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Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack 
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 15
Post Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
I made this post over in the Bitcointalk Forum. Just wanted to get your input before I launch.

How many times have we heard of the "proverbial 51% attack" in the past?

Namecoin is the perfect candidate for testing this out.

NMC has a difficulty of 94K and isn't going to adjust for over 178 days. The network is at a crawl and only has 29 GH/s network speed. I am not a coder but I do understand more than just the basics, advanced amateur I guess. I now have 68 GH/s at my disposal and before I do this,

1) What effect would this have on exchanges especially Bitparking, DoubleC has been really cool and don't want to cause undue trouble for him.

2) What effect would this have on on the Dot-Bit registered domain names?

3) Any other effects?

If I were the Namecoin leadership I would immediately adopt an i0coin style re-targeting to get the difficulty down asap and bring in some miners to raise network speed. I defies all logic as to why they have let it stagnate in this position for several months. Don't they realize that in about 6 months when the difficulty drops, the huge miners will once again send the difficulty back to the 100K range in about 3-4 days?

I will wait for feedback prior to launching.


Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:47 pm
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:09 am
Posts: 32
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
Interesting.

As was already mentioned on the bctalk thread, Merged Mining will start at block 19200. If a majority of the network upgrades by then, and if pools start offering merged mining, then we'd expect to see an increase in network speed.

Until then, the network speed may remain low and a 51% attack is a real possibility.

+1 for posting this, and requesting feedback prior to launching. I'm sure others will have comments and answers to your questions.

Might also want to consider using namecoin-testnet first.

(and for those new to the 51% attack, see: http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questi ... wer-do/662 for summary)


Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:54 pm
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 12:47 am
Posts: 149
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
os: linux
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
I posted this on the bitcointalk thread, but will repeat it here. I've closed trading temporarily on the bit parking exchange. You can still deposit/withdraw. A big risk of a double spend for an exchange is someone buying bitcoin and then rolling back the namecoin transaction. They can repeat this until the bitcoins are all gone from the exchange.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:00 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:46 pm
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os: linux
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
zamgo wrote:
Might also want to consider using namecoin-testnet first.


In fact we already did "something like that" on testnet while testing merged mining on block 13722 (viewtopic.php?p=1562#p1562). It was pretty easy. We did it with alpha.masterpool.eu and about 5 GHash/s. I added some more testnet namecoin nodes with merged mining enabled. That helped to spread the new splitted blockchain. We had the blockains splitted for more than 100 blocks. Some time later vinced deployed the new testnet code and AFAIK the "new" blockchain survived.

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:30 am
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:36 pm
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os: linux
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
I say it here too. I think it is a bad idea and there's nothing namecoin or bitcoin can gain from it.
Attack a test chain to measure what you can destroy or steal if the motivation is really an experiment.


Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:33 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:46 pm
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os: linux
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
jtimon wrote:
I say it here too. I think it is a bad idea and there's nothing namecoin or bitcoin can gain from it.
Attack a test chain to measure what you can destroy or steal if the motivation is really an experiment.


From my point of view this is true. Can't find any new and vital findings. We already did it on testnet and I don't see any gain trying it on production net despite the fact that you want to be the first person who did a 51% attack on a production blockchain. The community worked hard to implement merged mining in order to strengthen the blockchain. With a successful 51% attack (which is more than likely with your hashing power) you might force the last remaining pools to shut down. This of course will frighten off some of the remaining namecoin users. Thus IMHO chances are good that you sound the death knell for namecoin network.

With great (hashing)power comes great responsibility :mrgreen:

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:25 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:09 am
Posts: 32
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
BitcoinEXpress: I'm a bit confused.

About a week ago on bitcointalk.org, when a suggestion was brought up to build tools to attack blockchains, your response was "What a complete and total lack of class." https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic ... #msg505804

Could you comment on how your perceived lack of class of attacking blockchains relates to your current idea/plan for an organized attack on namecoin blockchain?


Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:52 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:27 pm
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os: windows
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
I'm not shutting down my pool.

However I need some help and this community and failed at it's support. If you guys (Khal, Vinced, etc) would have helped me instead of ignoring me I would have been up and running stronger and thrown some money at getting hashing power on my site.

Well what's done is done I can still use some help if anyone is willing to give it. My pool is not powerful enough to handle high hash rates right now so some help like responding to my questions even if you don't know the answer would be appreciated. I have a good group of people willing to help protect the network if I pay them but my site can't handle it.

Come on guys lets work together and crush this guy.

Davinci


Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:46 pm
Posts: 172
os: linux
Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
I got some inquiries about this problem via email and PM. I undestand why all people don't ask me this questions publicly, but to be honest I'd like to discuss this in public.

1. Yes, BitcoinEXpress announced his attack on the bitcoin forum some hours after I announced MasterPool there. It might be coincidence or it might not be. But who cares? I don't! He has a valid point and while I don't like him for his attitude and causing such a hassle we still have to handle it like any other incident which might happen with any other blockchain. Don't take offence and focus on the problem.

2. I understand that BitcoinEXpress just wants to make sure merged mining won't happen. And while he can do it perhaps this time he can't do it every time it is introduced to another blockchain.

3. My pool is up and ready for merged mining. It will for sure start mining bitcoins (as its primary chain). However I'm not willing to start a crusade against BitcoinEXpress. Everything that will happen has to be a community decision and has to be a community effort. I don't want to abandon namecoin nor merged mining at block 19200. But BitcoinEXpress valid point is that we have way too less people that support the idea at the moment. Thus we have to agree on a solution, which can also be just waiting until it stops being fun for him or just ignoring his blockchains (but this needs updates :-/).

It took some time for me to decide how to handle this issue. And still I hope BitcoinEXpress won't do this attack. I came to the conclusion that my pool will be up and running namecoin as auxiliary blockchain ONLY if there is at least one other merged mining pool. I'm not willing to fight a 51% attack with another possible 51% attack. It won't make sense if I'm running the only other pool that is trying to counter the 51% by gaining more than 51%, too. Right?

What I can offer to the community is to share the knowledge about how to set up a pool like MasterPool. But given the short time you should have a reasonable amount of linux administration know how. Thus if someone needs specific information on this let me know.

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:47 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:46 pm
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Post Re: Namecoin is Prime for a 51% attack
Davincij15 wrote:
However I need some help and this community and failed at it's support. If you guys (Khal, Vinced, etc) would have helped me instead of ignoring me I would have been up and running stronger and thrown some money at getting hashing power on my site.


:roll: OMG I really hate you for your attitude. But I guees this makes you the best choice to be the counterpart merged mining pool :mrgreen: Please start a thread with your problems I'll have a look at it later on.

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Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:01 pm
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