A simulation model for analysis of attacks on the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network

Neudecker, Till and Andelfinger, Philipp and Hartenstein, Hannes (2015) A simulation model for analysis of attacks on the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network. In: 2015 IFIP/IEEE International Symposium on Integrated Network Management (IM), Workshop on Security for Emerging Distributed Network Technologies (DISSECT), 11-15 May 2015, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Proceedings, published by IEEE, pp. 1327-1332.

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1109/INM.2015.7140490


We present a simulation model of the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, a widely deployed distributed electronic currency system. The model enables evaluations of the feasibility and cost of attacks on the Bitcoin network at full scale of 6,000 nodes. The simulation model is based on unmodified code from core segments of the Bitcoin reference implementation used by 99% of nodes. Parametrization of the model is performed based on large-scale measurements of the real-world network. We present preliminary validation results showing a reasonable correspondence of the propagation of messages in the Bitcoin network compared with simulation results. We apply the model to study the feasibility of a partitioning attack on the network and show that the attack is sensitive to the churn of the attacking nodes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Received Best Paper Award, ISSN: 1573-0077