Friday, March 29, 2019
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DoS Vulnerability in Bitcoin

The   developers of Bitcoin, the anonymous  digital currency system, have fixed a flaw in the system which allowed     malicious  users to perform  denial of service (DoS) attacks on a victim’s node, causing it to stop receiving  updates    from the Bitcoin network.

To   send    and receive payments,  Bitcoin nodes encode the transfer information into blocks of data that get aggregated    into a globally distributed block chain. Each transaction is cryptographically signed and linked to the previous one. For this system to work, the user’s client needs to communicate with the global network    frequently in order to keep up to date with the transactions that have happened since the last time it was online. If a node is isolated from the network for a significant amount of time, it can not initiate or receive transfers of bitcoins.

The developers have not yet explained how the   vulnerability in the Bitcoin software can be exploited – they wish to give    users sufficient time to patch their clients   before  releasing information that could be used by hackers to    reverse engineer a working exploit. They have, however, released version 0.6.2 of the client which fixes the problem. Backports of the fix for versions 0.5.5 and 0.4.6 are also available. The developers have stated that the vulnerability cannot be used to compromise users’ wallets.

The Bitcoin client is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Its source code is licensed under the MIT License.


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