[Bitcoin-development] "network disruption as a service" and proof of local storage

Robert McKay robert at mckay.com
Fri Mar 27 15:32:13 UTC 2015


The main motivation is to try and stop a single entity running lots of 
nodes in order to harvest transaction origin IPs. That's what's behind 
this.

Probably the efforts are a waste of time.. if someone has to keep a few 
hundred copies of the blockchain around in order to keep IP specific 
precomputed data around for all the IPs they listen on then they'll just 
buy a handful of 5TB HDs and call it a day.. still some of the ideas 
proposed are quite interesting and might not have much downside.

Rob


On 2015-03-27 15:16, Matt Whitlock wrote:
> I agree that someone could do this, but why is that a problem? Isn't
> the goal of this exercise to ensure more full nodes on the network? 
> In
> order to be able to answer the challenges, an entity would need to be
> running a full node somewhere. Thus, they have contributed at least
> one additional full node to the network. I could certainly see a case
> for a company to host hundreds of lightweight (e.g., EC2) servers all
> backed by a single copy of the block chain. Why force every single
> machine to have its own copy? All you really need to require is that
> each agency/participant have its own copy.
>
>
> On Friday, 27 March 2015, at 2:32 pm, Robert McKay wrote:
>> Basically the problem with that is that someone could setup a single
>> full node that has the blockchain and can answer those challenges 
>> and
>> then a bunch of other non-full nodes that just proxy any such 
>> challenges
>> to the single full node.
>>
>> Rob
>>
>> On 2015-03-26 23:04, Matt Whitlock wrote:
>> > Maybe I'm overlooking something, but I've been watching this 
>> thread
>> > with increasing skepticism at the complexity of the offered 
>> solution.
>> > I don't understand why it needs to be so complex. I'd like to 
>> offer
>> > an
>> > alternative for your consideration...
>> >
>> > Challenge:
>> > "Send me: SHA256(SHA256(concatenation of N pseudo-randomly 
>> selected
>> > bytes from the block chain))."
>> >
>> > Choose N such that it would be infeasible for the responding node 
>> to
>> > fetch all of the needed blocks in a short amount of time. In other
>> > words, assume that a node can seek to a given byte in a block 
>> stored
>> > on local disk much faster than it can download the entire block 
>> from
>> > a
>> > remote peer. This is almost certainly a safe assumption.
>> >
>> > For example, choose N = 1024. Then the proving node needs to 
>> perform
>> > 1024 random reads from local disk. On spinning media, this is 
>> likely
>> > to take somewhere on the order of 15 seconds. Assuming blocks are
>> > averaging 500 KiB each, then 1024 blocks would comprise 500 MiB of
>> > data. Can 500 MiB be downloaded in 15 seconds? This data transfer
>> > rate
>> > is 280 Mbps. Almost certainly not possible. And if it is, just
>> > increase N. The challenge also becomes more difficult as average
>> > block
>> > size increases.
>> >
>> > This challenge-response protocol relies on the lack of a "partial
>> > getdata" command in the Bitcoin protocol: a node cannot ask for 
>> only
>> > part of a block; it must ask for an entire block. Furthermore, 
>> nodes
>> > could ban other nodes for making too many random requests for 
>> blocks.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Thursday, 26 March 2015, at 7:09 pm, Sergio Lerner wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > If I understand correctly, transforming raw blocks to keyed 
>> blocks
>> >> > takes 512x longer than transforming keyed blocks back to raw. 
>> The
>> >> key
>> >> > is public, like the IP, or some other value which perhaps 
>> changes
>> >> less
>> >> > frequently.
>> >> >
>> >> Yes. I was thinking that the IP could be part of a first layer of
>> >> encryption done to the blockchain data prior to the asymetric
>> >> operation.
>> >> That way the asymmetric operation can be the same for all users 
>> (no
>> >> different primers for different IPs, and then the verifiers does 
>> not
>> >> have to verify that a particular p is actually a pseudo-prime
>> >> suitable
>> >> for P.H. ) and the public exponent can be just 3.
>> >>
>> >> >
>> >> >> Two protocols can be performed to prove local possession:
>> >> >> 1. (prover and verifier pay a small cost) The verifier sends a
>> >> seed to
>> >> >> derive some n random indexes, and the prover must respond with
>> >> the hash
>> >> >> of the decrypted blocks within a certain time bound. Suppose 
>> that
>> >> >> decryption of n blocks take 100 msec (+-100 msec of network
>> >> jitter).
>> >> >> Then an attacker must have a computer 50 faster to be able to
>> >> >> consistently cheat. The last 50 blocks should not be part of 
>> the
>> >> list to
>> >> >> allow nodes to catch-up and encrypt the blocks in background.
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >> > Can you clarify, the prover is hashing random blocks of
>> >> *decrypted*,
>> >> > as-in raw, blockchain data? What does this prove other than,
>> >> perhaps,
>> >> > fast random IO of the blockchain? (which is useful in its own
>> >> right,
>> >> > e.g. as a way to ensure only full-node IO-bound mining if baked
>> >> into
>> >> > the PoW)
>> >> >
>> >> > How is the verifier validating the response without possession 
>> of
>> >> the
>> >> > full blockchain?
>> >>
>> >> You're right, It is incorrect. Not the decrypted blocks must be
>> >> sent,
>> >> but the encrypted blocks. There correct protocol is this:
>> >>
>> >> 1. (prover and verifier pay a small cost) The verifier sends a 
>> seed
>> >> to
>> >> derive some n random indexes, and the prover must respond with 
>> the
>> >> the
>> >> encrypted blocks within a certain time bound. The verifier 
>> decrypts
>> >> those blocks to check if they are part of the block-chain.
>> >>
>> >> But then there is this improvement which allows the verifier do
>> >> detect
>> >> non full-nodes with much less computation:
>> >>
>> >> 3. (prover pays a small cost, verifier smaller cost) The verifier
>> >> asks
>> >> the prover to send a Merkle tree root of hashes of encrypted 
>> blocks
>> >> with
>> >> N indexes selected by a psudo-random function seeded by a 
>> challenge
>> >> value, where each encrypted-block is previously prefixed with the
>> >> seed
>> >> before being hashed (e.g. N=100). The verifier receives the 
>> Markle
>> >> Root
>> >> and performs a statistical test on the received information. From
>> >> the N
>> >> hashes blocks, it chooses M < N (e.g. M = 20), and asks the 
>> proved
>> >> for
>> >> the blocks at these indexes. The prover sends the blocks, the
>> >> verifier
>> >> validates the blocks by decrypting them and also verifies that 
>> the
>> >> Merkle tree was well constructed for those block nodes. This 
>> proves
>> >> with
>> >> high probability that the Merkle tree was built on-the-fly and
>> >> specifically for this challenge-response protocol.
>> >>
>> >> > I also wonder about the effect of spinning disk versus SSD. 
>> Seek
>> >> time
>> >> > for 1,000 random reads is either nearly zero or dominating
>> >> depending
>> >> > on the two modes. I wonder if a sequential read from a random
>> >> index is
>> >> > a possible trade-off,; it doesn't prove possession of the whole
>> >> chain
>> >> > nearly as well, but at least iowait converges significantly. 
>> Then
>> >> > again, that presupposes a specific ordering on disk which might
>> >> not
>> >> > exist. In X years it will all be solid-state, so eventually 
>> it's
>> >> moot.
>> >> >
>> >> Good idea.
>> >>
>> >> Also we don't need that every node implements the protocol, but 
>> only
>> >> nodes that want to prove full-node-ness, such as the ones which 
>> want
>> >> to
>> >> receive bitnodes subsidy.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > 
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>>
>> 
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