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Author Topic: How does the shuffling attack work and what is the motivation  (Read 371 times)

julianwlsn

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Hi,

I was reading through the whitepaper and wiki and came across this line:

A shuffling attack could be mounted by moving stake to an account that will generate the next block, which is another reason why a Nxt stake must be stationary for 1440 blocks before it can contribute to forging (via the effective balance value). Interestingly, the new base target value for the next block cannot be reasonably predicted, so the nearly-deterministic process of determining who will forge the next block becomes increasingly stochastic as attempts are made to predict future blocks.

I'm a bit confused why anyone would even want to perform this attack since there is no block reward in NXT and the miner is only paid in fees. Therefore, by moving stake there is no benefit.

Can anyone explain?

Thanks

fjm

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There are various sorts of attacks that take advantage of transparent forging. What that paragraph calls a shuffling attack means that if you know at block X how the forger will be calculated for block X+Y, you could calculate whether shifting your stake to one of your other accounts would make the difference in whether it gets selected to be the forger. Basically, each mule account you have would give you another chance at getting a good pseudorandom number. If you make the "effective balance" delayed at least Y blocks, you prevent that attack. You don't get a block reward; whether you consider fees significant is a matter of how expensive the attack would be compared to the fees. Note also that you might have knowledge of a high fee transaction, and if Y is small you might choose to delay sharing it with other nodes so you can try to be its forger. Rather undesirable behavior.
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