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Author Topic: Value overflow incident.. August 15, 2010  (Read 2452 times)
henry21
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April 22, 2011, 05:04:47 PM
 #1

I was reading through the historical Bitcoin incident list. Specifically, the overflow bug incident -

http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=822.0

The block chain had to be forked, with the new chain overtaking the "bad" 8 hours later..

Forum members were on to this quick.. and people patched their clients fairly quickly. I believe this all happened prior to GPU mining taking off.

What might happen if a similar software bug incident occurred in future where there were many variants of CPU/GPU miners? Some miners may not visit the forums so frequently.

I do see there is a continuing trend towards pooled mining, with 40%+ of network capacity currently in the hands of 2 pools/people. I suspect these 2 contacts could potentially quickly help(?) any future incidents. A lot of centralized power right there!

The more pools the better I think. The more coders the better! Clearly the handful of developer/s actively working on Bitcoin are talented, but more eyes reviewing code can only be a good thing.


EDIT - I've just realized the miners communicate with the Bitcoin client itself via server option. So, I supposed I've answered my own questions. Provided that pool operators were on the ball, a future exploit should be caught quickly.


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xf2_org
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April 22, 2011, 05:27:14 PM
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As long as a problem is isolated before the 120-block maturation window, as it was in this case, a block chain reorg can fix the problems.

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April 22, 2011, 07:22:31 PM
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Splits longer than 120 blocks can be fixed automatically still, right? It's just that generates that perhaps were spent will disappear also.

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April 22, 2011, 07:26:40 PM
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Wasn't there code to hook off old clients from the network?
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April 22, 2011, 07:29:15 PM
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Over time big miners will get more organized. It might already be time for a private mailing list for them (perhaps one already exists, I'm not a miner so I wouldn't know).

This is unlikely to be an issue.
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April 22, 2011, 08:40:07 PM
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Bitcoin will display a message if Satoshi triggers an alert, so everyone will know about the bug ASAP. Alerts used to automatically shut down RPC, but this was (unfortunately, IMO) removed.

Gavin should also have an alert key.

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April 22, 2011, 08:49:02 PM
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Bitcoin will display a message if Satoshi triggers an alert, so everyone will know about the bug ASAP. Alerts used to automatically shut down RPC, but this was (unfortunately, IMO) removed.

Gavin should also have an alert key.
That was later removed IIRC.

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theymos
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April 22, 2011, 08:55:35 PM
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That was later removed IIRC.

The "kill switch" part of it was removed, but alerts still exist.

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