Author

Topic: Bitcoin clients getting k-lined from the IRC bootstrapping channel (Read 14958 times)

full member
Activity: 214
Merit: 100
I am the admin of irc.smutfairy.com - sorry the name frightened some of you - it was intended as a joke. I have changed the DNS PTR to point back to irc.lfnet.org which hopefully won't be so intimidating Wink
newbie
Activity: 20
Merit: 0
Yea, that's what weirded me out. I expected to see an IRC connection, but the domain had me concerned! My linux boxes are strapped down pretty tight, so I was a little surprised at that. A quick Google search turned up some info that tied it to bitcoin, so I'm less worried now. Smiley
member
Activity: 70
Merit: 11
Heh... had me a little confusion for a few minutes, as I was monitoring my PC's connections and noticed that I was connecting to "irc.smutfairy.com"... needless to say, that wasn't a pleasant thing to see, as I couldn't figure out what would connect to a server name like THAT. I tracked down the process that was using the port associated with that url and it was bitcoind, so I figure it's alright... but yea, the name alone was enough for me to start tossing up new firewall rules there for a few minutes!

smutfairy???

Time for another bootstrapping mechanism Wink
newbie
Activity: 20
Merit: 0
Heh... had me a little confusion for a few minutes, as I was monitoring my PC's connections and noticed that I was connecting to "irc.smutfairy.com"... needless to say, that wasn't a pleasant thing to see, as I couldn't figure out what would connect to a server name like THAT. I tracked down the process that was using the port associated with that url and it was bitcoind, so I figure it's alright... but yea, the name alone was enough for me to start tossing up new firewall rules there for a few minutes!
member
Activity: 70
Merit: 11
The IRC component should definitely be disclosed. I glossed over this somewhere, and I thought it was a manual thing I could do to connect. I had no idea that Bitcoin was connecting to IRC in the background.

In the future, telling bitcoin to connect through Tor/etc... will also be nice options.
founder
Activity: 364
Merit: 3077
Freenode is too visible, right in the middle of where all those users and moderators are hanging out.  Laszlo's option is a much better fit for us.

I made 0.3.0.RC2 available that uses irc.lfnet.org instead of freenode if you want to start switching over:
https://bitcointalksearch.org/topic/m.1787
full member
Activity: 199
Merit: 696
Oh so with all that being said, you guys are all welcome to IRC on irc.lfnet.org.  It is a small network that me and a couple of guys run.. we don't have services or k-lines or anything like that.
full member
Activity: 199
Merit: 696
Whether it's right or wrong, when people who know what IRC is hear that IRC is involved in something, they immediately think malice..  This is not without foundation as a lot of antisocial behavior takes places on IRC channels.  The other thought is botnets which use IRC to bootstrap, control or communicate.  A program which connects to IRC is by definition called a 'bot' and to IRC people that means something bad, especially if it's not an IRC bot program specifically.

What Satoshi did here is use IRC simply as a matchmaking service but I could see how someone could draw the wrong conclusion when they see a channel with hundreds of randomly named bots idling in it.  Perhaps you could put these people's minds at ease if there was some pop up asking them if it's ok to bootstrap from IRC.. because if they just write it off as a trojan or botnet they may never bother to find out how it really works.

newbie
Activity: 55
Merit: 0
This does make Bitcoin seem a bit... malicious to say the least...
Bootstrapping to the network is malicious?
hero member
Activity: 490
Merit: 504
My avatar pic says it all
I was mucking around with the source code on a large research cluster that I have access to. For some reason the nodes were connecting and disconnecting from Freenode quite rapidly witch resulted in most of my nodes getting k-lined. Freenode started going nuts and blocking my nodes as fast as I was creating connections.

Not too sure if other people were k-line'd as well because of this?? However, the timing was "bang on".

I had discovered the bug around the same time this k-line problem was reported. I ended up forcing the source to seed IPs from some Bitcoin clients that I run on a different network.


founder
Activity: 364
Merit: 3077
We need more details about what happened MadHatter.

Both 0.2 and 0.3 have a backup way of getting connected without IRC, it's just slower to get connected.

0.2 can find other nodes without IRC if it's ever been connected before, but a new install can't discover the network for the first time without IRC.

0.3 can also seed without IRC.  It can operate entirely without IRC if it needs to, but it's better having IRC for redundancy.
full member
Activity: 202
Merit: 108
GCC - Global cryptocurrency
I'm connected now.
full member
Activity: 202
Merit: 108
GCC - Global cryptocurrency
full member
Activity: 132
Merit: 101
It's a relief to hear this.
And what were you exactly testing?

Like, how can it affect the whole network?
If this is a bug that can bring down the whole network, it's pretty serious, heh.
hero member
Activity: 490
Merit: 504
My avatar pic says it all
Whoops! My bad. I was testing something and it went haywire. Tongue

Should see the k-lines lift shortly. Heh.
full member
Activity: 132
Merit: 101
At 21:11 dutch time (CEST), around 10 minutes ago from when I made this post, the Bitcoin clients are getting k-lined.

(note, times are CEST.)
Code:
--- SNIP ---
[21:11:36] * u4euc453wZ599zQ has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:37] * u4mZRTtQwC6NskZ has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:37] * x398030675 has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:37] * u4m5AmvGVaM8MNU has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:37] * x92119461 has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:38] * u4iQ9mpGopGTd6D has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:39] * u4iqow5D1WqBmPH has quit (K-Lined)
[21:11:39] * u4qsjyU6VRAtfRD has quit (K-Lined)
--- SNIP ---

Anyhow, this leaves the bitcoin network unable to operate.
I see some clients getting back slowly.
But this worries me.
I suggest we apply what ever other bootstrapping mechanism we have right now, and release 0.3 ASAP.

Someone in #freenode suggested this:
Code:
Xunie: as a potential user of bitcoin, I would suggest that if your project is going to connect to IRC in the background, you should document that fact somewhere. I'm suddenly much more wary of using it now that I know that it does this.
This does make Bitcoin seem a bit... malicious to say the least...
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