MAD-HTLC – Because HTLC is Crazy-Cheap to Attack

Itay Tsabary, Matan Yechieli, and Ittay Eyal

Bad news first: It turns out that the security of hash time lock smart contracts (HTLC) relies on the good intentions of blockchain miners, or at least their short-sightedness. That’s right, it is based on the assumption that miners, those businesses that make money from energy, are altruistically naive. [Read More]
Tags: game-theory, htlc, cryptocurrency, smart-contract

BDoS – Blockchain Denial of Service

Michael Mirkin, Yan Ji, Jonathan Pang, Ariah Klages-Mundt, Ittay Eyal and Ari Juels

TL;DR We have discovered a denial-of-service attack on Bitcoin-like blockchains that is much cheaper than previously described attacks. Such blockchains rely on incentives to provide security. We show how an attacker can disrupt those incentives to cause rational miners to stop mining. Technical report here. Original blog post here. [Read More]
Tags: game-theory, cryptocurrency, DoS