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| May 23, 2018

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Attack Archives -

‘Extremely Rare’ Cougar Attack Leaves 1 Dead, 1 Injured

May 20, 2018 |

One mountain biker was killed and a second left seriously injured in a Washington State cougar attack over the weekend. The two men, who’ve not been identified, were biking in a remote area east of Seattle when the predator struck, KING5 reports. Rich Beausoleil, the state’s bear and cougar specialist,…
Newser

2nd Family Carries Out Indonesia Suicide Attack

May 14, 2018 |

Horror in Indonesia: For the second time in two days, a suicide bombing was carried out by an entire family, including a child, police say. Authorities say an 8-year-old girl was among five family members who attacked police headquarters in the city of Surabaya Monday morning, the Guardian reports. CCTV…
Newser

Family of suicide bombers killed in attack on Indonesia police headquarters after church bombings

May 14, 2018 |

Authorities in Indonesia on Monday said that a family—including children— carried out a suicide attack on a police headquarters in the country’s second-largest city, a day after members of another family launched coordinated suicide bombings on three city churches that killed at least eight people.
FOX News

Victims’ Dad Says Australian Shooter Planned Attack

May 14, 2018 |

The Australian grandfather who’s believed to have gunned down his wife, daughter and grandchildren ‘didn’t snap,’ according to the grieving father of the slain kids. He was “thinking this through for a long time,” Aaron Cockman said, per BBC . Peter Miles, 61, reportedly killed six people in rural Western…
Newser

ISIS calls suspect in lethal Paris knife attack a ‘soldier’: report

May 13, 2018 |

A suspect killed by French authorities after knifing down five people, ultimately killing one, in central Paris has been claimed as a “soldier” of ISIS, the group’s news agency announced Sunday.
FOX News

Couple Weds Days After Bride Loses Arm in Crocodile Attack

May 8, 2018 |

A couple attacked by a crocodile wedded days later in a Zimbabwean hospital, where the bride was recovering after losing an arm. “In one week we went from shock and agony to a truly amazing experience,” 27-year-old Jamie Fox told the AP on Monday. Fox and his then fiancée, Zenele…
Newser

A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured Destruction

May 4, 2018 |

A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured Destruction

What would happen if bitcoin were to suffer a 51% attack? It’s a hypothetical question, but one that has troubled some of the community’s brightest minds. Just as army generals play out countless war games, enacting doomsday scenarios, bitcoin defenders like to ponder ways in which the decentralized cryptocurrency could be attacked and brought to its knees.

Also read: Taking the New On-Chain BCH-Powered Social App Blockpress for a Test Flight

Contingency Planning for a Worst Case Scenario

A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured DestructionA 51% attack, also known as a majority attack, refers to a situation in which a single miner or group of miners control the majority of the network hashrate. If attained, this would enable a bad actor to censor and reverse transactions, allowing them to double spend coins. One of bitcoin’s greatest attributes is its immunity to attacks, be they governmental or technological. With over 31 exahash now concentrated on the bitcoin network, launching a 51% attack would be virtually impossible. And yet the very act of contemplating such an event is critical in mitigating the likelihood of it ever occurring.

Bitcoin war games aren’t just larping: they’re strategic defense.

51% Is Probably Not Enough

In a widely read article last month, Jimmy Song pondered various hostile mining scenarios, including those presented by chip manufacturers, ASIC manufacturers, and mining pools. He ran through the ways in which a 51% attack could play out, but observed that owning 51% of the harshrate may not be enough to take over the bitcoin network. According to Song, an attacker armed with 60% of the hashrate would still be expected to take 100 minutes to overtake the rest of the network in confirming blocks. Meanwhile, the rest of the network would have caught on to what was happening, and begun invalidating the attacker’s blocks. (Conversely, it is theoretically possible to attack the bitcoin network with less than 51% of the hashrate). Song notes:

No rational merchant or exchange would ever take less than 30 confirmations in a scenario like this (at least without some knowledge about what’s going on)…Furthermore, a large reorg signals to the rest of the network that something nefarious is going on and nodes will likely view these new blocks with suspicion. It’s entirely possible that full node operators on the network will simply invalidate these blocks.

Who Wins by Attacking Bitcoin?

Due to bitcoin’s enormous hashrate, it would be impossible for anyone without any skin in the game – or rather ASICs in the game – to launch a 51% attack. The only players who could conceivably orchestrate such an attack are existing mining pools, or ASIC manufacturers if they were to backdoor their miners, for example, and later commandeer them. All of these entities are heavily invested in bitcoin, having spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the infrastructure required to compete in the mining sector. For their operations to remain profitable, bitcoin needs to maintain a certain price. If a bad actor (or pool of bad actors) were to start attacking bitcoin, they’d only be cannibalizing themselves.

A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured Destruction

There are scenarios – far-fetched admittedly – in which a 51% attack on the bitcoin network could be attempted. A hostile state could start accumulating ASIC miners, spending billions of dollars in readiness for the moment they had enough hashrate to greenlight an attack. Even Bitmain themselves would struggle to assemble enough ASICs to make such a feat possible however. An alternative scenario would be for a chip or ASIC manufacturer to make a breakthrough that provided a significant advantage over existing miners. A sort of Asicboost on steroids. Once again though, the best way to profit from this would be to honestly mine bitcoin with the souped-up units, or to sell them for a premium, rather than to launch a 51% attack.

A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured DestructionWhatever way you slice it, a 51% attack on bitcoin isn’t just improbable – it makes zero sense for the attacker. Just because the cryptocurrency seems safe from mining attacks for now doesn’t mean it’s impervious to attack however. In a post entitled “Let’s destroy Bitcoin” published on MIT Technology Review, Morgan Peck proposes three ways in which bitcoin could be “brought down, co-opted, or made irrelevant”. None of them involve mining. A few altcoins, with a low hashrate, have been hit by a 51% attack in the past. In its nine-year history, bitcoin has never been attacked in such a manner. It didn’t happen in the past, even when one mining pool controlled a majority hashrate, and it’s probably not going to happen now.

In what other ways do you think bitcoin could be attacked? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post A 51% Attack on Bitcoin Means Mutually Assured Destruction appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Pope decries attack on church in Nigeria that killed 15

April 29, 2018 |

Pope Francis has decried an attack on a church in Nigeria that killed 15 people, including two priests.
FOX News

Tensions Rise in Greece as Locals Attack Asylum Seekers

April 26, 2018 |

Groups of locals attacked migrants camping on the island of Lesbos, underscoring the continued tensions on Greek islands that continue to see thousands of Middle Eastern people arriving from Turkey each month.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe