Under Sustained Attack, Ethereum to Introduce Hard Forks

Ethereum is still in trouble, the much-celebrated blockchain platform has been suffering from a sustained attack for weeks now. Under attack, the cryptocurrency based smart contracts platform is now looking at not one but two consecutive hard forks.

According to a recent announcement on Ethereum’s official blog, these “very crafty” attackers have been uncovering one vulnerability after another in Ethereum client implementations and protocol specifications to hinder the performance of the network. The attack has got the Ethereum developer community working overtime to patch the vulnerabilities. In Ethereum’s words, these patches have increased the overall resiliency in client implementations.

In spite of multiple patches, users are still facing difficulties with transactions and memory limitations. Ethereum has come up with a three-step solution to overcome the sustained attack. The strategy announced by the platform includes;

  1. Lowering the gaslimit by miners to 500K gas as a temporary measure.
  2. The first hard fork to “reprice” certain operations to match with the complexity of underlying computations.
  3. Another hard fork to rectify “state-bloat” resulting from the attack by removing empty accounts (accounts with no code, balance, storage, and nonce == 0).

The first among the two hard forks, EIP 150 version 1c was originally supposed to be implemented at block 2457000. But it has been pushed forward to block 2463000, further delaying the fix.

The attack on Ethereum network has affected traders, developers and everyone else even remotely connected to Ethereum or Ethereum based tokens. ShapeShift.io, the crypto-crypto exchange platform has announced a considerable delay in exchange orders involving Ether, Reputation REP, Digix DGD and SingularDRV SNGLS. Ethereum based transactions on ShapeShift are currently taking anywhere between few hours to a couple of days for execution.

ShapeShift expects the problem to continue through Monday. The platform has also announced its intention to keep the Ethereum markets open, even with the delays affecting transactions.

Ethereum protocol is facing a security nightmare, which has had a considerable effect on its credibility. Even though Ethereum has fixed, or intends to fix all the vulnerabilities exposed by the attackers with hard forks, how many unreported vulnerabilities will remain in the end is something to be considered.

Ref: Ethereum Blog | ShapeShift | Image: Wallpaper Craze