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I'm currently in the process of working on my thesis about Bitcoin security and I'm wondering if there's any software available for testing of Bitcoin security? For example, are there any programs that will try launching double-spend attacks, simulate a 51% attack, or the like?

  • Just a bit of caution -- running attacks against the bitcoin network might be considered criminal acts in certain jurisdictions. For instance, if you are attempting to double-spend against a merchant, you might want to first ensure that is done with that merchant's knowledge and permission. – Stephen Gornick Feb 27 '12 at 17:39
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    I'm not aiming to run any attack on the main Bitcoin network against anyone. If anything I'd be running most of such tests on testnet, and limiting a double-spend attack to my own addresses on the mainnet. My goal is not to exploit the system, but to explore its strengths and weaknesses. – ThePiachu Feb 27 '12 at 19:52
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testnet-in-a-box is a simple way to set up your own testnet network, separate from the main one. That lets you mine your own blocks easily because the difficulty will stay low. Then you can play around with double-spending your own coins to yourself without inconveniencing others, and without needing large amounts of hash power.

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There's a fuzzing tool written by Gavin to test the Bitcoin protocol for vulnerabilities.

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