SoK: Network-Level Attacks on the Bitcoin P2P Network


Bitcoin has brought about a revolution in the global economic and technological landscape over the course of the past decade, inspiring a new generation of technologies that are based on Blockchain. Its protocol is now widely considered to be among the most influential standards for distributed networks and cryptocurrencies. Specifically, the P2P layer serves as a point of reference for all permissionless blockchains, many of which incorporate its solutions into their network layer. Regrettably, the Bitcoin network protocol does not include a robust security model, which leaves it vulnerable to a number of dangers. Attacks on this level have the potential to affect the consistency and dependability of the consensus layer, which can mine the credibility of the entire system. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance to correctly understand the Bitcoin P2P protocol and address any concerns regarding its security. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive and detailed overview of known network-level attacks in Bitcoin, as well as the countermeasures that have been implemented in the protocol in order to protect against these attacks. We propose a generic network adversary model and an objective-based taxonomy of the attacks that can be made against networks. In the final step, we analyze the connection between the various forms of assault and determine which of the protocol's flaws are the most fundamental. We believe that our contribution can assist both novice and seasoned researchers in gaining a broader and more in-depth understanding of the Bitcoin P2P network and the threats that it faces, as well as the ability to better model the security properties of the network itself.

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