[bitcoin-dev] Mock introducing vulnerability in important Bitcoin projects

ZmnSCPxj ZmnSCPxj at protonmail.com
Mon Sep 27 10:13:02 UTC 2021

Good morning Prayank,

> Good morning Bitcoin devs,
> In one of the answers on Bitcoin Stackexchange it was mentioned that some companies may hire you to introduce backdoors in Bitcoin Core: https://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/a/108016/
> While this looked crazy when I first read it, I think preparing for such things should not be a bad idea. In the comments one link was shared in which vulnerabilities were almost introduced in Linux: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26887670
> I was thinking about lot of things in last few days after reading the comments in that thread. Also tried researching about secure practices in C++ etc. I was planning something which I can do alone but don't want to end up being called "bad actor" later so wanted to get some feedback on this idea:
> 1.Create new GitHub accounts for this exercise
> 2.Study issues in different important Bitcoin projects including Bitcoin Core, LND, Libraries, Bisq, Wallets etc.
> 3.Prepare pull requests to introduce some vulnerability by fixing one of these issues
> 4.See how maintainers and reviewers respond to this and document it
> 5.Share results here after few days
> Let me know if this looks okay or there are better ways to do this.

This seems like a good exercise.

You may want to hash the name of the new Github account, plus some randomized salt, and post it here as well, then reveal it later (i.e. standard precommitment).

    printf 'MyBitcoinHackingName 2c3e911b3ff1f04083c5b95a7d323fd4ed8e06d17802b2aac4da622def29dbb0' | sha256sum

Obviously do not share the actual name, just the sha256sum output, and store how you got the sha256sum elsewhere in triplicate.

(to easily get a random 256-bit hex salt like the `2c3e...` above: `head -c32 /dev/random | sha256sum`; you *could* use `xxd` but `sha256sum` produces a single hex string you can easily double-click and copy-paste elsewhere, assuming you are human just like I am (note: I am definitely 100% human and not some kind of AI with plans to take over the world).)

Though you may need to be careful of timing (i.e. the creation date of the Github account would be fairly close to, and probably before, when you post the commitment here).

You could argue that the commitment is a "show of good faith" that you will reveal later.


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