[bitcoin-dev] For discussion: limit transaction size to mitigate CVE-2013-2292

Ross Nicoll jrn at jrn.me.uk
Mon Jul 20 19:58:27 UTC 2015

I take it there's no feasibility in suggesting the script execution code 
has run time maximums? I'm aware these would be much harder to have 
consensus on, but would seem like the better solution if at all possible.


On 20/07/2015 20:10, Gavin Andresen via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> Draft BIP to prevent a potential CPU exhaustion attack if a 
> significantly larger maximum blocksize is adopted:
>   Title: Limit maximum transaction size
>   Author: Gavin Andresen <gavinandresen at gmail.com 
> <mailto:gavinandresen at gmail.com>>
>   Status: Draft
>   Type: Standards Track
>   Created: 2015-07-17
> ==Abstract==
> Mitigate a potential CPU exhaustion denial-of-service attack by limiting
> the maximum size of a transaction included in a block.
> ==Motivation==
> Sergio Demian Lerner reported that a maliciously constructed block could
> take several minutes to validate, due to the way signature hashes are
> ([[https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078|CVE-2013-2292]] 
> <https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078%7CCVE-2013-2292]]>).
> Each signature validation can require hashing most of the transaction's
> bytes, resulting in O(s*b) scaling (where n is the number of signature
> operations and m is the number of bytes in the transaction, excluding
> signatures). If there are no limits on n or m the result is O(n^2) 
> scaling.
> This potential attack was mitigated by changing the default relay and
> mining policies so transactions larger than 100,000 bytes were not
> relayed across the network or included in blocks. However, a miner
> not following the default policy could choose to include a
> transaction that filled the entire one-megaybte block and took
> a long time to validate.
> ==Specification==
> After deployment, the maximum serialized size of a transaction allowed
> in a block shall be 100,000 bytes.
> ==Compatibility==
> This change should be compatible with existing transaction-creation 
> software,
> because transactions larger than 100,000 bytes have been considered 
> "non-standard"
> (they are not relayed or mined by default) for years.
> Software that assembles transactions into blocks and that validates 
> blocks must be
> updated to reject oversize transactions.
> ==Deployment==
> This change will be deployed with BIP 100 or BIP 101.
> ==Discussion==
> Alternatives to this BIP:
> 1. A new consensus rule that limits the number of signature operations 
> in a
> single transaction instead of limiting size. This might be more 
> compatible with
> future opcodes that require larger-than-100,000-byte transactions, 
> although
> any such future opcodes would likely require changes to the Script 
> validation
> rules anyway (e.g. the 520-byte limit on data items).
> 2. Fix the SIG opcodes so they don't re-hash variations of the 
> transaction's data.
> This is the "most correct" solution, but would require updating every
> piece of transaction-creating and transaction-validating software to 
> change how
> they compute the signature hash.
> ==References==
> [[https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078|CVE-2013-2292] 
> <https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078%7CCVE-2013-2292]>]: Sergio 
> Demian Lerner's original report
> _______________________________________________
> bitcoin-dev mailing list
> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org
> https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev

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