Earlier in the week, Ethereum Classic was at the brunt of a malicious attack by hackers who stole around $460,000 in a 51 percent attack. On 7th January, the attack was confirmed by the operator of the Ethereum block explorer, Bitfly.
Because of the currently ongoing potential 51% attack on #ETC we have temporarily increased block confirmations on our ETC mining pool. We will notify you once the network has stabilized again— Bitfly (@etherchain_org) January 7, 2019
Specifically, there was a 51 percent attack which was successfully executed where the hackers gained the ability to ‘reorganise’ a blockchain or even replace one with their own version. On top of this, hackers are now able to ‘double spend’ - as in, the same coins can be used several times on different occasions for maleficent transactions. This is in addition to the number of different chances for the malicious behaviour that the ‘reorganisation’ granted to the hackers.
The rumours of this Ethereum Classic hack came out on 6th January on a Chinese-based coin journal, CoinNess where they originally wrote that transaction rollbacks had triggered an alert for the blockchain security firm SlowMist based in China.
According to Finance Magnates, in the report, it states “the ETC community followed up on the development of the incident immediately and learned that there is a private mining pool…that achieves more than 50% of the total network hashrate at certain times.” The team at Ethereum Classic responded to the report through a Twitter post which claimed that the network was up and running normally. You can see the tweet below.
There have been rumors of a possible chain reorganization or double spend attack.— Ethereum Classic (@eth_classic) January 6, 2019
From what we can tell the ETC network is operating normally.
BlockScout's "Reorg" section shows nothing of the sort.https://t.co/Yi2cXusCz9 pic.twitter.com/HdUtS0DJZK
There were several exchanges which reacted to the news of the compromise. Kraken, the US-based crypto exchange wrote a post saying “as the 51% attack appears to be ongoing, we have temporarily halted ETC deposits and withdrawals. [We] will bring ETC funding back online only once we believe it is safe to do so.”
The crypto exchange also sent out a confirmation through the official website stating “Gate.io’s censor successfully blocked attacker’s transactions at the beginning and submitted them to the manual exam.”
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