This is how an Ethereum developer saved the network

As early as March 29 of this year, the leading Ethereum developer Péter Szilágyi discovered a critical bug in the code of the Avalanche blockchain. In his opinion, this was dangerous enough to compromise the entire blockchain network.

The market capitalization of the avalanche coin AVAX was around 24 billion US dollars at the time. The extent of a collapse would have been comparable to that of Terra (LUNA). However, thanks to Szilágyi’s watchful eye, the catastrophe was averted. In its recently published report, the developer provides information about the vulnerability.

Avalanche: The Vulnerability

On the Avalanche Blockchain, validators communicate with so-called “PeerList Packages”, which are nodes that connect the network. The problem: Attackers could have set up a node in the network themselves and sent malicious packets to all validators from there. “Since all nodes in the network are connected to all validators, it would have pretty much resulted in the instant death of the entire network,” explains Szilágyi in his report.

Aside from the cost validators have to pay to set up a node on Avalanche (about $180,000), he believes the attack would have been relatively easy. A previously opened short position against the price of AVAX would certainly have made an attack “very profitable”, added Szilágyi.

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However, on the same day the developer issued a warning to the Avalanche team. This was able to fix the error later and has since provided additional patches for more security.

Not free from errors

The incident shows that even the larger blockchains are not free from flaws. In addition to the high volatility, there is always the risk of technical defects for all projects in the crypto space. Especially young projects are prone to bugs in the code. And despite extensive testing and constant observation, the developers keep missing minor errors that can cause major problems.

In the past, for example, the Solana blockchain was often ridiculed by the crypto scene for numerous network failures. The DAO hack on Ethereum is now also notorious. Here, a bug in the code was exploited to steal $3.6 million worth of ETH. Ripple’s CTO, David Schwartz, even thinks it is “most likely“, that Bitcoin also contains an undiscovered, critical error.

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