A Machine Learning Approach to Anomaly Detection based on Traffic Monitoring for Secure Blockchain Networking

Jinoh Kim, Makiya Nakashima, Wenjun Fan, Simeon Wuthier, Xiaobo Zhou, Ikkyun Kim, Sang Yoon Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


While blockchain technology provides strong cryptographic protection on the ledger and the system operations, the underlying blockchain networking remains vulnerable due to potential threats such as denial of service (DoS), Eclipse, spoofing, and Sybil attacks. Effectively detecting such malicious events should thus be an essential task for securing blockchain networks and services. Due to its importance, several studies investigated anomaly detection in Bitcoin and blockchain networks, but their analyses mainly focused on the blockchain ledger in the application context (e.g., transactions) and targets specific types of attacks (e.g., double-spending, deanonymization, etc). In this study, we present a security mechanism based on the analysis of blockchain network traffic statistics (rather than ledger data) to detect malicious events, through the functions of data collection and anomaly detection. The data collection engine senses the underlying blockchain traffic and generates multi-dimensional data streams in a periodic, real-time manner. The anomaly detection engine then detects anomalies from the created data instances based on semi-supervised learning, which is capable of detecting previously unseen patterns, and we introduce our profiling-based detection engine implemented on top of AutoEncoder (AE). Our experimental results evaluated with real and simulated traffic data support the effectiveness of our security mechanism and design choices based on the AE structure, with the approximate detection performance to the supervised learning methods only through the profiling of normal instances. The measured time complexity is sufficiently cheap to perform real-time analysis, with less than 1.4 msec for per-instance testing on a single core setting.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2022


  • Anomaly detection
  • anomaly detection
  • Bitcoin
  • Blockchain
  • Blockchains
  • Data collection
  • Engines
  • machine learning
  • online detection.
  • P2P networking
  • Peer-to-peer computing
  • Security
  • semi-supervised learning
  • traffic analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'A Machine Learning Approach to Anomaly Detection based on Traffic Monitoring for Secure Blockchain Networking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this