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

odinn odinn.cyberguerrilla at riseup.net
Sat Jul 25 00:47:51 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA1

Interesting, so this basically would merge into an already existing
BIP (Jeff Garzik's).  However, it proposes some changes.


CVE-2013-2292 is a severity thingy of "high" which is described as

"bitcoind and Bitcoin-Qt 0.8.0 and earlier allow remote attackers to
cause a denial of service (electricity consumption) by mining a block
to create a nonstandard Bitcoin transaction containing multiple
OP_CHECKSIG script opcodes."

(munches popcorn)

I do appreciate seeing the effort toward working something toward /
into Garzik's proposal.  The general idea that I suggested before - to
work some new ideas (not XT-related), into a BIP, and to work with
Jeff Garzik on getting something done, seems to be the direction that
you are taking... so I'm hopeful that continues.

- -O

On 07/24/2015 01:59 PM, Gavin Andresen via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> After thinking about it, implementing it, and doing some
> benchmarking, I'm convinced replacing the existing, messy, ad-hoc
> sigop-counting consensus rules is the right thing to do.
> The last two commits in this branch are an implementation: 
> https://github.com/gavinandresen/bitcoin-git/commits/count_hash_size
>  From the commit message in the last commit:
> Summary of old rules / new rules:
> Old rules: 20,000 inaccurately-counted-sigops for a 1MB block New:
> 80,000 accurately-counted sigops for an 8MB block
> A scan of the last 100,000 blocks for high-sigop blocks gets a
> maximum of 7,350 sigops in block 364,773 (in a single, huge, ~1MB
> transaction).
> For reference, Pieter Wuille's libsecp256k1 validation code 
> validates about 10,000 signatures per second on a single 2.7GHZ CPU
> core.
> Old rules: no limit for number of bytes hashed to generate 
> signature hashes
> New rule: 1.3gigabytes hashed per 8MB block to generate signature
> hashes
> Block 364,422 contains a single ~1MB transaction that requires 
> 1.2GB of data hashed to generate signature hashes.
> TODO: benchmark Core's sighash-creation code ('openssl speed
> sha256' reports something like 1GB per second on my machine).
> Note that in normal operation most validation work is done as 
> transactions are received from the network, and can be cached so
> it doesn't have to be repeated when a new block is found. The
> limits described in this BIP are intended, as the existing sigop
> limits are intended, to be an extra "belt and suspenders" measure
> to mitigate any possible attack that involves creating and
> broadcasting a very expensive-to-verify block.
> Draft BIP:
> BIP: ?? Title: Consensus rules to limit CPU time required to
> validate blocks Author: Gavin Andresen <gavinandresen at gmail.com 
> <mailto:gavinandresen at gmail.com>> Status: Draft Type: Standards
> Track Created: 2015-07-24
> ==Abstract==
> Mitigate potential CPU exhaustion denial-of-service attacks by
> limiting the maximum number of ECDSA signature verfications done
> per block, and limiting the number of bytes hashed to compute
> signature hashes.
> ==Motivation==
> Sergio Demian Lerner reported that a maliciously constructed block
> could take several minutes to validate, due to the way signature
> hashes are computed for OP_CHECKSIG/OP_CHECKMULTISIG 
> ([[https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078|CVE-2013-2292]]). Each
> signature validation can require hashing most of the transaction's 
> bytes, resulting in O(s*b) scaling (where s is the number of
> signature operations and b is the number of bytes in the
> transaction, excluding signatures). If there are no limits on s or
> b the result is O(n^2) scaling (where n is a multiple of the number
> of bytes in the block).
> 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 existing consensus rule for maximum number
> of signature operations per block (20,000, counted in two
> different, idiosyncratic, ad-hoc ways) shall be replaced by the
> following two rules:
> 1. The maximum number of ECDSA verify operations required to
> validate all of the transactions in a block must be less than or
> equal to the maximum block size in bytes divided by 100 (rounded
> down).
> 2. The maximum number of bytes hashed to compute ECDSA signatures
> for all transactions in a block must be less than or equal to the 
> maximum block size in bytes times 160.
> ==Compatibility==
> This change is 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, and a block full of "standard" transactions
> will be well-under the limits.
> Software that assembles transactions into blocks and software that
> validates blocks must be updated to enforce the new consensus
> rules.
> ==Deployment==
> This change will be deployed with BIP 100 or BIP 101.
> ==Discussion==
> Linking these consensus rules to the maximum block size allows
> more transactions and/or transactions with more inputs or outputs
> to be included if the maximum block size increases.
> The constants are chosen to be maximally compatible with the
> existing consensus rule, and to virtually eliminate the possibility
> that bitcoins could be lost if somebody had locked some funds in a
> pre-signed, expensive-to-validate, locktime-in-the-future 
> transaction.
> But they are chosen to put a reasonable upper bound on the CPU
> time required to validate a maximum-sized block.
> ===Alternatives to this BIP:===
> 1. A simple limit on transaction size (e.g. any transaction in a
> block must be 100,000 bytes or smaller).
> 2. Fix the CHECKSIG/CHECKMULTISIG 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, and to avoid potential attacks
> would still require some limit on how many such operations were
> permitted.
> ==References==
> [[https://bitcointalk.org/?topic=140078|CVE-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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