The bitcoin network appears to be under attack once again. BitClub initiated a transaction malleability attack against the bitcoin network yesterday afternoon. Users are advised to exert caution when checking up on bitcoin transactions. It appears Jim Hilliard is the one responsible for this attack, albeit his motives remain unclear.
It seems odd to think a bitcoin mining pool would purposefully attack the network. BitClub owns 4.2% of the total hashrate, which makes them one of the largest in the world. For some reason, one of their members executed this transaction malleability attack since yesterday.All of the affected blocks were mined by the BitClub pool as well, which make it somewhat easier to find the culprit.
Network blocks 456545 and 456552 effectively halted block monitoring updates provided by popular platforms. A lot of bitcoin users had gotten concerned over this attack, albeit the motive remains unclear. It seems very likely this attack is a political move rather than a way to effectively harm the network. The tension between SegWit and Unlimited supporters has been heating up as of late.
A Successful Malleability Attack By BitClub
BitClub may try to influence developers and stakeholders to solve malleability issues. Segregated Witness is designed to address these problems once and for all, yet continues to be opposed by Bitcoin Unlimited supporters. There is a reason why companies and service providers all favor SegWit over BU, though. As a result of this BitClub-orchestrated malleability attack, a double-spend has been recorded. All transactions found within the two network blocks are double-spends.
this mornings malleability attack was James Hilliard-BitClub/BitmainWarranty: pic.twitter.com/iapf4RTe0B
— Dadong (@SooMartindale) March 10, 2017
An investigation has been launched to determine how this attack was performed. One thing is certain: malleability attacks need to be made impossible sooner rather than later. Rest assured this attack was unintentional by any means, as BitClub knew all too well what they were doing. Events like these always spark intriguing debates, even though this is a politically-tinted attack.
Some Bitcoin Unlimited supported will see this as a “push” for SegWit adoption. It is doubtful that is the case, even though BitClub identified a big flaw in the bitcoin ecosystem. If malleability persists, it will be impossible to tell which transactions are legitimate. Although it takes a lot of preparation to pull off such an attack, there is no reason to think it can’t happen again. Solving this problem needs to be the top priority right now. It appears we need SegWit for doing just that, regardless of how others may feel about this idea.