DOSing Distributed Ledger Technology: IOTA

Mark A. Brady, Ikram Ullah, Paul J.M. Havinga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


With advancements in connected technology, the number of ambitious applications involving Internet of Things (IoT) are drastically growing. This increases concerns related to security, scalability, and interoperability of IoT. As the network of connected devices grows, decentralized technologies become inevitable. Within this trend towards decentralization, distributed ledger technology (for instance IOTA) will be a significant driving force. IOTA is an innovative distributed ledger technology targeted towards low power devices, where energy efficiency is a high priority. Public research regarding security threats against IOTA especially denial-of-service (DoS) is essentially non-existent. In this paper we focus on exploring a DoS attack against IOTA. The proposed attack methodology takes advantage of the lack of fees along with the ability to transfer minuscule amounts. By sending many conflicting transactions as it results in a high number of re-attachments. The high number of re-attachments threatens IOTA's suitability for the IoT sphere. The implications of such attack, as well as the future of this issue in terms of the planned removal of the centralized coordinator are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE 5th International Conference on Cryptography, Security and Privacy (CSP)
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-8621-4, 978-1-7281-8620-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-8622-1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021
Event5th International Conference on Cryptography, Security and Privacy, CSP 2021 - Virtual Conference
Duration: 8 Jan 202110 Jan 2021
Conference number: 5


Conference5th International Conference on Cryptography, Security and Privacy, CSP 2021
Abbreviated titleCSP 2021
CityVirtual Conference
Internet address


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