Visible to the public Partitioning Attacks on Bitcoin: Colliding Space, Time, and Logic

TitlePartitioning Attacks on Bitcoin: Colliding Space, Time, and Logic
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSaad, Muhammad, Cook, Victor, Nguyen, Lan, Thai, My T., Mohaisen, Aziz
Conference Name2019 IEEE 39th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS)
Date Publishedjul
Keywordsattack scenarios, bitcoin, Bitcoin network, bitcoin security, blockchain, decentralized network architecture, Distributed databases, Human Behavior, Internet, IP networks, logical partitioning attacks, network distribution, network dynamics, Organizations, partitioning, Peer-to-peer computing, peer-to-peer transactions, pubcrawl, Scalability, security of data, Software, spatial spatio-temporal, temporal spatio-temporal
AbstractBitcoin is the leading example of a blockchain application that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a trusted intermediary. This paper considers possible attacks related to the decentralized network architecture of Bitcoin. We perform a data driven study of Bitcoin and present possible attacks based on spatial and temporal characteristics of its network. Towards that, we revisit the prior work, dedicated to the study of centralization of Bitcoin nodes over the Internet, through a fine-grained analysis of network distribution, and highlight the increasing centralization of the Bitcoin network over time. As a result, we show that Bitcoin is vulnerable to spatial, temporal, spatio-temporal, and logical partitioning attacks with an increased attack feasibility due to network dynamics. We verify our observations by simulating attack scenarios and the implications of each attack on the Bitcoin . We conclude with suggested countermeasures.
Citation Keysaad_partitioning_2019