[Bitcoin-development] Proposal to address Bitcoin malware

Brian Erdelyi brian.erdelyi at gmail.com
Mon Feb 2 21:03:42 UTC 2015


The mobile device should show you the details of the transaction (i.e. amount and bitcoin address).  Once you verify this is the intended recipient and amount you approve it on the mobile device.  If the address was replaced, you should see this on the mobile device as it won’t match where you were intending to send it.  You can then not provide the second signature.

Brian Erdelyi

> On Feb 2, 2015, at 4:57 PM, Joel Joonatan Kaartinen <joel.kaartinen at gmail.com> wrote:
> If the attacker has your desktop computer but not the mobile that's acting as an independent second factor, how are you then supposed to be able to tell you're not signing the correct transaction on the mobile? If the address was replaced with the attacker's address, it'll look like everything is ok.
> - Joel
> On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 9:58 PM, Brian Erdelyi <brian.erdelyi at gmail.com <mailto:brian.erdelyi at gmail.com>> wrote:
> > Confusing or not, the reliance on multiple signatures as offering greater security than single relies on the independence of multiple secrets. If the secrets cannot be shown to retain independence in the envisioned threat scenario (e.g. a user's compromised operating system) then the benefit reduces to making the exploit more difficult to write, which, once written, reduces to no benefit. Yet the user still suffers the reduced utility arising from greater complexity, while being led to believe in a false promise.
> Just trying to make sure I understand what you’re saying.  Are you eluding to that if two of the three private keys get compromised there is no gain in security?  Although the likelihood of this occurring is lower, it is possible.
> As more malware targets bitcoins I think the utility is evident.  Given how final Bitcoin transactions are, I think it’s worth trying to find methods to help verify those transactions (if a user deems it to be high-risk enough) before the transaction is completed.  The balance is trying to devise something that users do not find too burdensome.
> Brian Erdelyi
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