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General Congestion Attack on HTLC-Based Payment Channel Networks

Zhichun Lu, Runchao Han, Jiangshan Yu, Vincent Gramoli, Hanna Halaburda, Rafael Pass
2022
We evaluate our general congestion attacks on Bitcoin's Lightning Network, and show that with direct channels to 1.5% richest nodes, and ∼ 0.0096 BTC of cost, the adversary can launch a congestion attack  ...  However, existing research has only focused on the specific attacking strategies and specific aspects of their impact on PCNs. We fill this gap by studying the general congestion attack.  ...  To k e n o m i c s 2 0 2 1 2:8 General Congestion Attack on HTLC-Based Payment Channel Networks Inspired by B'eres et al.  ... 
doi:10.4230/oasics.tokenomics.2021.2 fatcat:tag3dda5izd7hgvrt3ma3xvf2q

Flood Loot: A Systemic Attack On The Lightning Network [article]

Jona Harris, Aviv Zohar
2020 arXiv   pre-print
One of the risks that was identified early on is that of a wide systemic attack on the protocol, in which an attacker triggers the closure of many Lightning channels at once.  ...  This paper explores the details of such an attack and evaluates its cost and overall impact on Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.  ...  CONCLUSIONS In this work we presented the Flood & Loot attack, in which an attacker can successfully steal funds from nodes on the Lightning Network.  ... 
arXiv:2006.08513v4 fatcat:e2h2bgjcvndw7okh65y3quhu2q

Bank run Payment Channel Networks [article]

Zhichun Lu, Runchao Han, Jiangshan Yu
2020 IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive  
We evaluate our general congestion attacks on Bitcoin's Lightning Network, and show that with direct channels to 1.5% richest nodes, and ∼ 0.0096 BTC of cost, the adversary can launch a congestion attack  ...  However, existing research has only focused on the specific attacking strategies and specific aspects of their impact on PCNs. We fill this gap by studying the general congestion attack.  ...  Conclusion In this paper, we propose the general congestion attack on payment channel networks (PCNs).  ... 
dblp:journals/iacr/LuHY20 fatcat:qfb6akqmrvh4fd2qlmnu6ntama

Congestion Attacks in Payment Channel Networks [article]

Ayelet Mizrahi, Aviv Zohar
2021 arXiv   pre-print
The attack is based on overloading channels with requests that are kept unresolved until their expiration time.  ...  Reaching the maximum allowed unresolved requests (HTLCs) locks the channel for new payments.  ...  Acknowledgments We thank Itay Cohen, Nir Lavee and Zvi Yishai for providing improvements in our network partitioning algorithms and analysis.  ... 
arXiv:2002.06564v4 fatcat:pueqv4u3rbatbccgqp3mahrrny

A Survey of Layer-Two Blockchain Protocols [article]

Ankit Gangwal, Haripriya Ravali Gangavalli, Apoorva Thirupathi
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Nonetheless, Blockchain-based systems still suffer from low transaction rates and high transaction processing latencies, which hinder blockchains' scalability.  ...  Congestion attack Similar to balance lockdown attack, the goal of congestion attack [175] is to block victims' funds at a lower cost.  ...  It instead focuses on stalling payment networks by exhausting the channel capacity.  ... 
arXiv:2204.08032v3 fatcat:cca647fkyjf2dkdtub6vftslle

Time-Dilation Attacks on the Lightning Network [article]

Antoine Riard, Gleb Naumenko
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Lightning Network (LN) is a widely-used network of payment channels enabling faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions.  ...  We argue that simple detection techniques based on the slow block arrival alone are not effective, and implementing more sophisticated detection is not trivial.  ...  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We are grateful to Suhas Daftuar and Matt Corallo for initial discussions on time-dilation attacks.  ... 
arXiv:2006.01418v1 fatcat:biec6xlpwbeildzlng4n76so44

Strategic Analysis of Griefing Attack in Lightning Network [article]

Subhra Mazumdar, Prabal Banerjee, Abhinandan Sinha, Sushmita Ruj, Bimal Roy
2022 arXiv   pre-print
Hashed Timelock Contract (HTLC) in Lightning Network is susceptible to a griefing attack. An attacker can block several channels and stall payments by mounting this attack.  ...  By experimenting on several instances of Lightning Network, we observe that the capacity locked in the network drops to 28% for HTLC-GP^ζ whereas the capacity locked does not drop below 40% for HTLC-GP  ...  Several interconnected payment channels form a payment channel network or PCN. Lightning Network is the most popular Bitcoin-based PCN [7] .  ... 
arXiv:2203.10533v2 fatcat:czgl6jku2vbwfcffphkw26rmxu

Fundamental Properties of the Layer Below a Payment Channel Network (Extended Version) [article]

Matthias Grundmann, Hannes Hartenstein
2020 arXiv   pre-print
We uncouple payment channel networks from blockchains and look at them as first-class citizens. This brings up the question what model payment channel networks require as first layer.  ...  In response, we formalize a model (called RFL Model) for a first layer below a payment channel network.  ...  Introduction Payment channel networks (PCNs) became popular as an approach for improving the scalability of blockchain based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin [16] .  ... 
arXiv:2010.08316v1 fatcat:kqfyn5xoufefrh2uwcklj5xlwq

Counting Down Thunder: Timing Attacks on Privacy in Payment Channel Networks [article]

Elias Rohrer, Florian Tschorsch
2020 arXiv   pre-print
In this work, we however show that the privacy guarantees of the Lightning Network may be subverted by an on-path adversary conducting timing attacks on the HTLC state negotiation messages.  ...  In Lightning, multi-hop payments are secured by utilizing Hashed Time-Locked Contracts (HTLCs) and encrypted on the network layer by an onion routing scheme to avoid information leakage to intermediate  ...  Also, more and more work studies the possibility of attacks on the security and privacy of second-layer solutions in general and payment channel networks in particular.  ... 
arXiv:2006.12143v1 fatcat:35qivm6m6radlp52oqw27llpf4

An evaluation of cryptocurrency payment channel networks and their privacy implications

Kemal Akkaya, Suat Mercan, Enes Erdin
2021 ITU Journal  
After discussing several emerging attacks on user/business privacy in these payment channel networks, we qualitatively evaluate them based on a number of privacy metrics that relate to our case.  ...  Based on the discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches, we offer possible directions for research for the future of privacy based payment channel networks.  ...  These attacker types and how they can situate in the network are shown in Fig. 5 as follows: 1 ⃝ The attacker is on the path of a payment. 2 ⃝ The attacker is not on the path of a particular payment  ... 
doi:10.52953/clbl7402 fatcat:vo5cmaeaxbaufl2fk2sduqq4au

Mass Exit Attacks on the Lightning Network [article]

Cosimo Sguanci, Anastasios Sidiropoulos
2022 arXiv   pre-print
We show via simulations that, under historically-plausible congestion conditions, with mild statistical assumptions on channel balances, both of the attacks can be performed by a very small coalition.  ...  Our experimental findings are supported by a theoretical justification based on the scale-free topology of the LN.  ...  1 We omit private channels and focus on publicly known ones that are broadcasted in the peer-2-peer (p2p) layer of the LN.  ... 
arXiv:2208.01908v2 fatcat:qzm5xjxg5bdg3hzgcayrauwlxy

SoK: Off The Chain Transactions [article]

Lewis Gudgeon, Pedro Moreno-Sanchez, Stefanie Roos, Patrick McCorry, Arthur Gervais
2019 IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive  
Layer-two protocols, built on top of (layer-one) blockchains, avoid disseminating every transaction to the whole network by exchanging authenticated transactions off-chain.  ...  Categorizing the research into payment and state channels, commit-chains and protocols for refereed delegation, we provide a comparison of the protocols and their properties.  ...  Celer's routing relies on a flow algorithm, cRoute. An optimization problem is formulated based on local congestion with solutions guided by the congestion gradients.  ... 
dblp:journals/iacr/GudgeonMRMG19 fatcat:r6luga6h2bgrfluy5apycn5qti

Universal Payment Channels: An Interoperability Platform for Digital Currencies [article]

Mihai Christodorescu, Erin English, Wanyun Catherine Gu, David Kreissman, Ranjit Kumaresan, Mohsen Minaei, Srinivasan Raghuraman, Cuy Sheffield, Arjuna Wijeyekoon, Mahdi Zamani
2021 arXiv   pre-print
payment channels.  ...  We envision a future payment network that may be built on top of DLT networks without being subject to their limitations on interoperability, scalability, and availability faced by DLT payment solutions  ...  Raiden relies on HTLCs to enable multi-hop routing of payments across this network, while supporting 160 concurrent payments on a single channel [20] .  ... 
arXiv:2109.12194v2 fatcat:e2sgo4tsqbhnfnujqkcd7cbuzq

Exploiting Centrality: Attacks in Payment Channel Networks with Local Routing [article]

Ben Weintraub, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Stefanie Roos
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Payment channel networks (PCN) enable scalable blockchain transactions without fundamentally changing the underlying distributed ledger algorithm.  ...  Previous work on denial-of-service attacks focused on source routing, which is unlikely to remain a viable routing approach as these networks grow.  ...  An alternative attack is network congestion [30] .  ... 
arXiv:2007.09047v1 fatcat:gcl5cmsf6fcdpkjwdqkvzyzonu

MAD-HTLC: Because HTLC is Crazy-Cheap to Attack [article]

Itay Tsabary, Matan Yechieli, Alex Manuskin, Ittay Eyal
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Many of these constructions, including operational payment channels and atomic swaps, use a building block called Hashed Time-Locked Contract (HTLC).  ...  We identify bribe opportunities occurring on the Bitcoin and Ethereum main networks where a few dollars bribe could yield tens of thousands of dollars in reward (e.g., $2 for over $25K).  ...  These include high-frequency payment channels [4] - [10] , atomic swaps [11] - [15] , contingent payments [16] - [20] , and vaults [21] - [24] .  ... 
arXiv:2006.12031v3 fatcat:xjth2tcf35gtxegphnalg6onx4
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