Eclipse attacks on Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network

Ethan Heilman, Alison Kendler, Aviv Zohar, Sharon Goldberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

580 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present eclipse attacks on bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network. Our attack allows an adversary controlling a sufficient number of IP addresses to monopolize all connections to and from a victim bitcoin node. The attacker can then exploit the victim for attacks on bitcoin’s mining and consensus system, including N-confirmation double spending, selfish mining, and adversarial forks in the blockchain. We take a detailed look at bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network, and quantify the resources involved in our attack via probabilistic analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, measurements and experiments with live bitcoin nodes. Finally, we present countermeasures, inspired by botnet architectures, that are designed to raise the bar for eclipse attacks while preserving the openness and decentralization of bitcoin’s current network architecture.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Pages129-144
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781931971232
StatePublished - 2015
Event24th USENIX Security Symposium - Washington, United States
Duration: 12 Aug 201514 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 24th USENIX Security Symposium

Conference

Conference24th USENIX Security Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington
Period12/08/1514/08/15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Proceedings of the 24th USENIX Security Symposium. All rights reserved.

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