[bitcoin-dev] Proposal to stop processing of unrequested transactions in Bitcoin Core

Jeremy jlrubin at mit.edu
Thu Feb 11 18:29:35 UTC 2021

I'm not sure of the existing behavior is of when we issue a getdata
request, but noting that there could be a privacy implication of this sort
of change. Could you (or someone else) expand on why this is not a concern
@JeremyRubin <https://twitter.com/JeremyRubin>

On Wed, Feb 10, 2021 at 6:29 AM Antoine Riard via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm proposing to stop the processing of unrequested transactions in
> Bitcoin Core 22.0+ at TX message reception. An unrequested transaction is
> one defined by which a "getdata" message for its specific identifier
> (either txid or wtxid) has not been previously issued by the node [0].
> This change is motivated by reducing the CPU DoS surface of Bitcoin Core
> around mempool acceptance. Currently, an attacker can open multiple inbound
> connections to a node and send expensive to validate, junk transactions.
> Once the canonical INV/GETDATA sequence is enforced on the network, a
> further protection would be to deprioritize bandwidth and validation
> resources allocation, or even to wither connections with such DoSy peers. A
> permissioned peer (PF_RELAY) will still be able to bypass such restrictions.
> Raw TX message processing has always been tolerated by Core and as such
> some Bitcoin clients aren't bothering with an INV/GETDATA sequence. Such
> change will break their tx-relay capabilities on the p2p network and
> require adaptation from them. Given deployment time of any release, I hope
> it provides a window time wide enough before the old tx-processing behavior
> becomes the minority.
> Eager to gather feedback on this proposal, especially if such change is
> deemed as too much constraining or fast on any Bitcoin software.
> Cheers,
> Antoine
> [0] See https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/20277
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