A 51% attack that was effected on the Ethereum network a few days ago saw a wave of fear and anxiety wash the cryptocurrency community majority of the users expressing their concern on the increased vulnerability of these crypto networks.
The attack which began on5th January 2019 at exactly 19:58:15 UTC saw an anonymous perpetrator reverse and alter thereof transactions on the Ethereum network. This forced a number of exchanges to bring to a standstill transaction involving the crypto asset whereas others requested longer confirmation periods to evade falling prey to the fraud.
The SlowMist analysis report
SlowMist, a China-based cybersecurity firm has finally released a full report analysis of the double spending attack on the ETC network after warning a possibility of the same moments prior to the attack. On the 7th of January 2019, Coinbase confirmed it had detected 15 attacks 12 of which included double spend.
“Coinbase has identified a total of 15 attacks, 12 of them included double spend totaling 219,500 ETC (about $1.1 million),” Coinbase stated through its official blog
On 8th January 2019, ETC official confirmed the attack which included seven detected roll back transactions. In the process, the attackers were able to transact a total of 54200 ETC. the attack is said to have proceeded for a couple of days without notice duping several exchanges in the process the likes of which include Bitrue, Gate.io, and Coinbase
The wallet Attack
The earliest attack was detected to have included the movement of slightly above 5000 ETC from Binance to the address 0x24fdd25367e4a7ae25eef779652d5f1b336e. The ETC coins were then moved to a mining node which mined block 7254355. It is understood that later on a deposit was made to Bitrue amounting to 4,000ETC from block 7254430. It was then sent to verified Bitrue address before later on being forgotten even though Bitrue’s own record remembers.
“We’ve experienced an ETC 51% attack yesterday morning. The attacker tried to withdraw 13,000 ETC from our platform but got halted by our system,” Bitrue tweeted
Another attack happened and 9,000 ETC was lost in the same way. The perpetrator used a tactical move where he/she moves the coins to other addresses, deposits them and then withdraws them to safe addresses.
Lessons from the attack
Given the vulnerabilities of crypto assets and exchanges in general, exchanges must change tactic to ensure their security policies adapt to chains with smaller hash rates. Dilapidating markets result to a reduced has power, a loophole which greedy individuals may deem as an investment opportunity