• Corpus ID: 232233268

Security and Privacy of Lightning Network Payments with Uncertain Channel Balances

@article{Pickhardt2021SecurityAP,
  title={Security and Privacy of Lightning Network Payments with Uncertain Channel Balances},
  author={Rene Pickhardt and Sergei Tikhomirov and Alex Biryukov and Mariusz Nowostawski},
  journal={ArXiv},
  year={2021},
  volume={abs/2103.08576}
}
The Lightning Network (LN) is a prominent payment channel network aimed at addressing Bitcoin’s scalability issues. Due to the privacy of channel balances, senders cannot reliably choose sufficiently liquid payment paths and resort to a trial-and-error approach, trying multiple paths until one succeeds. This leaks private information and decreases payment reliability, which harms the user experience. This work focuses on the reliability and privacy of LN payments. We create a probabilistic… 
1 Citations
Optimally Reliable & Cheap Payment Flows on the Lightning Network
TLDR
This work uses minimum cost flows as a proper generalization of shortest paths to multi-part payments (MPP) and shows that under plausible assumptions about the balance distributions the authors can find the most likely MPP for any given set of senders, recipients and amounts by solving for a (generalized) integer minimum cost flow with a separable and convex cost function.

References

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TLDR
This work shows that an attacker can easily discover channel balances using probing, and argues that LN's balance between privacy and routing efficiency is suboptimal: channel balances are neither well protected nor utilized.
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TLDR
The privacy guarantees of the Lightning Network may be subverted by an on-path adversary conducting timing attacks on the HTLC state negotiation messages, and estimators are provided that enable an adversary to reduce the anonymity set and infer the likeliest payment endpoints.
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TLDR
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TLDR
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