It's October and we here at the Ƀent are well known for our penchant to play along with holiday themes. As Halloween approaches, we thought we'd take the time to share some scary stories with you. Here's a transcript from a talk that Ethan Heilman gave over the weekend at a Bitcoin conference hosted by MIT. The talk is titled Near misses: What could have gone wrong, and is filled with scary stories from Bitcoin's past.
Take some time to learn about the bugs that have been found in the Bitcoin codebase over the years. Problems that, if exploited, did and/or could have led to node denial of service attacks, inflation bugs, and inevitable network splits. Luckily for us, the scary stories that Ethan told about Bitcoin's past have come and gone. The bugs have been patched and lessons have been learned. But, if anything, we should use these instances to help become more vigilant moving forward. Each individual exploit teaches us about an attack vector we should be aware of and how we can harden our defenses. The more we find and come to understand, the better.
So let this be a scary reminder to you freaks out there, bugs have existed, they probably exist right now, and may very well exist in the future within Bitcoin. Be aware. Stay vigilant. Encourage your smart developer friends to help peer review the Bitcoin Core codebase.
Moving the car for street sweeping; equal parts rage inducing and demoralizing.