Although many people are looking to run a Bitcoin Node on their computer or another device, very few people are aware of what types of security risks are associated with this process. One Reddit user pointed out how running a Bitcoin node puts users at risk of undergoing scans to determine whether or not there is a wallet address file stored somewhere. The Bitcoin client software will automatically reject most of these scan requests, but it is something to be aware of at all times.
Bitcoin Node Users Vulnerable to Wallet Scans
Although these wallet scans are not a particular threat just yet – HTTP requests will get blocked in most cases anyway – it is important for users to keep in mind that running a Bitcoin wallet on the same device might not be the best idea. Based on the logs provided by this Reddit user, the scan is actively looking for the wallet.dat file on the computer, which can be important for other Bitcoin clients if it is not encrypted.
It has to be said, however, that Bitcoin is not the only target of these wallet scans. The logs mention other digital currency as well, such as Namecoin, Peercoin, Primecoin, and Litecoin. Digital currency enthusiasts would be wise to run their coin wallets on an entirely different machine compared to the Bitcoin node.
Keeping in mind how all of these wallet scans are HTTP requests, users should try to avoid running an HTTP server on the same device as their Bitcoin node either. For example, an exchange site or block explorer running a node on the same server could be exposed to a potential loss of wallets in the future.
Moreover, people running a Bitcoin Node should never store any coins in a wallet stored on the same computer. While it is an annoyance to have addresses compromised, they can be replaced rather quickly. Funds stored in those wallets, however, cannot be recovered through traditional means, and will be lost forever in most cases.
The upside is how Bitcoin Node owners can disable the Bitcoin wallet function on their device or server with relative ease. This should be a mandatory step for all Bitcoin users in the world although it is not unimaginable some people aren’t taking these necessary precautions. A lot of issues can be avoided by conducting some research on setting up a Bitcoin Node before doing so.
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