[cryptography] attacks against bitcoin

Adam Back adam at cypherspace.org
Sun Jun 12 08:15:50 EDT 2011

I was thinking a DoS might be a problem.  If you could prevent the p2p
network broadcasting or receiving broadcasts, maybe you could be the only
person able to proceed with minting.  If you could keep that up for a while
you could reduce the difficulty and create bitcoins with lower cost.  A full
enough DoS maybe difficult to do as the network is p2p.

Also maybe if you could temporarily come in with significantly more compute
power than the rest of the network - eg rent ec2's entire gpcpu farm for a
little while, or use of a huge bot farm, you could undo transactions.  If
those transactions were you selling bitcoins, you could then sell them
again.  eg buy, then sell $100k coins (minus the spread/fluctuation), rent
$50k worth of compute for a while; sell the $100k of coins again ...  profit


On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 12:16:01PM +0200, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>How safe is the bitcoin cryptosystem and the communication network
>against targeted attacks?

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