A new blockchain vulnerability has been identified …


Vulnerability and Hacking of Bitcoin and Blockchain Systems.

A new blockchain vulnerability has been identified ...

New vulnerability of Bitcoin blockchain revealed, used by hackers

  • Scientists have identified a new vulnerability of the Bitcoin blockchain

  • Fraudsters can steal bitcoins during congestion

  • Double spending is also linked to the Bitcoin blockchain

International consortium of news organizations developing transparency standards.

Recent research by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists John Harris and Aviv Zohar have revealed a new vulnerability in the Bitcoin network, which is used by fraudsters to steal cryptocoins.

Network congestion – danger to coins

A new blockchain vulnerability has been identified ...


In their article, the scientists describe a new systemic attack related to the Lightning Network extension that can be used by cyber criminals to steal bitcoins. The main problem with the Bitcoin blockchain is that the network is too slow to process transactions: only a few transfers per second. In order to speed up the process and not overload the network, the Lightning Network extension was created, which removes payments from the block chain, thereby greatly facilitating and accelerating the implementation of transactions..

At the same time, the developers themselves knew that the Lightning Network extension has access to the blockchain and could be used by fraudsters to steal crypto coins, but so far no one has conducted sufficiently in-depth research into this problem. As a result, Harris and Zohar were the first to experiment and try to withdraw bitcoins during network congestion..

“Lightning works best when the underlying blockchain is very minimal. The problem arises if several Lightning channels are closed simultaneously in the “flood” part of the attack: the underlying bitcoin network cannot cope with the volume, which leads to problems, “the article says..

The Lightning Network extension itself uses hashed-time cryptographic contracts (HTLCs) that effectively set a deadline for transactions, thereby generating a sequential list of transactions that will not overload the network. But the problems start when the deadline for the transaction is nearing the end and the coins have not yet been transferred.

“The attack is based on the fact that the Bitcoin blockchain is filled to the brim with transactions so that no one else can add a transaction. The attacker hopes that he will be able to advance the contracts in a timely manner. If successful, the attacker can start “robbing” expired contracts, “the researchers write..

In other words, each closed channel results in another transaction being sent to the bitcoin chain. The attacker tries to simultaneously close as many channels as possible in order to increase the number of transactions sent to the blockchain, increasing the likelihood of theft.

Harris notes that an attacker targeting 100 channels results in a reward of “at least” 7402 HTLCs, and the average HTLC today includes about $ 138 worth of bitcoin. This could mean a payout of approximately $ 1,021,476.

Finding “potential victims” was also very easy. In the simulation, the researchers found that it was not difficult to set up channels with other users. Indeed, 95% of Lightning nodes accepted their invitations to create a Lightning channel.

A new blockchain vulnerability has been identified ...

Bitcoin blockchain is very vulnerable


This is not the first study to show how vulnerable the Bitcoin network can be. Earlier, BeInCrypto reported that a study by ZenGo revealed a new threat to cryptocurrency wallets, which is associated with double spending. At risk were Ledger Live crypto wallets, BRD wallets and Edge wallets. The new threat, dubbed BigSpender, allows attackers to reverse a Bitcoin transaction that banks cannot identify. ZenGo has sent official letters to the wallet developers that have not passed the double-spending protection check. At the same time, supporters of crypto coins say that the problem is not with the wallet, but with bitcoin itself..

As previously stated by BCH proponent Hayden Otto, the double-flow technique is facilitated by the RBF (Replacement for Fee) feature added at the protocol level by the Bitcoin Core developers..


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