Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2015/263

Eclipse Attacks on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network

Ethan Heilman. Alison Kendler, Aviv Zohar, Sharon Goldberg

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.

Category / Keywords: applications / Bitcoin, P2P, Networking, Eclipse, Double-spend

Date: received 20 Mar 2015, last revised 2 Jul 2015

Contact author: Ethan R Heilman at gmail com

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20150702:175440 (All versions of this report)

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