Hijacking Bitcoin: bgp hijacking bitcoin price attacks on cryptocurrencies Apostolaki et al. Given the amount of money at stake, Bitcoin is an obvious target for attackers. This paper introduces a new class of routing attacks on the network.
These aren’t supposed to be feasible since Bitcoin is a vast peer-to-peer network using random flooding. Bitcoin is really quite centralised when viewed from a routing perspective. Bitcoin messages such as blocks or transactions. Seventeen billion dollars, clear text, no integrity checks!
Once a collection of nodes are partitioned from the network the network becomes more vulnerable to double spending attacks, transaction filtering, and selfish mining attacks. Nodes representing merchants, exchanges, and other large entities are thus unable to secure their transactions, or may not be able to broadcast them to the the network to begin with. The resulting longer-term loss trust in Bitcoin security may trigger a loss of value for Bitcoin. Attackers may even short Bitcoin and gain from the resulting devaluation. The authors also demonstrate delay attacks which are effective against individual targets, but not against the network as a whole as the partitioning attacks are. The origin AS makes the original route announcement, and this then propagates through the network hop by hop.
In BGP, the validity of route announcements is not checked. In effect, this means that any AS can inject forged information on how to reach one or more IP prefixes, leading other ASes to send traffic to the wrong location. By leaving at least one path from the attacker to the destination untouched, a BGP hijack can be turned into an interception. Is it really that simple to hijack Internet traffic?
I mean, does this really happen in practice? We see that there are hundreds of thousands of hijack events each month. While most of these hijacks involve a single IP prefix, large hijacks involving between 300 and 30,000 prefixes are also seen every month. That’s all pretty alarming in general, but here we’re just focused on the Bitcoin specific nodes. Each month, at least 100 Bitcoin nodes are victims of hijacks.
In November 2015 as an example, 7. The structure of the Bitcoin network The vulnerability of the Bitcoin network overall to routing attacks depends on the routing characteristics of the Bitcoin network itself. Unsurprisingly, there seems to be some kind of power law at play whereby a few ASes host most of the Bitcoin nodes. Just a few ASes naturally intercept the majority of Bitcoin traffic. Bitcoin nodes are vulnerable to BGP hijacks.