[Bitcoin-development] Research on partitioning Bitcoind nodes: "Eclipse Attacks on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network"

Ethan Heilman eth3rs at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 15:33:18 UTC 2015

Hi All,

There has been much discussion lately on the dev list about
misbehaving peers and attacks on the P2P network. We'd like to share
our research on partitioning Bitcoind nodes from the rest of the

Eclipse Attacks on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network
Abstract: We present eclipse attacks on bitcoin's peer-to-peer
network. Our attack allows an adversary controlling a sufficient
number of IP addresses to monopolize all connections to and from a
victim bitcoin node. The attacker can then exploit the victim for
attacks on bitcoin's mining and consensus system, including
N-confirmation double spending, selfish mining, and adversarial forks
in the blockchain. We take a detailed look at bitcoin’s peer-to-peer
network, and quantify the resources involved in our attack via
probabilistic analysis, Monte Carlo simulations, measurements and
experiments with live bitcoin nodes. Finally, we present
countermeasures, inspired by botnet architectures, that are designed
to raise the bar for eclipse attacks while preserving the openness and
decentralization of bitcoin’s current network architecture.

Full paper available here:


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