Discussion:
Suggestion to remove word from BIP39 English wordlist
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Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-09 11:20:55 UTC
Permalink
Hello guys,

After reviewing some bitcoin improvement proposals, I noticed that one of the words that can be found on the BIP39 English wordlist is “satoshi”.
I suggest removing this word from the list so it’s less obvious that it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious third party.

Regards,
Ronald van der Meer

E: ***@vandermeer.frl | W: https://www.vandermeer.frl
S: https://twitter.com/truly_secure

GPG: 8203 CE3E 064D C462 1D22 F635 A1EC 45F9 645F 878D
Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 01:07:53 UTC
Permalink
2018-01-09 19:20 GMT+08:00 Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
After reviewing some bitcoin improvement proposals, I noticed that one of the words that can be found on the BIP39 English wordlist is “satoshi”.
I suggest removing this word from the list so it’s less obvious that it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious third party.
If a malicious third party discovers a word list that look like a
seed, they would try using it as Bitcoin seed first anyway, with or
without finding the word 'satoshi' in it. The security threat is that
a malicious third party may index what they found and test every
occurrence of 'satoshi' for a lead to a seed.

For example, a hard-disk recycling service would add this word to
their salvage tools. Any successfully hacked gmail account will be
'satoshi' tested too.

So I see this as a reasonable improvement:)
CryptAxe via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 01:14:51 UTC
Permalink
Why wouldn't they just test the frequency of words from the wordlist in
entirety?

On Jan 17, 2018 5:10 PM, "Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev" <
Post by Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-09 19:20 GMT+08:00 Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
After reviewing some bitcoin improvement proposals, I noticed that one
of the words that can be found on the BIP39 English wordlist is “satoshi”.
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
I suggest removing this word from the list so it’s less obvious that
it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious third party.
If a malicious third party discovers a word list that look like a
seed, they would try using it as Bitcoin seed first anyway, with or
without finding the word 'satoshi' in it. The security threat is that
a malicious third party may index what they found and test every
occurrence of 'satoshi' for a lead to a seed.
For example, a hard-disk recycling service would add this word to
their salvage tools. Any successfully hacked gmail account will be
'satoshi' tested too.
So I see this as a reasonable improvement:)
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https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Jonathan Sterling via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 06:55:28 UTC
Permalink
All the more reason to only use the most common words that meet the other
criteria:
https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0039.mediawiki#Wordlist

I agree - keeping "satoshi" in there is an unnecessary security risk.

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Sterling

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 8:14 AM, CryptAxe via bitcoin-dev <
Post by CryptAxe via bitcoin-dev
Why wouldn't they just test the frequency of words from the wordlist in
entirety?
Post by Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-09 19:20 GMT+08:00 Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
After reviewing some bitcoin improvement proposals, I noticed that one
of the words that can be found on the BIP39 English wordlist is “satoshi”.
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
I suggest removing this word from the list so it’s less obvious that
it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious third party.
If a malicious third party discovers a word list that look like a
seed, they would try using it as Bitcoin seed first anyway, with or
without finding the word 'satoshi' in it. The security threat is that
a malicious third party may index what they found and test every
occurrence of 'satoshi' for a lead to a seed.
For example, a hard-disk recycling service would add this word to
their salvage tools. Any successfully hacked gmail account will be
'satoshi' tested too.
So I see this as a reasonable improvement:)
_______________________________________________
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https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
_______________________________________________
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https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
--
Kind Regards,

Jonathan Sterling
+44 (0)7415 512691
Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 19:50:24 UTC
Permalink
so it’s less obvious that it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious
third party
1. The same words are used for wallets of all kinds of coins, so it's not
obvious it's for bitcoin.

2. Anyone recognising the word "satoshi" as related to cryptocurrency in
general, would also recognise any mnemonic.

3. You could elect to skip a mnemonic that includes the word if it was a
personal concern (but I would discourage selecting a mnemonic base on
personal preference, as could get dangerously close to being a brain wallet
in effect).

4. You could choose to record just the first 4 characters of each word,
"sato" is enough.

5. Where do we stop? the words "coin", "cash", "rich" are in there too.

6. About automated data-recovery, if you are storing mnemonics on HDDs or
other digial media, then you have larger security concerns than it just
being found during HDD recycling.

But most of all:

7. Removing a word or changing a list *is impossible* as verification of an
existing mnemonic requires the list. To change one word, you would need to
provide an alternative to BIP0039 to cope with alternative words, or change
all the words to a completely new set of 2048 English words so that it is
clear which wordlist is in use.

Regards,

Alan

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 2:55 AM, Jonathan Sterling via bitcoin-dev <
All the more reason to only use the most common words that meet the other
criteria: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-
0039.mediawiki#Wordlist
I agree - keeping "satoshi" in there is an unnecessary security risk.
Kind Regards,
Jonathan Sterling
On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 8:14 AM, CryptAxe via bitcoin-dev <
Post by CryptAxe via bitcoin-dev
Why wouldn't they just test the frequency of words from the wordlist in
entirety?
On Jan 17, 2018 5:10 PM, "Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev" <
Post by Weiwu Zhang via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-09 19:20 GMT+08:00 Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
After reviewing some bitcoin improvement proposals, I noticed that one
of the words that can be found on the BIP39 English wordlist is “satoshi”.
Post by Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
I suggest removing this word from the list so it’s less obvious that
it’s a bitcoin seed when found by a malicious third party.
If a malicious third party discovers a word list that look like a
seed, they would try using it as Bitcoin seed first anyway, with or
without finding the word 'satoshi' in it. The security threat is that
a malicious third party may index what they found and test every
occurrence of 'satoshi' for a lead to a seed.
For example, a hard-disk recycling service would add this word to
their salvage tools. Any successfully hacked gmail account will be
'satoshi' tested too.
So I see this as a reasonable improvement:)
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
--
Kind Regards,
Jonathan Sterling
+44 (0)7415 512691 <+44%207415%20512691>
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Matthew Clancy via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 20:49:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
7. Removing a word or changing a list *is impossible* as verification of an
existing mnemonic requires the list. To change one word, you would need to
provide an alternative to BIP0039 to cope with alternative words, or change
all the words to a completely new set of 2048 English words so that it is
clear which wordlist is in use.
All that really would need to be done is select another word that is not on
the 2048 list, and then agree that by convention, the words 'satoshi' or
the alternative word will represent the same number on the list. It seems
to be to be a fairly simple thing to implement.
Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-18 21:29:27 UTC
Permalink
and then agree that by convention, the words 'satoshi' or the
alternative word will represent the same number on the list

That convention would be the alternative to BIP0039 I am referring to.
Post by Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
7. Removing a word or changing a list *is impossible* as verification of
an
Post by Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
existing mnemonic requires the list. To change one word, you would need to
provide an alternative to BIP0039 to cope with alternative words, or
change
Post by Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
all the words to a completely new set of 2048 English words so that it is
clear which wordlist is in use.
All that really would need to be done is select another word that is not
on the 2048 list, and then agree that by convention, the words 'satoshi'
or the alternative word will represent the same number on the list. It
seems to be to be a fairly simple thing to implement.
Ronald van der Meer via bitcoin-dev
2018-01-23 19:40:42 UTC
Permalink
I’m new to this so what is the next step?
--
Ronald van der Meer

E: ***@vandermeer.frl<mailto:***@vandermeer.frl> | W: https://www.vandermeer.frl
S: https://twitter.com/truly_secure

GPG: 8203 CE3E 064D C462 1D22 F635 A1EC 45F9 645F 878D



From: bitcoin-dev-***@lists.linuxfoundation.org [mailto:bitcoin-dev-***@lists.linuxfoundation.org] On Behalf Of Alan Evans via bitcoin-dev
Sent: donderdag 18 januari 2018 22:29
To: Matthew Clancy <***@gmail.com>
Cc: Bitcoin Protocol Discussion <bitcoin-***@lists.linuxfoundation.org>
Subject: Re: [bitcoin-dev] Suggestion to remove word from BIP39 English wordlist
and then agree that by convention, the words 'satoshi' or the alternative word will represent the same number on the list
That convention would be the alternative to BIP0039 I am referring to.
7. Removing a word or changing a list *is impossible* as verification of an
existing mnemonic requires the list. To change one word, you would need to
provide an alternative to BIP0039 to cope with alternative words, or change
all the words to a completely new set of 2048 English words so that it is
clear which wordlist is in use.
All that really would need to be done is select another word that is not on the 2048 list, and then agree that by convention, the words 'satoshi' or the alternative word will represent the same number on the list. It seems to be to be a fairly simple thing to implement.
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