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Title: An adaptive gas cost mechanism for ethereum to defend against under-priced DoS attacks
Authors: Chen, T 
Li, X 
Wang, Y
Chen, J 
Li, Z
Luo, X 
Au, MH 
Zhang, X
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Source: Lecture notes in computer science (including subseries Lecture notes in artificial intelligence and lecture notes in bioinformatics), 2017, v. 10701 LNCS, p. 3-24 How to cite?
Journal: Lecture notes in computer science (including subseries Lecture notes in artificial intelligence and lecture notes in bioinformatics) 
Abstract: The gas mechanism in Ethereum charges the execution of every operation to ensure that smart contracts running in EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) will be eventually terminated. Failing to properly set the gas costs of EVM operations allows attackers to launch DoS attacks on Ethereum. Although Ethereum recently adjusted the gas costs of EVM operations to defend against known DoS attacks, it remains unknown whether the new setting is proper and how to configure it to defend against unknown DoS attacks. In this paper, we make the first step to address this challenging issue by first proposing an emulation-based framework to automatically measure the resource consumptions of EVM operations. The results reveal that Ethereum’s new setting is still not proper. Moreover, we obtain an insight that there may always exist exploitable under-priced operations if the cost is fixed. Hence, we propose a novel gas cost mechanism, which dynamically adjusts the costs of EVM operations according to the number of executions, to thwart DoS attacks. This method punishes the operations that are executed much more frequently than before and lead to high gas costs. To make our solution flexible and secure and avoid frequent update of Ethereum client, we design a special smart contract that collaborates with the updated EVM for dynamic parameter adjustment. Experimental results demonstrate that our method can effectively thwart both known and unknown DoS attacks with flexible parameter settings. Moreover, our method only introduces negligible additional gas consumption for benign users.
Description: 13th International Conference on Information Security Practice and Experience, ISPEC 2017, Melbourne, Australia, 13-15 December, 2017
ISBN: 9783319723587
ISSN: 0302-9743
EISSN: 1611-3349
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72359-4_1
Appears in Collections:Conference Paper

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