[Bitcoin-development] Proposal: Encrypt bitcoin messages

Christophe Biocca christophe.biocca at gmail.com
Tue Aug 19 17:19:44 UTC 2014


If your threat model is passive listeners, it seems to me that simply
establishing a symmetric key for each connection at handshake time
using diffie-hellman is all you need. No public private crypto needed
at all.

The whole thing seems like a bit of security theater unfortunately.
The kind of attacker that can pull off widespread passive listening is
probably able and willing to do active MITM. It's not a huge
incremental cost.

Instead, those users that do have a need for security should probably
connect to the network using Tor or I2P, which can give much better
security guarantees than anything being discussed here.

On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:58 PM, Angel Leon <gubatron at gmail.com> wrote:
> "
> I suggest that Bitcoin Core should generate a public/private key pair and
> share the public one with peers."
>
> I've not read the p2p protocol of Bitcoin core, but I suppose the initial
> handshake between 2 peers would be the ideal place to exchange a public
> keys.
>
> would it make sense to generate a new random pair of keys per each peer you
> connect to?
> then each subsequent message to every peer gets encrypted differently,
> keeping each conversation isolated from each other encryption-speaking.
>
> These keys would have nothing to do with your wallet, they're just to
> encrypt any further communication between peers post-handshake. Would that
> be of any use to "This could provide privacy and integrity but not
> autentication."?
>
> http://twitter.com/gubatron
>
>
> On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 9:07 AM, Justus Ranvier
>> <justusranvier at riseup.net> wrote:
>> > If that's not acceptable, even using TLS with self-signed certificates
>> > would be an improvement.
>>
>> TLS is a huge complex attack surface, any use of it requires an
>> additional dependency with a large amount of difficult to audit code.
>> TLS is trivially DOS attacked and every major/widely used TLS
>> implementation has had multiple memory disclosure or remote execution
>> vulnerabilities even in just the last several years.
>>
>> We've dodged several emergency scale vulnerabilities by not having TLS.
>>
>>
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