Ethereum Dodges “Experimental” Attack That Diverted a Few Nodes

Divya  |  Sep 15, 2021

On Tuesday morning, the Ethereum blockchain was targeted by an unsuccessful attack that added hundreds of blocks to the network with invalid proof-of-work. However, the event affected only 0.8% of the nodes and failed to tamper with the rest of the mainnet.

Ethereum Targeted By “Unsuccessful” Attack That Diverted 0.8% Nodes

However, the network is now operating normally and all the impacted nodes have been reorganized to the “good chain.”

Attacker Published a Fake Version of the Blockchain

The attack was first spotted by Flexpool’s Alex S. on a discord community dedicated to Ethereum R&D topics. He found that a few nodes were recording the “highest block” of the chain even though that number did not exist. In response, some researchers concluded that the problem was caused by invalid proof-of-works contained in a fake version of the chain. 

“Someone published an invalid chain that was rejected by most clients. ~25% of Nethermind clients accepted the invalid chain,” Van Der Wijden told CoinDesk. “Judging from ethernodes, ~20 nodes were affected or 0.8% of the network. I don’t think it was a directed attack against nethermind, but rather someone experimenting and validating their experiment on the live network.” 

Van Der Widen also took to Twitter to share more information about the progress made after the attack. At first, he wrote that the invalid chain had been “overtaken in length by the good chain” and was no longer being used for mining. Later on, he indicated that the mainnet is functioning normally and would not require any immediate attention from node operators.

Van Der Widen also pointed out that the network’s successful recovery was “another great demonstration of how client diversity makes ethereum stronger.”

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