[Bitcoin-development] Abnormally Large Tor node accepting only Bitcoin traffic

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Mon Jul 28 11:28:15 UTC 2014


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I've got a bitcoin-only exit running myself and right now there is absolutely no traffic leaving it. If the traffic coming from that node was legit I'd expect some to be exiting my node too.

Multiple people have confirmed the node is connected to an abnormally large % of the Bitcoin network. Looks like a Sybil attack to me, trying to hide behind a Tor exit node for plausible deniability.


On 28 July 2014 06:16:16 GMT-04:00, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
>> As I pointed out above, — it isn't really.  Without the exit flag, I
>> believe no tor node will select it to exit 8333 unless manually
>> configured. (someone following tor more closely than I could correct
>> if I'm wrong here)
>>
>
>The "exit" flag doesn't mean what you would expect it to mean. The
>reason
>such a node won't get much traffic is that Tor speculatively builds
>circuits at startup on the assumption they'll be used for web browsing.
>Thus if you don't exit web traffic you won't get much in the way of
>traffic
>at least not until bitcoinj based wallets start shipping Tor mode.
>
>There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for why someone would run
>such a
>node. In fact I run a Tor exit that only allows port 8333 too: it's a
>way
>to contribute exit bandwidth without much risk of getting raided by the
>cops.
>
>Occam's razor and all ....
>
>
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=/w5n
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