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Nova Labs - Denylist

Introduction

The Helium community requested Nova Labs (formerly Helium, Inc.) to maintain a temporary Hotspot Denylist through an on-chain vote around block 1,180,295 (approximately 2022-01-14 04:57 UTC).

The Helium compiled firmware of Original Helium Hotspots (and RAK Hotspots) will use this list in the following manner. Hotspots performing the Challenger role for the Proof-of-Coverage system:

  • will not generate challenges for Hotspots in the denylist.
  • will drop witness receipts for Hotspots in the denylist.

We won’t be able to mark individual witness receipts as invalid due to presence in denylist as it would break consensus rules. A more complex implementation that includes this could be implemented in the coming weeks as a part of a HIP-40 implementation.

Other manufacturers will have the option of loading this denylist or other lists if they choose to do so and using that feature, their Hotspots will also take the same actions.

We may, or may not, choose to publish the methodology that is used to generate these new lists as that would potentially allow suspicious Hotspot deployers to identify the analysis approaches that we utilize. These lists will be published as frequently as we determine is necessary. They will be signed by Helium, Inc. as a part of a multisig with members consisting of community contributors and other researchers who support the work to generate this list.

Since these lists are going to be public, other tools like Explorer and Hotspotty may use them to visualize suspicious activity. In the coming weeks we will update the Helium mobile app to include a warning during the transfer Hotspot process if a Hotspot being transferred is on the suspected list.

We will publish these lists in two forms as releases in this repository:

  • A plaintext file that includes every Hotspot’s public key in base68 format.
  • A binary xor filter that can be loaded via configuration to activate the above feature.

Additions to this List

Requesting additions to this list has changed as of 10/27/22. At this time, please visit Crowdspot.io to request any additions to the Denylist.

We welcome contributions to add to the Denylist but may do independent verification to determine whether or not we feel comfortable adding individual Hotspots to this list.

Removal from this List

Requesting removals to this list has changed as of 10/27/22. At this time, please visit Crowdspot.io to request any removals to the Denylist.

We welcome contributions to the Denylist but may do independent verification to determine whether or not we feel comfortable removing individual Hotspots to this list.

Instructions for Signers

To use this repository to generate filters, you will need to use the xorf-generator binary that is responsible for generating a signed version of a binary xor filter.

If you are a multisig member you will also need a helium-wallet release to sign the filter data.

Updating the Denylist

  1. Open a PR with a modified denylist.csv file to add or remove Hotspots.

  2. Generate a manifest file. Ensure that you are incrementing the serial number.

    $ xorf-generator manifest generate --input denylist.csv --serial 2022012401
  3. Check in the generated manifest.json and push up to the PR

  4. Request signatures from multisig members in the PR

  5. Once enough signatures gave been provided, verify the manifest using:

    $ xorf-generator manifest verify --input denylist.csv

    If all signatures verify approve the PR and merge it

  6. The automatic CI will generate the final filter.bin from master using:

    $ xorf-generator filter generate --input denylist.csv
    

    which will generate a filter.bin and create a github release for that filter.bin with the given serial number.

    NOTE This step is automated and just provided for clarity

Providing a Signature

  1. You've probably created a key before this process and have it added to the public_key.json file.

    $ helium-wallet create basic -o signing.key
    
  2. A Pull Request is opened by another signer in the multisig.

  3. Verify the additions to the list of Hotspots using your methodology.

  4. Create the signing data using:

    $ xorf-generator manifest verify --input denylist.csv

    which will generate a data.bin to sign

  5. Sign the data file:

    $ helium-wallet -f signing.key sign file data.bin
    
  6. Add the resulting signature json to the signature array in the manifest.json of the PR.

    NOTE that this is a JSON file and that the signatures field is a a comma separated list of address, signature pairs.

  7. You can verify the manifest using:

    $ xorf-generator manifest verify --input denylist.csv

    which will output all the signatures and whether they are valid or not.

  8. Submit the updated manifest.json to the same PR

Adding / Removing Keys

  1. Modify the public_key.json file by adding or removing keys. Don't forget to adjust the required keys value if necessary.

  2. Generate the new multisig address.

    $ xorf-generator key info public_key.json
    
  3. Update miner to use this multisig address.

Note: A miner will not be able to verify releases with a new multisig until they have the new multisig address in their configuration.