Broken Privacy? The Allegations Against Monero Are Old News – CoindeskMarch 29, 2018
Nothing spreads faster than FUD.
Case in point, a new research paper has sparked panic across the monero community in that it alleges the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency is not so private. Yet, while the findings are genuine, the media aftermath ignores that much of the research in question was originally published in 2017, and the vulnerability it highlights was resolved with monero’s September 2017 hard fork upgrade.
Titled “An Empirical Analysis of Linkability in the Monero Blockchain,” the 2017 paper, written by Andrew Miller, Malte Moser, Kevin Lee and Arvind Narayanan, highlighted how ring signatures could cause types of linkability that could, in turn, cause users to be identified. According to the paper, up to 62% of transactions up until February 2017 were linkable.
Accompanied by a website that allowed users to check whether their transactions could be linked, the release of the original paper sent shock waves throughout the community.
The paper was heavily scrutinized by the monero team, who wrote that the study came with some significant oversights, including a failure to mention that many of the exploits had already been documented.
But the damage had been done, and so monero developers moved to make RingCT, a confidential signatures technology, mandatory (where they were optional before) through the September hard fork.
Now, in the newly released version of the paper – which at least speaks to monero’s work to secure its systems – authored by a larger team, the findings related to the loss of privacy remain unchanged, even though the vulnerability has since been resolved.
“The monero project would like to remind everyone that the largest vulnerability in this paper was noted over two years before, was mitigated over a year before and was nearly completely resolved before the first version of the paper was published,”Justin