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In the era of Docker containers and how easy it is to spin up potentially thousands of nodes in a minute, what kind of attack could some malicious actor pull off if they performed this? Would Dandelion fail, assuming a single entity could temporarily be the link between the majority of nodes? Would remote nodes become very risky, as these nodes could all serve malicious blockchain info? Would different attacks be possible depending on the % of malicious nodes run, i.e. 50%, 75%, or 90%?

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In the era of Docker containers and how easy it is to spin up potentially thousands of nodes in a minute,

I wouldn't agree it's as easy as you allude to. Each node needs to use a blockchain (storage) and sync (bandwidth). Thus costs and effort are not as negligible as may seem.

what kind of attack could some malicious actor pull off if they performed this?

Transaction censoring, linking transactions to IP addresses, selfish mining, forking the network... all sorts of mischief becomes possible if one controls a majority of the network. In practice it's far from simple however.

Would Dandelion fail, assuming a single entity could temporarily be the link between the majority of nodes?

That's getting a bit specific to a generalized problem. If a single entity controls a majority of the network, Dandelion or not, linkage is going to be one of the possible attacks we'd face.

Would remote nodes become very risky, as these nodes could all serve malicious blockchain info?

Using a public (which is what I assume you are referring to) remote node is always "risky". You are trusting that the remote node operator is not logging your IP and times you are transacting. You are trusting their view of the blockchain they serve you. So if you're inclined to use (and trust) random unknown nodes now, of course it becomes more risky if there are more malicious nodes.

Would different attacks be possible depending on the % of malicious nodes run, i.e. 50%, 75%, or 90%?

Without you defining a specific attack, in general, any eclipse style attack becomes more effective the more of the network is controlled.

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  • Indeed, it is quite a broad subject. There have been a few papers (of varying quality), discussing eclipse attacks.
    – jtgrassie
    Apr 28, 2020 at 20:04

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