New Ethereum Vulnerability Unveiled

Potential attacker could not only deprive the “hot wallet” of some exchange of substantial funds but also enrich themselves.
22 November 2018   1649

The supplier of dApp-solutions Level K revealed the details of the vulnerability in the Ethereum network, which was reported on 9 November.

The developers talked about the attack called “vector for griefing”, which exploited the possibility of random calculations using the address to which Ethereum coins were sent.

The attack could be capitalized through the minting of GasToken tokens, tied to the cost of gas in the Ethereum network, due to random calculations when receiving ETH to your address, and the initiator of the transaction would have to pay for these actions. As a result, the exchanges that did not implement such precautions as gas limits were threatened.

At the same time, the vulnerability concerned not only Ethereum, but also ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens. Thus, a potential attacker could not only deprive the “hot wallet” of some exchange of substantial funds by burning gas, but also enrich themselves.

At the moment, all trading platforms that have received notifications from Level K have implemented appropriate security measures.

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   979

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.