Is The ETC 51% Attack A Call For New Security Models

Is The ETC 51% Attack A Call For New Security Models

There is one question that still lingers in the air which is, are decentralised systems naturally vulnerable to 51 percent attacks? The recent attack against the Ethereum Classic network shows that there are limits of decentralisation and flaws in the current processes of securing digital assets and hints at the ways that these risks can be calculated.

51% attacks

Currently, the market is in a state known as ‘crypto winter’ which has a less than favourable effect on the industry. In addition to this, bringing down the prices and eroding margins, the market affected the hash rate required to mine the more secure, POW-based tokens. Ever considering that Ethereum’s mining infrastructure can also be used to mine Ethereum Classic, it ended up presenting a certain attractive target for potential attackers. And so with this, the network got attacked.

Because Ethereum Classic only exists due to the DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) hack, there is a certain irony to it getting targeted. The DAO was groundbreaking however, it was ultimately a failed attempt which found an entirely new model of totally decentralised governance. On top of this, it was built on Ethereum. When the hacker had been successful due to The DAO having security flaws, it seemed like Ethereum were given two options. They could either “roll back the chain” and let investors whole again or they could just accept that a hacker had gained access and respect the sanctity of the ledger. And so in the end, Ethereum Classic was the result.

“We’ve now seen two fairly cutting-edge networks brought down at least in part by the same principle: “the more decentralized a technology is, the better and freer it is.” Ultimately, that freedom comes with an expensive set of risks that might not be worth the price of admission.”

As reported by Hackernoon, there has to be some of compromise area between both centralised and decentralisation. In terms of the blockchain, this would mean that networks need some element of authority in order to effectively roll blocks back which have been affected by an attack. It's kind of like collateral damage to the network and the blocks inside it.

“For example, through an attestation flow that leverages trusted entities, a blockchain network would allow users to attest to their token ownership without exposing their specific identity to the blockchain and introducing further risk. In case of theft or loss of access to private keys, users could then issue a “stop” order to the network to ensure that no funds can be moved until they’re sure the coast is clear.”

By relying on the current roadmaps and improvement protocols would be a risky move since they just aren’t enough. Cryptography and technology would need to be that are built correctly to leverage it, such as blockchain.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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