Bitcoin Address Blacklists Found in Gentoo Linux

October 10, 2014

Bitcoin Address Blacklists have been found in the Gentoo Linux bitcoind 0.9.3 distribution.

The patch was deployed by Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr (aka Luke-Jr), who maintains the Gentoo distribution.

A bug report was posted to Gentoo’s bug repository:

net-p2p/bitcoind and net-p2p/bitcoin-qt enables ljr use flag by default, breaks bitcoin

The official bitcoind and bitcoin-qt in Gentoo enables patches which breaks Bitcoin by default. Please disable the ljr patches by default or preferably all together.

Enabling the [ljr use flag] results in errors like these:

2014-10-05 11:38:09 ERROR: AcceptToMemoryPool : ignoring transaction 289673d37df1a709829b3f3ea7b8549703f4251f26f5721863aacbccc47b95a9 with blacklisted output (SatoshiDice)

The report was followed by an intense discussion on the Gentoo bug repository and Reddit.

Luke-jr has taken corrective measures and apologized on Reddit earlier today:

“Deploying the ‘ljr’ USE flag to Gentoo as a default quietly was wrong, and has been disabled, as well as splitting the spam filtering off to an independent ‘ljr-antispam’ USE flag so the rest of my patch is not tied to it. Currently, these changes are only available in the “bitcoin” overlay, but should make it to the main Portage tree within a few days.”

While I still believe the full patch is the best solution for users today (I have been using it for years myself), I recognise that it should not be enabled without ensuring everyone receiving it is well-aware. What I should have done, in hindsight, was at the very least have a pre-installation notice informing users of the patch and a link to more details on what exactly is included in it and what those changes mean. I will put more effort into ensuring future patches are clearly disclosed upfront.

Over the long term, my hope is to see a BITCOIN_NODE_POLICY variable that can be specified as “ljr”, “vanilla”, or hopefully many other policies to match people’s many different preference in how their own system’s resources are used.


Images by Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): October 10, 2014 18:12

Tags: bug
Giulio Prisco @giulioprisco

Science writer, software developer, Bitcoin/crypto enthusiast.