Ethereum to Unveil Muir Glacier Hardfork Date

The hardfork is desgined to delay complexity bomb acitvation and all node holders asked to update software by Dec 30, 2019
23 December 2019   441

The Ethereum Foundation website has published details of another hard fork designed to delay the activation of the so-called complexity bomb.

The update was called Muir Glacier and will be activated on block # 9200000, which is expected to be produced on January 2, 2020, depending on the speed of release of the blocks.

In a message, the lead developer of the Ethereum Foundation, Hudson Jameson, asked node holders to update their software by December 30, 2019.

The complexity bomb is a complementary Proof-of-Work algorithm for regulating the complexity of Ethereum mining, exponentially increasing its value every 100,000 blocks. By increasing the time spent in blocks, the complexity bomb is also designed to encourage participants in the Ethereum ecosystem to switch to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm.

Earlier, Ethereum developers discussed the possibility of completely removing this mechanism, but in the end they agreed to postpone it, for which Muir Glacier hard fork will be held. After it, the activation of the complexity bomb will be delayed by 4 million blocks.

According to Etherscan, today the difficulty value is 17.15 seconds. This, although almost twice as low as in September 2017, still leads to too long a transaction processing time.

Potentional Vulnerabilities Found in ETH 2.0

Least Authority have found potentional security issues in the network P2P interaction and block proposal system
26 March 2020   224

Technology security firm Least Authority, at the request of the Ethereum Foundation, conducted an audit of the Ethereum 2.0 specifications and identified several potential vulnerabilities at once.

Least Authority said that developers need to solve problems with vulnerabilities in the network layer of peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction, as well as in the block proposal system. At the same time, the auditor noted that the specifications are "very well thought out and competent."

However, at the moment there is no large ecosystem based on PoS and using sharding in the world, so it is impossible to accurately assess the prospects for system stability.
Also, information security experts emphasized that the specifications did not pay enough attention to the description of the P2P network level and the system of records about Ethereum nodes. Vulnerability risks are also observed in the block proposal system and the messaging system between nodes.

Experts said that in the blockchains running on PoS, the choice of a new block is simple and no one can predict who will get the new block. In PoS systems, it is the block proposal system that decides whose block will fall into the blockchain, and this leads to the risk of data leakage. To solve the problem, auditors suggested using the mechanism of "Single Secret Leader Election" (SSLE).

As for the peer-to-peer exchange system, there is a danger of spam. There is no centralized node in the system that would evaluate the actions of other nodes, so a “malicious" node can spam the entire network with various messages without any special punishment. The solution to this problem may be to use special protocols for exchanging messages between nodes.