Carnegie Mellon – CMKL | Thailand team win Best Paper Award at IEEE Conference on Blockchain 2019

Jul 15, 2019

Student holding an award

Source: Carnegie Mellon – CMKL | Thailand

Bitcoin is the most widely adopted cryptocurrency, with more than 17 million Bitcoins in circulation and 76 billion USD market capitalization as of March 2019. Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, is considered for applications in smart contracts, health care, supply chains, review systems, and data storage systems.

Earlier works have analyzed the security and reliability of Bitcoin. Most of these studies assume blocks in the Bitcoin network are almost immediately available to the majority of the miners who validate and record new blockchain transactions. Victims of attacks may not receive the latest blockchain state in a timely manner, causing them to waste their mining power on invalid blocks. 

The research paper, “TendrilStaller: Block Delay Attack in Bitcoin,” by Hyong Kim, the Carnegie Mellon – CMKL | Thailand Program Director and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and his students Matthew Walck and Ke Wang addressed these issues. The paper was awarded the Best Paper at the IEEE International Conference on Blockchain 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2019.  

The research team presented TendrilStaller, an Eclipse attack targeting at Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer network, that enables an adversary to delay block propagation to a victim for 10 minutes. The adversary thus impedes the victim. Using this attack, 50%-85% of the blocks could be delayed to the victim. It further shows that the adoption of simple adversaries greatly increases the attack probability by 15% in average. The paper proposes several countermeasures to mitigate this eclipse attack. Read more here.