Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2019/1385

Improvements of the Balance Discovery Attack on Lightning Network Payment Channels

Gijs van Dam and Rabiah Abdul Kadir and Puteri N.E. Nohuddin and Halimah Badioze Zaman

Abstract: The Lighting Network (LN) is a network of micropayment channels that runs on top of Bitcoin. The balances of payment channels are not broadcasted to the LN network to preserve the privacy of the nodes participating in the network. A balance disclosure attack (BDA) has been proven to be successful in determining the balance of large amount of channels in the network. In this paper we propose an improved algorithm for the BDA as well as a new type of attack that leverages the differences between LN client software implementations. Our improved algorithm extends the original BDA by performing payments from both sides of the channel. The new attack uses malformed payments to shutdown payment channels an adversary isn't part of.

Category / Keywords: applications / Bitcoin, Lightning Network, Network Security

Original Publication (in the same form): SEC 2020, IFIP AICT

Date: received 1 Dec 2019, last revised 23 Sep 2020

Contact author: p95677 at siswa ukm edu my

Available format(s): PDF | BibTeX Citation

Version: 20200923:090913 (All versions of this report)

Short URL:

[ Cryptology ePrint archive ]