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Author Topic: All bitcoin.org downloaders being tracked when they use the bitcoin-program?  (Read 3209 times)
Herodes
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March 26, 2011, 12:11:56 PM
 #1



I like the concept of BitCoin, and I was just recently introduced to it. One of the key points I found interesting was anonymous transactions. I haven't dvelved deep into all the details yet, as my schedule is too busy, but I've read a few forum threads and poked a bit around in the source, and today I successfully set up mining with the GPU on my system. I poked around in the log files, and I noticed that when I ran the daemon that was included in the windows binary package bitcoin-0.3.20.01 that I downloaded from this site, I get automatically connected to pelican.heliacal.net. I entered this server manually and found that there was a lot of users on this server:

Quote
Channel          Users   Topic
 #bitcoin         3160    see #bitcoin-dev or #bitcoin-dev on freenode
 #peering         2
 #bitcoin-bot     1
 #lfnet           4
 #bitcoinTEST     11
 #bitcoin-dev     6       We've been slashdotted! Yay! | http://bitcoin.org/ - Bitcoin Development - We're here to help support the Bitcoin system and its use.
 #bitcoin-crapsTEST 2

I can't remember that I ever approved that any software I downloaded should be used for this purpose, neither can I remember anywhere that there were any warnings. As it is now, a lot of users can be tracked on this server, and a lot of information can be extracted, such as ip-adresses.

Is this desirable? I am just wondering.

I found this in the FAQ:

Quote
How does the peer finding mechanism work?

Bitcoin finds peers primarily by connecting to an IRC server (channel #bitcoin on irc.lfnet.org). If a connection to the IRC server cannot be established (like when connecting through TOR), an in-built node list will be used and the nodes will be queried for more node addresses.



What happens when this centralized server goes down? And isn't the whole point of Bitcoin to be desentralized with no hub that any government or malicious hackers can attack and shut down?

Excuse me for all these questions but I did a search on this forum for pelican.heliacal.net and did not get any hits. I realize the domain is registered to developer Laszlo Hanyecz and is probably very legit.

But I don't get it why clients are connecting to a irc-server. That reminds me somehow of how bot-nets are organized. Is the reason that everyone gets connected to this central server that there is so few users at this moment? I saw there was only about 3k+ users on this channels, so maybe it is just the deamon (bitcoind.exe) that connects to the irc-server?

I am aware that programming is a tedious task, so my hat's goes off to all the programmers that makes this happen. But I was just wondering about these issues.
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Herodes
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March 26, 2011, 12:35:39 PM
 #2

Yet another forum with immature people. What childish behaviour. What do you get out of behaving like this?

[Mod note: this is in response to deleted off-topic posts.]
gohan
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March 26, 2011, 12:36:08 PM
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Guys, seriously...

I can't remember that I ever approved that any software I downloaded should be used for this purpose, neither can I remember anywhere that there were any warnings. As it is now, a lot of users can be tracked on this server, and a lot of information can be extracted, such as ip-adresses.

What happens when this centralized server goes down? And isn't the whole point of Bitcoin to be desentralized with no hub that any government or malicious hackers can attack and shut down?

Most p2p networks have this bootstrapping problem. You can tell bitcoin not to connect to an IRC server (start with -noirc) and AFAIK it will use seednodes instead. But in the end, someone can still harvest your IP number as you connect the network. Only friend-to-friend networks don't have this problem. I don't know if you can do this in Bitcoin by only connecting to known bitcoin nodes (since I don't know if they pass your IP to others). Otherwise you will have to assume that anyone who has interest knows that your IP is connected to the p2p network (same in bittorrent, i2p, even freenet opennet).

One way to hide it could be connecting through an anonymizing network, or a proxy, in which case you are not hiding that you are connected to them. Smiley

EDIT: I guess if IRC servers go down and the seednodes become obsolete (they somehow disrupted main client's distribution) we can still add nodes through -addnode=<ip> or probably download a fresh seednodes list. My question is, can I boot the client this way? Or in other words, does the seednodes list get dynamically updated as I connect to new nodes?
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March 26, 2011, 12:42:23 PM
 #4

If you want to make a donation to the BtcFn project, you are more than welcome! https://www.bitcoin.org/smf/index.php?topic=2312.0

 Smiley

One off NP-Hard.
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March 26, 2011, 12:46:28 PM
 #5

Yet another forum with immature people. What childish behaviour. What do you get out of behaving like this?
You found some immature people on the internet? Shocked call the fbi this must be stopped

Don't take yourself so seriously or you'll give yourself a heart attack Man  Wink


also Gokhan beat me to it, bootstrapping problem, don't like it turn it off etc ...

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March 26, 2011, 06:13:27 PM
 #6

Yet another forum with immature people. What childish behaviour. What do you get out of behaving like this?
I assure you that behavior like that of users ben bernank and Greenspam above is very rare here. I'm sorry you were exposed to this. I think you'll enjoy these forums, most of us are very reasonable people.

I don't have any input on your original question.

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March 26, 2011, 06:17:24 PM
 #7

are the hardcoded seednodes the only fallback measure in the official client?

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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gigabytecoin
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March 26, 2011, 08:27:39 PM
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You mean, something like this?! http://maps.google.com/maps?q=https://smsz.net/btcStats/bitcoin.kml
theymos
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March 26, 2011, 09:22:39 PM
 #9

The IRC server doesn't make the privacy issue worse. As soon as you connect to a Bitcoin node, you send them a message containing your IP address. This IP address is then broadcast across the network, and you are added to the address database maintained by every node. Every node knows every other node. So an attacker doesn't need to use IRC to see that you are using Bitcoin.


This was made using the addr system, without IRC.

are the hardcoded seednodes the only fallback measure in the official client?

If you've ever connected to a Bitcoin node, you will have a list of thousands of IP addresses you could try. The seednodes are only used the first time you join the network. You could use -addnode instead.

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Herodes
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March 26, 2011, 09:45:12 PM
 #10

Thanks for all the replies. I will need to study more to ask better questions in the future, but I learned something from your responses.

I guess I'm just a bit paranoid at times, so I need to learn more about the inner workings about the BitCoin system to understand it better.

Thanks again, and have a great weekend!
Jim Hyslop
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March 27, 2011, 04:55:30 AM
 #11

That's neat!

Interesting that England and Germany have the highest concentration of nodes in Europe. I wonder if there's a correlation between node concentration and a nation's confidence in its banking system?

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deadlizard
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March 27, 2011, 05:44:23 AM
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I wonder if there's a correlation between node concentration and a nation's confidence in its banking system?
somthing tells me there is a little more to it than that  Tongue


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Jim Hyslop
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March 27, 2011, 05:45:26 AM
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I wonder if there's a correlation between node concentration and a nation's confidence in its banking system?
somthing tells me there is a little more to it than that  Tongue


Well, in any statistical analysis there will be outlyers.

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kiba
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March 27, 2011, 05:49:34 AM
 #14

Maybe the bitcoin map of the world just reflect connectivity?

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