Visible to the public An Evaluation of the Security of the Bitcoin Peer-To-Peer Network

TitleAn Evaluation of the Security of the Bitcoin Peer-To-Peer Network
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsTapsell, James, Naeem Akram, Raja, Markantonakis, Konstantinos
Conference Name2018 IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things (iThings) and IEEE Green Computing and Communications (GreenCom) and IEEE Cyber, Physical and Social Computing (CPSCom) and IEEE Smart Data (SmartData)
ISBN Number978-1-5386-7975-3
Keywordsbitcoin, bitcoin core software, bitcoin message exchanges, bitcoin mining process, Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, blockchain, Computer crime, computer network security, cryptocurrencies, cryptographic protocols, data mining, DDoS Attacks, denial of service, distributed denial of service attacks, Human Behavior, human factor, human factors, Metrics, network message exchanges, network protocol, P2P network, peer to peer security, Peer-to-peer computing, Protocols, pubcrawl, resilience, Resiliency, Scalability, security evaluation, service attacks, Software, transaction confirmation process

Underpinning the operation of Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network [1] that facilitates the execution of transactions by end users, as well as the transaction confirmation process known as bitcoin mining. The security of this P2P network is vital for the currency to function and subversion of the underlying network can lead to attacks on bitcoin users including theft of bitcoins, manipulation of the mining process and denial of service (DoS). As part of this paper the network protocol and bitcoin core software are analysed, with three bitcoin message exchanges (the connection handshake, GETHEADERS/HEADERS and MEMPOOL/INV) found to be potentially vulnerable to spoofing and use in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Possible solutions to the identified weaknesses and vulnerabilities are evaluated, such as the introduction of random nonces into network messages exchanges.

Citation Keytapsell_evaluation_2018