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DDoSCoin is a conceptual cryptocurrency with an "evil" proof-of-work. Rather than use a hash-based proof-of-work like Bitcoin, DDoSCoin allows miners to prove that they have contributed to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) against a specific target.

How it works

DDoSCoin incentivizes miners to make large numbers of requests to specific target TLSv1.2 servers. Occasionally, the response from a target webserver will satisify specific criteria, and the miner can publish the network packet trace as a proof-of-work, creating the next block in the DDoSCoin blockchain, and collecting the miner's block reward.

To do this, miners take the hash of the latest block, the merkle root of transactions to be included in the next block (including a coinbase transaction to the miner), and a random fixed-length nonce, and hash these to get the value the miner will use as the client random in its Client Hello message to the TLS server. The server will respond with a Server Hello, Certificate, and Server Key Exchange.

Inside the Server Key Exchange in TLS1.2, the server sends its contribution to the key agreement protocol, and signs the parameters with its private key. The key exchange parameters are signed along with the client and server randoms, which allows the miner to prove to anyone that the server has seen the particular client random (i.e. the client actually contacted the server with that client random).

If a hash over the Server Key Exchange and the random nonce used in the client random results in a value less than the current target, the miner can publish this transaction to create the next block.

In the block, the miner must publish the transactions, the fixed-length nonce, the server random, the server key exchange parameters, the key exchange signature, and the TLS certificate of the target. To verify blocks, other miners recreate the client random by hashing the hash of the previous block, transaction merkle root, and nonce. The server's key exchange signature over this client random, provided server random, and provided server key exchange parameters is verified using the certificate public key. The fingerprint of the certificate is verfied to belong to a valid specified target. The difficulty is verified by hashing the server key exchange message and the nonce, and verifying it is less than the current difficulty. If all of these checks pass (plus any standard transaction validity checks pass), then this block is considered valid.

Technical details

nonce = 32-byte random value
client_random = SHA256(SHA256(prev_block) || tx_merkle_root || nonce)

// Server Key Exchange message:
//      server_key_exchange_params
//      signature
// where signature = Sign(client_random || server_random ||
//                        server_key_exchange_params)

difficulty = SHA256(server_key_exchange_params || signature || nonce)
if difficulty < target:
    // This is a new block!
    // Make more connections to the target >:)

The nonce is included in the difficulty hash because otherwise the server could prevent anyone from ever getting a valid block (thus disincentivizing miners from attacking it) by discarding key exchange parameters whos hash would be less than the target difficulty. By blinding this from the server (while also forcing the client to commit to it in the client random), the server cannot tell if a response will be useful to a potential DDoSCoin miner.


A malicious cryptocurrency



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