netbook kept the blockchain on an external SSD, I stopped updating the netbook, as I wasn't using the wallet. Here is the "improvement" that I am considering.

I move my coins into a wallet on the Ubuntu machine. I use the windows machine to keep the blockchain updated with a watching node and a different wallet, but I keep the blockchain on the SSD. If I want to spend my coins, then I sync the Ubuntu wallet using the SSD, and make the transaction there. So I guess the question is - can I share a blockchain on an external SSD between two or more machines?

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aleksej996
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November 25, 2017, 04:01:47 PM
 #11

Here is a random thought.

I've got a notebook with Windows 10 on it, and a netbook with Ubuntu, Both were running core wallets with no problems. The Netbook kept the blockchain on an external SSD, I stopped updating the netbook, as I wasn't using the wallet. Here is the "improvement" that I am considering.

I move my coins into a wallet on the Ubuntu machine. I use the windows machine to keep the blockchain updated with a watching node and a different wallet, but I keep the blockchain on the SSD. If I want to spend my coins, then I sync the Ubuntu wallet using the SSD, and make the transaction there. So I guess the question is - can I share a blockchain on an external SSD between two or more machines?

Of course you can, just not at the same time obviously. As you want to hold have different wallets on the machines, you will need to have two different data directories for Bitcoin Core (you will not be able to place a whole data directory on SSD). Instead you will need to have a data directory for let's say Windows 10 on the SSD and for the Ubuntu on the machine itself. Then you can use soft links in Ubuntu to link your blocks and chainstate directory to the path of those directories in the SSD. You can use soft links (they are like shortcuts) with the command "ln -s </dev/media/your_ssd/.bitcoin/blocks /home/your_username/.bitcoin/blocks" to create a link called blocks in your home directory that will point to the blocks folder on the SSD.
Jet Cash
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November 25, 2017, 04:43:48 PM
 #12

Thanks for that reply Alek

That looks like an interesting project to get started over Christmas. I've kept Windows 10 because there are a lot of utilities that seem to require it, butit's slow and insecure, and I've given up on removing Cortana. I'll switch to Linux for the important financial stuff. Windows over public Wifi running a watching node shouldn't cause any security risks.

Bitcoin Tunes - click here for the music
I've put together tha basics of my new Bitcoin music site. Now we just need some more contest entries.
Bitcoin Scammer is one of the domain names Jet Cash has for sale.
Xynerise
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November 26, 2017, 10:36:53 AM
 #13


It is absolutely safe if you use it right, as it was intended. Online wallets aren't really wallets, they are banks with a new name. You are trusting someone with your money, you trust in their honesty and their capability to keep them safe. And online wallets, just like banks, have a horrible track record on security. This is why Bitcoin exists in the first place, it is weird how people get into Bitcoin and completely miss the most simple basic point of it, "own your money".

Using a software wallet like Bitcoin Core, or even Electrum, is absolutely safe over public wifi, VPN or Tor. The money never leaves your PC, so it is always safe if your computer is safe. And if your PC is not safe, then not even God can help you, everything you ever got in touch with in cyberspace is gone.

Run your own wallet, your own software, your own OS. Don't trust someone else with your security, they neither care nor are capable of helping you.
You can't make a person safe if they insist on running in front of cars, they need to take security in their own hands.
There is no reason not to run Linux and software wallets. The stupid reasons people think exist are mostly spread by fearful and the ones who profit form it.
They are afraid of something small and normal like the smallest change that they can get use to in ten minutes, but are not afraid of actual real problems where they can lose everything in a second and are only safe for as long as their luck runs, which is never too long.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand now
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