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Author Topic: Decline in listening hosts  (Read 7697 times)
tvbcof
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May 30, 2012, 06:54:34 AM
 #21


I'm not trying to win any popularity contests here.  Obviously.

Trolling in my posts on this thread is actually fairly incidental.  I expect at most a handful of people to contemplate my conjectures.  Mostly I expect pom-pom wavers to do exactly as you'v done.

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EhVedadoOAnonimato
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May 30, 2012, 07:19:39 AM
 #22

I only open the Bitcoin-QT once a day to download blocks and then I immediately close it.

Me too. Plus, I also do this...

I guess many people are running the bitcoin client through Tor, those don't show up.

... since I found out some people are trying to link your IP to all your transactions.

Actually, I really think that putting bitcoin behind Tor should be a "recommended practice" as using different addresses for each transaction, and that allowing the bitcoin protocol to exchange, recognize and publish hidden services should be a development of high priority.
People should not be exposing all their transaction history so easily...

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May 30, 2012, 11:11:24 AM
 #23

It is probably not prudent to expose port 8333 on an IP address behind which there are actual coins. If anything, people will start attacking that IP address in an attempt to get to your wallet. They may not get in but they will probably slow down your firewall/router especially if it is just consumer-grade.

I lease a couple of cheap $30/month VPS's to exclusively run bitcoind with maxconnections=200 and empty wallets. That way, I always have access to a couple of well-connected that I control and trust. My quiet clients (from where I do my real transactions, p2pool, etc) connect directly to these. Since other people also relay transactions through my public nodes, I also buy myself some anonymity with this setup. In fact, most of the transactions originating from my nodes are other people's.
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May 30, 2012, 11:16:21 AM
 #24

There was the idea to also pay nodes with bitcoins.
I don't know if it was completely declined or just postponed

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May 30, 2012, 11:47:08 AM
 #25

Since other people also relay transactions through my public nodes, I also buy myself some anonymity with this setup. In fact, most of the transactions originating from my nodes are other people's.

Just relaying through your public node is not the same as "originating" in it.
A hypothetical attacker connected to every, or nearly every bitcoin node would still see where the transactions actually originate.
Unless the "other people" you mention also do as you do, I mean, connect exclusively to your public node. But then they would need to trust you not to store their data.
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May 30, 2012, 12:03:40 PM
 #26

Me too. Plus, I also do this...

I guess many people are running the bitcoin client through Tor, those don't show up.

... since I found out some people are trying to link your IP to all your transactions.

Actually, I really think that putting bitcoin behind Tor should be a "recommended practice" as using different addresses for each transaction, and that allowing the bitcoin protocol to exchange, recognize and publish hidden services should be a development of high priority.
People should not be exposing all their transaction history so easily...



I'm sorry, but how do you run a BTC client behind Tor? My Tor installation comes with a bundled browser, and from what I gather the only communications being scrambled are the ones the Tor browser makes... Am I wrong?

How would one (easily  Tongue) make MultiBit "speak" through Tor?
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May 30, 2012, 12:19:13 PM
 #27


I'm sorry, but how do you run a BTC client behind Tor? My Tor installation comes with a bundled browser, and from what I gather the only communications being scrambled are the ones the Tor browser makes... Am I wrong?

How would one (easily  Tongue) make MultiBit "speak" through Tor?

You aren't wrong, but you can route traffic through tor using proxy settings as seen here. It is easy.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Tor

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May 30, 2012, 12:19:40 PM
 #28

I'm sorry, but how do you run a BTC client behind Tor? My Tor installation comes with a bundled browser, and from what I gather the only communications being scrambled are the ones the Tor browser makes... Am I wrong?

How would one (easily  Tongue) make MultiBit "speak" through Tor?

On ubuntu listen it is as simple as installing tor, making sure it is started, and the adding proxy=127.0.0.1:9050 to your bitcoin.conf
 OR starting bitcoind with flag -proxy=127.0.0.1:9050

Don't know about windows/Mac, but it shouldn't be too hard... Tor is for encrypting/anonymizin all internet traffic, not just for web sites.

Ultra-cool-tip of the day: you can create a server, which is _only_ set up as a tor hidden service. This means that you can only ssh to it through tor, etc etc.

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May 30, 2012, 12:20:21 PM
 #29

I'm sorry, but how do you run a BTC client behind Tor? My Tor installation comes with a bundled browser, and from what I gather the only communications being scrambled are the ones the Tor browser makes... Am I wrong?

How would one (easily  Tongue) make MultiBit "speak" through Tor?

If your installation is working, you probably have a Tor-proxy running as a service in the background. By default, Tor SOCKS port is 9050, so normally all you have to do is configure your client to use as SOCKS proxy "localhost:9050".
Attention though: it's important that your client doesn't leak your identity through the communication, or by opening a listening port. Satoshi's client is designed to support Tor, so the devs take the necessary care for it not to happen. I suppose MultiBit's developers do the same, but you'd better ask them to be sure. (btw, that's why the tor people release a browser bundle, to make sure the browser does not leak your identity)
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May 30, 2012, 12:29:00 PM
 #30


I'm not trying to win any popularity contests here.  Obviously.

Trolling in my posts on this thread is actually fairly incidental.  I expect at most a handful of people to contemplate my conjectures.  Mostly I expect pom-pom wavers to do exactly as you'v done.

---

Rah! Rah! Rah!  Bitcoin is awesome and has no possibility of any defects whatsoever.  Keep stacking!

There.  Do you like me better now?



Actually no.  With fewer and fewer nodes using IRC for peer discovery, it becomes more and more difficult to track running nodes unless you're crawling them.  So basically, a bunch of improperly placed doom and gloom.

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May 30, 2012, 12:33:11 PM
 #31

I'm surprised by the number of people saying, even though they maintain the block chain they prefer not to run their nodes continuously. Why?

(I'm not asking specifically about listening nodes though, I understand there can be concerns about announcing your IP.)

It is probably not prudent to expose port 8333 on an IP address behind which there are actual coins. If anything, people will start attacking that IP address in an attempt to get to your wallet. They may not get in but they will probably slow down your firewall/router especially if it is just consumer-grade.

This doesn't sound right to me. How do you presume the attacks would take place? If they aren't trying to deny your connection, I'm not sure how it would have any effect. Is there a conventional attack that requires considerable amounts of bandwidth? How many different parties do we expect our listening node would be attacked by simultaneously?

Also, I wonder about the success rate of this kind of attacks in general. I run a listening node 24/7, and plan to continue doing so as long as the blockchain fits on a consumer-grade hard drive. I really don't expect attacks becoming a problem.

I lease a couple of cheap $30/month VPS's to exclusively run bitcoind with maxconnections=200 and empty wallets. That way, I always have access to a couple of well-connected that I control and trust. My quiet clients (from where I do my real transactions, p2pool, etc) connect directly to these. Since other people also relay transactions through my public nodes, I also buy myself some anonymity with this setup. In fact, most of the transactions originating from my nodes are other people's.

Good idea, but I hardly think such a setup can be deemed necessary.
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May 30, 2012, 12:37:53 PM
 #32

In these times when nearly all indicators are pointing towards increasing adoption and growing economy of Bitcoin there is one important (??) indicator pointing down: The number of connected hosts.

According to http://bitcoinstatus.rowit.co.uk/ there are now less than 3000 listening hosts. I guess these are mostly people running Bitcoin-qt and with port 8333 open - mainly miners.


It makes me sad that this this thread has become so long without anyone pointing our two important points.

(1) bitcoinstatus' results are broken, and have been broken for a long time— if not always

The code that tracks listening hosts for Pieter's dns seed is currently tracking 22,624 IPs, and 22,032 of them with uptime in the last 24 hours.

Has there been a decline in listening nodes?  Maybe. I certainly believe there has been a decline in total bitcoin nodes from the time when we had the wild popularity surge a year ago, but since then we've managed to get UPNP working correctly and enabled by default so I wouldn't be surprised to find out if we really had more listening nodes now than we ever had.

(2) there is no reason to assume those listeners are miners. There is no requirement to listen to mine, and in fact the higher relaying load and exposure to dos attackers can adversely impact mining— prudent miners separate those functions.
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May 30, 2012, 12:47:30 PM
 #33

@ EhVedadoOAnonimato, BadBear, kangasbros: Thanks guys, I'll examine all the info you've given me ASAP!  Cool
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May 30, 2012, 01:02:42 PM
 #34

All 4 of my rigs are updated and always on. Both my laptops run a node each, and my younger brother and parents across town have a node on each of their computers. all but my primary have a 0 Balance, but they are there doing their jobs.

do they have ports open to the outside through your router?

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May 30, 2012, 01:38:42 PM
 #35

@ EhVedadoOAnonimato, BadBear, kangasbros: Thanks guys, I'll examine all the info you've given me ASAP!  Cool

Hey Guys... So I'm looking into all this right now, and I have a few more questions... I think I'll start a dedicated thead...
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May 30, 2012, 01:53:56 PM
 #36

This doesn't sound right to me. How do you presume the attacks would take place? If they aren't trying to deny your connection, I'm not sure how it would have any effect. Is there a conventional attack that requires considerable amounts of bandwidth? How many different parties do we expect our listening node would be attacked by simultaneously?

I know one attack involves trying to brute force the JSON password for clients (intentionally or accidentally) configured in server mode.  I can't recall if any countermeasures were added but if there aren't an attacker could generate a significant amount of bandwidth trying huge numbers of passwords.

Quote
Also, I wonder about the success rate of this kind of attacks in general. I run a listening node 24/7, and plan to continue doing so as long as the blockchain fits on a consumer-grade hard drive. I really don't expect attacks becoming a problem.

I do to, although that is just to support the network my wallet is on a outgoing only node which connects to trusted peers.
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May 30, 2012, 01:59:19 PM
 #37

Still, bruteforce would only apply to hosts that directly exposed 8332 not 8333. But having a hidden node talk to a trusted node is a good idea anyways.

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May 30, 2012, 02:39:44 PM
 #38

All 4 of my rigs are updated and always on. Both my laptops run a node each, and my younger brother and parents across town have a node on each of their computers. all but my primary have a 0 Balance, but they are there doing their jobs.

do they have ports open to the outside through your router?

Each is assigned to an external IP, if that is what you mean.

3 of my 4 miners are at various locations I work and play at. I pay any electric metered to them. my other rig, with my 5840 runs in my shed, with solar power and batteries in an inverter, its net connection is a tethered prepaid cell. My primary laptop uses a tethered cell for its internet and outgoing traffic, and my wifes laptop is on the home network, So thay all have unique External IP addresses.

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May 30, 2012, 04:18:53 PM
 #39

I run a node when my pc is on, it's easy and fast, dunno why more ppl don't do that.
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May 30, 2012, 04:40:45 PM
 #40

Actually no.  With fewer and fewer nodes using IRC for peer discovery, it becomes more and more difficult to track running nodes unless you're crawling them.  So basically, a bunch of improperly placed doom and gloom.

As I suspected, you have no earthly clue about the dangers that I was alluding to.  Oh well.


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