Hi all! I’m following up with a discussion from our infrastructure call today (Sep 8th 2020) regarding a plan to provide community seed and sentry nodes. Community sentry nodes would meaningfully increase the cost of an attack on any nodes that participated by adding more points that need to go down for the connected Secret Nodes to miss blocks. Community Seed Nodes would help to ensure anyone using the seed node could easily keep their address book up to date so they always know what peers to connect with.
What are Sentry Nodes?
On the Secret Network, a Secret Node can be attacked using the Distributed Denial of Service method. Secret Nodes have a fixed IP address and it opens a RESTful API port facing the Internet. Both the fixed IP and REST API are attack vectors that if overwhelmed can cause your Secret Node to miss blocks or otherwise be unable to communicate stably with the rest of the network.
What is a Seed Node?
Seeds are the first point of contact for a new node. They return a list of known active peers and then disconnect. Seed nodes are similar to regular full nodes except their only actual function is to gossip peer and maintain an up to date address book of nodes on the network to communicate with. Connecting to a seed node is a standard way to ensure your node maintains a healthy connection to the rest of the network by ensuring the address book remains up to date.
What would the Community Infrastructure Proposal offer?
The proposal would cover the costs of 3 SGX compliant nodes, expenses to colocate the nodes, and any time involved in maintaining them. Any community member would be able to request being added to the list of peers for the sentry nodes and in turn augment their infrastructure by adding another layer of sentry nodes, or be a resource to those who cannot run their sentry nodes. Furthermore at least one of the Sentry Nodes would also be in archival mode to ensure a complete copy of the blockchain (vs a pruned version) is maintained at all times for public use. These nodes would be maintained indefinitely (as long as secretnodes.org / Secret LLC is sustainable) and no further requests for funding would be made by us in regards to this offering as long as the equipment works for the specified task.
Community Spend Amount
Notes: While I do think this community infrastructure is important I want to make sure anyone interested in this knows that while we will maintain the nodes as a part of our core infrastructure, we still recommend and encourage node runners to have at least one of their own sentry nodes.