Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network paper | Isidor Zeuner | Jan 22 2015
Isidor Zeuner on Jan 22 2015: Hi there, some thoughts in-line:
Finally, distributors of consumer wallets can use this research in order to distribute their wallet with policies which may be less prone to Tor-specific attacks. Or leave this out altogether if their audience has different expectations for connecting to Bitcoin.
Sure. I guess there will be wallets for all kinds of people in future, sharing a common core that they can customise (this is certainly the vision and general direction for bitcoinj, and it's working out OK). To clarify, my comments above were for mainstream granny-focused wallets. Wallets designed for crypto geeks can and should expose all the knobs to let people run wild.
I hear that. But I don't see why mainstream wallets and wallets designed for crypto research should not share a common core. Nor do I understand why having a common core for different types of wallets should be reserved for BitcoinJ. When Bitcoin was pretty new, having a less customizable core did probably have more of a merit in order to achieve network stability through monoculture. But as of today, Bitcoin has proven itself as being capable of allowing a variety of client application to run on the network, so why should the reference implementation not reflect this kind of diversity? The policy the mainstream distribution imposes upon the core can still be rather restrictive.
One possible direction to go is to use Tor for writing to the network and use general link encryption and better Bloom filtering for reading it. Thus new transactions would pop out of Tor exits, but there isn't much they can do that's malicious there except mutate them or block them entirely. If you insert the same transaction into the P2P network via say 10 randomly chosen exits, the worst a malicious mutator can do is race the real transaction and that's no different to a malicious P2P node. Even in a world where an attacker has DoS-banned a lot of nodes and now controls your TX submission path entirely, it's hard to see how it helps them.
It might deserve some research in order to determine how Tor's privacy guarantees might be impacted if we allow attackers to mess around with exit node choices in a rather predictable and low-cost manner. Unfortunately, I can't think of another (non-Bitcoin) application which puts Tor to a similar test.
The nice thing about the above approach is that it solves the latency problems. Startup speed is really an issue for reading from the network: just syncing the block chain is already enough of a speed hit without adding consensus sync as well. But if you're syncing the block chain via the clearnet you can connect to Tor in parallel so that by the time the user has scanned a QR code, verified the details on the screen and then pressed the Pay button, you have a warm connection and can upload the TX through that. It reduces the level of startup time optimisation needed, although Tor consensus download is still too slow even to race a QR code scan at the moment. I think tuning the consensus caching process and switching to a fresh one on the fly might be the way to go.
I do agree that hybrid clearnet/Tor approaches come with interesting performance properties.
When BIP70 is in use, you wouldn't write the tx to the network yourself but you could download the PaymentRequest and upload the Payment message via an SSLd Tor connection to the merchant. Then malicious exits can only DoS you but not do anything else so there's no need for multiple exit paths simultaneously.
BIP70 is interesting, indeed, although I still fail to understand why (according to the specs I saw) the PaymentRequest message is signed, but not the Payment message. But in context of the discussed protocol issues, I think it just moves the issue from the payer to the payee, so it may or may not partially relieve network-related issues, depending on the usage scenario. Best regards, Isidor original: http://lists.linuxfoundation.org/pipermail/bitcoin-dev/2015-January/007173.html
Abstract Recent work has demonstrated significant anonymity vulnerabilities in Bitcoin's networking stack. In particular, the current mechanism for broadcasting Bitcoin transactions allows third-party observers to link transactions to the IP addresses that originated them. This lays the groundwork for low-cost, large-scale deanonymization attacks. In this work, we present Dandelion++, a first-principles defense against large-scale deanonymization attacks with near-optimal information-theoretic guarantees. Dandelion++ builds upon a recent proposal called Dandelion that exhibited similar goals. However, in this paper, we highlight simplifying assumptions made in Dandelion, and show how they can lead to serious deanonymization attacks when violated. In contrast, Dandelion++ defends against stronger adversaries that are allowed to disobey protocol. Dandelion++ is lightweight, scalable, and completely interoperable with the existing Bitcoin network. 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Abstract Bitcoin relies on a peer-to-peer overlay network to broadcast transactions and blocks. From the viewpoint of network measurement, we would like to observe this topology so we can characterize its performance, fairness and robustness. However, this is difficult because Bitcoin is deliberately designed to hide its topology from onlookers. Knowledge of the topology is not in itself a vulnerability, although it could conceivably help an attacker performing targeted eclipse attacks or to deanonymize transaction senders. In this paper we present TxProbe, a novel technique for reconstructing the Bitcoin network topology. TxProbe makes use of peculiarities in how Bitcoin processes out of order, or "orphaned" transactions. We conducted experiments on Bitcoin testnet that suggest our technique reconstructs topology with precision and recall surpassing 90%. We also used TxProbe to take a snapshot of the Bitcoin testnet in just a few hours. TxProbe may be useful for future measurement campaigns of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency networks. References
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For what I hope are obvious reasons, I don't want, and probably will never post my threat model publicly online. However, regardless of that, what I'm sure you will extrapolate from this post is that I live my life, digitally in particular, with a fairly high level threat model. This is not because I'm some super sophisticated criminal mastermind, but rather, I am at this level because I genuinely love playing around with this stuff. And I just happen to understand the importance of privacy and just how vital it is to a truly healthy society. I would like to extend a thanks to ProgressiveArchitect for the sharing of the knowledge they have done on this subreddit, /privacytoolsio, and the like. We may have never interacted, but nevertheless, your input into this community is truly interesting and extremely informative and educating. I'm sure those of you familiar with PA's setup will be able to draw some parallels with mine and their's. Thank you. I hope you all enjoy reading this write up.
I run Qubes OS on a Lenovo ThinkPad X230 laptop. Specs for it are as following: - i7-3520M - 16GB RAM - 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD - Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 wireless card Additionally, I used a Raspberry Pi Model 3B+ and a Pomono SPI clip to replace the stock BIOS firmware with coreboot+me_cleaner. This wasn't done out of any "real" concern for the Intel ME (though of course proprietary black-boxes like it should be avoided at all costs and not trusted), but rather for open source enthusiasm and for increased security and faster boot times than what the stock BIOS firmware allows for. On that note about the ME, I don't believe the conspiracy theories that claim that it is a state-sponsored attack method for surveillance. I believe that Intel had good intentions for improving the lives of IT professionals who need to manage hundreds, if not thousands of remote machines. However, it has proven time and time again to be insecure, and I don't need the remote management and the "features" that it provides on my machines. In Qubes, I use a combination of AppVMs and StandaloneVMs for a variety of different purposes. All VMs use PVH over HVM, except for the Mirage Unikernel Firewall, which uses PV, and the sys-net and sys-usb StandaloneVMs which have to use HVM because of PCI device passthrough. Right now most of my VMs are AppVMs, but for maintenance and compartmentalization reasons, I am considering moving more towards StandaloneVMs, despite the increase in disk space and bandwidth usage for updates. General route of from Qubes to the Internet for anonymous browsing, general private browsing, accessing Uni services, and Uni-related anonymous browsing respectively: 1. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->sys-vpn-wg->sys-corridor->sys-whonix->whonix-ws-15-dvm to the internet. 2. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->sys-vpn-wg to the Internet. 3. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->uni-vpn-wg to the Internet. 4. Qubes->sys-mirage-firewall->uni-vpn-wg->uni-corridor->uni-whonix->uni-anon-research to the Internet.
(Note: the VPN name is substituted in the "vpn" above. I had to remove it to comply with this subreddit's rules. It is easy to identify what VPN it is as it randomly generates a long numaric string and has fantastic support for WireGuard.)
fedora-29-minimal: Base for the minimal VMs.
fedora-29-uni-persist: Template for uni-campus and uni-home AppVMs.
crypto: A work in progress VM for handling crypto transaction using cleansed Bitcoin and Monero.
printing: Exactly as it sounds like. It is firewalled to only be able to connect to the network printer on my home network.
sys-corridor: corridor is a Tor traffic whitelisting gateway that provides network to sys-whonix. It helps to provide an additional failsafe to defend against clearnet attacks.
sys-mirage-firewall: A version of the Mirage Unikernel to act as an extremely minimal and resource light firewall. It is configured to only allow connections to the individual IP addresses my VPN's WireGuard servers as well as a select few internal IP addresses on my home network (router, home server, and Pi-Hole).
uni-corridor: See sys-corridor for description. Provides network to uni-whonix.
sys-usb: USB stack isolation VM. Uses fedora minimal now.
uni-vpn-wg: A Uni ProxyVM for my VPN.
uni-net: A ProxyVM for all Uni-related domains. Based off fedora minimal.
uni-shared: Acts as an SMB network share for uni-campus and uni-home so that the documents and emails can be accessed easily between them.
fedora-29-dvm: Default disposable Fedora VM.
whonix-ws-15-dvm: Default disposable Whonix VM. This is where I do 95% of my online browsing.
calendar: Exactly as it's named. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to posteo.de.
nas-access: Used to access my NAS and to watch content on it.
pihole-access: Used to access my Pi-Hole through Firefox. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to its IP address.
router-access: Used to access my router through Firefox. Has a firewall so its only able to connect to 192.168.0.1.
personal: Personal domain. Used to check personal emails, read rss feeds, stream YouTube videos, and internet banking.
repos: Local copy of my repos. Has a firewall rule to only allow connections to the site hosting my git repo.
uni-anon-resarch: Research for Uni.
uni-campus: Domain for doing Uni work on campus.
uni-home: Domain for doing Uni work at home.
uni-whonix: Seperate Whonix gateway for Uni research.
offline-archive-manager: For managing the offline archives that I burn to DVDs.
personal-archive: Exactly as it's named.
sys-whonix: Default Whonix gateway ProxyVM.
vault: For storing GPG keys and other files.
vault-dvm: DVM with no internet access. The Vault VMs use this as their DisposableVM.
work-archive: Storing work archive documents (payslips, employment information, etc).
Phone: Motorola Moto G5s running Lineage OS 16.0 Pie no G-Apps or micro-G with the following Apps: - AdAway: Open Source hosts file-based ad blocker. (Requires root.) - AFWall+: Linux iptables front end. (Requires root.) - Amaze: File manager. - andOPT: 2FA app. I like it since it can export the entries to an AES encrypted file. - AntennaPod: Podcast manager. - AnySoftKeyboard - Simple Calendar - Simple Contacts Pro - DAVx5: CalDav syncronization with my calendar on my Posteo email account. - F-Droid - Fennec F-Droid: Web Browser. Has the same Firefox addons like on Qubes minus Vim Vixen. I used the app Privacy Settings to configure the about:config. - KeePassDX: Password manager. - KISS launcher - Magisk Manager - NewPipe: YouTube app replacement. - S.Notes: Standard Notes. - OsmAnd~: Maps and navigation. - Red Moon: Blue light filter. - SELinuxModeChanger: Exactly as it sounds. (Requires root.) - Shelter: Work profile manager. - Signal: Messaging. - Vinyl Music Player: Music player. - WireGuard: VPN protocol frontend. Is configured to use my VPN account. Is setup as an always-on and connected VPN. As mentioned, I use Shelter to manage my work profile. In it I isolate the following apps: - Clover: *chan browser. - Orbot: For routing apps through Tor. Is setup as an always-on and connected VPN. - RedReader: Reddit client. - Tor Browser Over the last several years, I have started using my phone less and less and taking advantage of less of what it has got to offer. I don't check email on my device. I have no real need to browse the Internet on it outside of watching videos using NewPipe, browsing Reddit, and various *chan boards. On the Smart Phone side of things, I am considering purchasing an older used iPhone SE or 6S for use with MySudo when outside of my home as well as an iPod Touch for use on WiFi only for use inside my home. The iPhone would be kept inside of a faraday bag when I am at home and not using it. It would also be kept in the faraday bag whenever at home to avoid associating that device with my home address. The iPod Touch would be used for MySudo calls instead. Future outlook and plan for my privacy and security: To avoid as much deanonymisation of my privacy as possible, I'm only going to specify enough so that anyone reading this can get the jist of my situation in life. I am quite young (age 16 to 25) and I started along this privacy journey when I was even younger. I was never a very heavy social media user, however I did have an online presence if you looked hard enough. My name fortunately is a very common and short name, so that does help to bury information that I was not able to remove further in the vast trenches that is the Internet. On the digital side of things, I mentioned that I have a dedicated Crypto AppVM for handling crypto currency transactions using Bisq. I have setup a dedicated bank account that I have periodically been transferring money into so that I can trade crypto. Unfortunately, I do not live in the US, so being able to effectively start trades with others is more difficult. I also do not have access to a credit card masking account like privacy.com (that I absolutely would use given the ability). I plan on getting an anonymous VPS to host my own Tor exit node for better speeds and to mitigate the possibility of malicious exit nodes. The country I live in has been a proponent of absolute dragnet surveillance on all activities occurring online and in real life, though the former is far more visible on this subreddit. I will be using crypto with cleaned Bitcoin (as seen with ProgressiveArchitect's setup) for purchasing my VPN service, etc. With future hardware, to replace my aging laptop, I am very hopeful for Xen, then eventually Qubes OS getting ported to Power9. When that happens I'll be getting a Raptor Computing Blackbird as a desktop. Maybe in the future I'll get a Purism Librem laptop, but for now my corebooted X230 works perfectly for my use cases. On that note, I have successfully build the Heads firmware for the X230 and I was able to get the minimal 4MB image flashed on my laptop. I did revert it back to my coreboot setup after playing around a little with it, and unfortunately I haven't had time since to do a full, complete flash of it. On the physical/real life side of things, I plan on making use of various Trusts in order to hold assets, say to keep my name from being immediately visible on the title of my car. As of right now I am fortunate enough to have the title of my car under the name of someone who I trust. Unless I am legally required, and where there are immediate and absolute consequences, I use fake names in real life. With Uni, I am enrolled under my real name and address. This is a requirement and it is verified, so there is nothing that I can realistically do about it. As for other services, I plan on setting up a personal mailbox (PMB), etc if possible to use as a real, physical address that is associated with my real name and that is used for things like Government issued ID. In the future when I move again, I plan on renting a place in cash to try and keep my name dissociated with my real address. For those looking for reasoning on why one would want to do that, please read How to be Invisible by J.J. Luna. It's truly the Bible of physical privacy. At this stage I am just going off on a ramble, so I should cut it short here. I have just started and I live for this shit.
Dmitry is currently a principal cryptographer at Evernym, Inc. He has been an active cryptographic researcher since 2004. He developed the EquihashProof-of-work algorithm which is currently being used as consensus mechanism for the ZCashcryptocurrency, and the Argon2 key derivation function, which won the Password Hashing Competition in July 2015. He is the publisher of several Cryptanalysis papers for a number of mainstream cyphers, such as the first cryptanalytic attack on full-round AES-192 and AES-256 which is faster than a brute-force attack, an attack on the Radio Gatún cryptographic primitive, and also the current best cryptanalysis on Skein, a candidate for the SHA-3 competition. In 2014, he published research about the deanonymisation of clients in the Bitcoin P2P network. Dmitry has broken a number of ciphers and hash functions and is quoted: “Give me a system and I will find a weakness”. He is also an author of the Guru reputation system that Dusk Network will employ to ensure convergence of voting in the shortest amount of time.
The intelligent investors guide to Particl (PART): Part 7 - Why do I believe the privacy as an option offered by Particl is superior to that offered by Monero and non-optional privacy coins?
Why does privacy as an option provide the same or better level of security as privacy by default? ... From a privacy viewpoint I believe Particl provides more flexibility than Monero and other anon-only currencies as transactions can be:
Blinded via CT obscuring participants,
Blinded via ringCT obscuring amounts and participants
This does create an initial problem for Particl in the early stages (that Monero rightly recognises) as RingCT relies on a large pool of ringCT transactions present to function properly; as not all tx have to be RingCT (since this is optional) there is a theroretical risk of deanonymisation until the pool is much larger.
However there are several workarounds possible to help increase this pool of tx early and by its very nature having a private, decentralized, anonymous marketplace functional if properly publicized, marketed and adopted should draw a large crowd of early adopters and participants to organically drive the pool up and establish a very strong level of privacy akin to monero. ... The other advantage of the Particl setup is that Particl released as intended will be able to convert other cryptocurrencies to PART tokens via use of atomic swaps and widgets, one could effectively rinse their coins through monero, zcash or another anon coin, convert to a public token and then atomic swap or exchange to PART to transact anonymously again to effectively multiply the number of anonymisations a fungible chain of transactions goes through before completion.
Furthermore the in-client integration of decentralized exchanges along with in-client atomic swaps is a massive privacy advantage over Monero and other anonymous currencies where conversion to fiat or other tokens if required presently needs to pass through public exchanges both centralised and decentralised in order to complete the process of fungibility: I do not believe XMR or any anon-currency presently has a big enough ecosystem yet to exist independent of fiat.
Something which is not obvious but is interesting is that RingCT transactions on the Particl testnet are currently less intensive and more memory/space efficient than Monero's.
This has been attributed to Particl's use of a Segwit activated Bitcoin codebase rather than cryptonote protocol. Another upside of this and allowing public transactions is that it facilitates scalability of the Particl blockchain and reduces overall storage and memory demands on the node operators of the Particl network. ... Thus in many ways Particl's privacy implementation is a pragmatic approach designed to faclitate freedom of choice which can offer the same level of privacy as Monero but with more features and a flexibility as well as a vision designed to facilitate adoption, scalability and non-speculative usage (i.e. the type of usage that drives real objective valuations and acts as a fiat magnet through actual usage for buying and selling of goods rather than speculative usage).
You may disagree with me and I can understand why. The approach used by Particl is pragmatic and from a pragmatists viewpoint will achieve the same end result and level of security with some acknowledged risks during development along the way. To a fundamentalist this viewpoint is unacceptable as there is no tolerance for error or possibility of it.
In practice though if you want functionality, adoption and growth, you always need to allow for flexibility and thus some room for error. We have seen this with ETH/ETC already (the economic outcome is already apparent) but history is full of examples. ... As I've pointed out you do not need to force all tx through privacy mode to create a sufficiently secure privacy network if the organic demand and use of privacy is there.
This can be achieved through incentives to go private (already built into the Particl system by design), education and a solid user interface that allows users to make informed decisions about whether they want their transactions to be private or not.
With this in mind, I believe such a trade-off can overcome the developmental and implementation concerns inherent to your argument that are present and secure a network that will be beneficial to private, anonymous commerce.
To that end with a slightly more flexible approach, I personally believe the Particl client realized will offer a greater number of ways to ensure privacy than other private-currency and privacy centric decentralized solutions currently out there or in development. ...
Full disclosure/Disclaimer: As of posting I am long Particl (PART), Ethereum (ETH), Wetrust (TRST), Augur (REP), OmiseGo (OMG) Factom (FCT) and Iconomi (ICN). All the opinions expressed are my own. I cannot guarantee gains; losses are sustainable; do your own financial research and make your decisions responsibly. All prices and values given are as of time of writing (November 2017).
So it's been an interesting week, we've seen a pump, then a moderate dump recently. DogeCoin went a bit higher than it was supposed to be so we're just normalizing. Unfortunately BitCoin hasn't done much so day trading is a bit slow at the moment. A quick note for you day traders out there: Don't leave your post if you don't want to be surprised. I forgot this a week ago and sold off a decent amount before the pump, when I awoke the next day, I was stuck out of the market by 10 satoshi's.
Let's get into the Meat & Potatoes here. (Such Food Analogy, Very hungry, Much Dinner, So Soon)
DRK (AKA DARKCOIN) has risen above DogeCoin with the idea of further anonymity through trading with their "Dark Send Technology"
DogeCoin is falling in price, but in relation to BitCoin
DarkCoin has a unique advantage for some people since you can't try and track transactions through the blockchain. This allows for more anonymity when it comes to transactions.
DarkCoin's value is currently due to it's rarity, impressive claims in coding and hype around the coin.
DarkCoin presents a major opportunity for some large investors
The Dark Secrets
DarkCoin might have a rather large effective premine (Not an actual premine, but an early release with high block rewards
Dark Send makes new problems by keeping stolen coins anonymous
The initial implementation of Dark Nodes to anonymize the sending of coins caused many forks, bringing the question whether or not some coding claims by the DarkCoin developers are actually true.
DogeCoin can learn from DarkCoin on some parts, but we should definitely not implement Dark Transfer Technology, why? I'll tell you tomorrow. Such Mystery? So before I leave to get some delicious dinner (didn't I say I was anticipating it?) I'll let you suggest a tea rating for this week. At the moment, I don't see why I should change it from last weeks. Tea: Dragon Well Longjing Green Tea. It's good stuff. Keep holding in there fellow shibes.
Title: Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network. Authors: Alex Biryukov, Dmitry Khovratovich, Ivan Pustogarov. Download PDF Abstract: Bitcoin is a digital currency which relies on a distributed set of miners to mint coins and on a peer-to-peer network to broadcast transactions. The identities of Bitcoin users are hidden behind pseudonyms (public keys) which are recommended to be ... Deanonymisation of Clients in Bitcoin P2P Network. Pages 15–29. Previous Chapter Next Chapter. ABSTRACT. Bitcoin is a digital currency which relies on a distributed set of miners to mint coins and on a peer-to-peer network to broadcast transactions. The identities of Bitcoin users are hidden behind pseudonyms (public keys) which are recommended to be changed frequently in order to increase ... Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network Alex Biryukov University of Luxembourg [email protected] Dmitry Khovratovich University of Luxembourg [email protected] Ivan Pustogarov University of Luxembourg [email protected] Abstract Bitcoin is a digital currency which relies on a distributed set of miners to mint coins and on a peer-to-peer network to broadcast ... Bitcoin is a digital currency which relies on a distributed set of miners to mint coins and on a peer-to-peer network to broadcast transactions. The identities of Bitcoin users are hidden behind pseudonyms (public keys) which are recommended to be changed frequently in order to increase transaction unlinkability. We present an efficient method to deanonymize Bitcoin users, which allows to link ... [Show full abstract] encourages users to connect to the Bitcoin network through anonymizers like Tor and motivates development of default Tor functionality for popular mobile SPV clients. In this ...
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