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Improvements of the Balance Discovery Attack on Lightning Network Payment Channels

Abstract : The Lighting Network (LN) is a network of micropayment channels that runs on top of Bitcoin. The balances of payment channels are not broadcasted to the LN network to preserve the privacy of the nodes participating in the network. A balance disclosure attack (BDA) has been proven to be successful in determining the balance of large amounts of channels in the network. In this paper we propose an improved algorithm for the BDA as well as a new type of attack that leverages the differences between LN client software implementations. Our improved algorithm extends the original BDA by performing payments from both sides of the channel. The new attack uses malformed payments to shutdown payment channels an adversary is not part of.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-03440806
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Submitted on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 3:30:20 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 22, 2021 - 4:38:00 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 7:55:14 PM

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Gijs Van Dam, Rabiah Abdul Kadir, Puteri Nohuddin, Halimah Badioze Zaman. Improvements of the Balance Discovery Attack on Lightning Network Payment Channels. 35th IFIP International Conference on ICT Systems Security and Privacy Protection (SEC), Sep 2020, Maribor, Slovenia. pp.313-323, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-58201-2_21⟩. ⟨hal-03440806⟩

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