Massive Bitcoin Vulnerability Discovered That Could Have Seen The End Of BTC
Developers from the Bitcoin Core project seem to have discovered a vulnerability that could have seen the end of Bitcoin. To put a long story short, the entire Bitcoin blockchain was at risk of being pulled down by one single DDos attack. DDoS, or Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks occur when an operator floods blockchain nodes with incredible amounts of traffic, this disrupts service and simply put, the nodes canât handle the level of traffic.
The same sort of attacks are common on websites and servers, as they allow hackers to totally deny service to websites and other networks.
According to The Next Web, Bitcoin Core developers have made the following statement:
âA denial-of-service vulnerability (CVE-2018-17144) exploitable by miners has been discovered in Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 up to 0.16.2. It is recommended to upgrade any of the vulnerable versions to 0.16.3 as soon as possible.â
The vulnerability found means that nodes operating on Bitcoin Core versions 0.14.0 through to 0.16.2 are left open to DDoS attacks that would have enough of an impact, they could bring the entire Bitcoin blockchain down. If this happened, the value of Bitcoin would crumble, a mass sell off would occur and to be honest, the entire project would be left in tatters.
How come nobody implemented an attack?
Youâd think that a sneaky bunch of hackers may have discovered this prior to the Bitcoin Core developers, however there was a small catch in the attack. In order to actually send enough traffic to the node, the hackers would need to sacrifice around $80,000.00 worth of Bitcoin. Thereâs no way anybody could profit from this attack, therefore in this instance, what is quite a major vulnerability has been left alone.
Bitcoin further proves a lack of decentralisation
The beauty of decentralisation is that the product cannot be controlled or changed by a lone entity. However, it looks like with this vulnerability within the network, Bitcoin decentralisation is somewhat tainted. The simple fact one single person could have had the power to totally destroy the network proves that Bitcoin is not yet fully decentralised. Tie this in with the recent revelation that more than 50% of Bitcoins volume is held in just 1% of Bitcoin wallets and suddenly, decentralisation seems like an impossible goal for the first cryptocurrency.
Either way, with the vulnerability now fixed, hopefully decentralisation is one step closer. Overall, this hack could have been absolutely devastating, thankfully though, things seem to have been repaired before any real damage could be done. The only victim here is the reputation of Bitcoin, sadly this one might hang around for a while too.
The Next Web