Until last month there was a bug in the code that the ether (CRYPTO: ETH) Blockchain runs, first discovered in 2019, could have brought the network to a standstill until it was patched with an update last month.
What happened: The network’s software contained a critical vulnerability, according to an announcement by the Ethereum Foundation on Tuesday titled “Dodging a Bullet: Problems with Ethereum Status”. The vulnerability was finally resolved on April 15 with the Berlin Ethereum network upgrade, making this type of attack around 50 times less effective.
The post describes the bug as a “serious threat to the Ethereum platform” which was an “open secret” as it was accidentally previously disclosed to the public.
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After the vulnerability no longer exists, the Foundation decided to re-disclose it to justify the increased transaction costs caused by the update.
“It is important that the community is given the opportunity to understand the reasons for changes that negatively impact the user experience, such as increasing gas costs and capping refunds,” the foundation said.
Why it matters: Ethereum’s security researchers Hubert Ritzdorf, Matthias Egli and Daniel Perez found in 2019 that the vulnerability made it possible to increase the blocking times by a few minutes compared to the current average of only around 13 seconds.
Cryptocurrency transactions are placed in so-called blocks during processing and then stored forever. Before a transaction is part of a block, it is not considered final and just awaits approval. As a result, such a dramatic increase in blocking times would result in transaction throughput being so drastically reduced that the network could become nearly unusable and paralyzed.
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