After a very successful Devcon2, the Ethereum network was hit with a DDoS attack. And it has not stopped.
For the past two weeks, developers have been scrambling to resolve any issues caused by the attacks. So far, nothing seems to be working.
Ethereum’s Founder, Vitalik Buterin, addressed that the next step in dealing with these attacks would be to vote the gas limit above 1.5 million. In an effort to fix the DoS attacks, the Ethereum Foundation released a series of Geth wallet updates. In a taunting manner, the updated versions were given names like “Into The Woods”, “What else should we rewrite?”, and “Come at me bro”.
The Ethereum community is constantly communicating with users on any information about the attacks. Nick Johnson, a software engineer for Ethereum, announced in a reddit post a new Geth update 1.4.16 is in the works. “The DoS issue that began affecting the network yesterday morning has been remediated by adding state journalling to Geth,” Johnson says. “Journalling means that we no longer need to copy a transaction's state when a call is made; this is the root cause of many of the recently identified issues. Journalling, along with other recent improvements in response to other attacks, should also make Geth significantly faster at importing transactions.”
Because this is a significant change to critical code, we're exercising even more than normal caution in getting it ready for release, and are writing additional tests to make absolutely certain it doesn't break anything. This is the main reason for the delay.
Buterin posted yesterday that this is a quadratic attack resulting in series of “SUICIDE calls” which then leads to a “DELEGATECALL tower”. Essentially, the attack, now called “self-destruct”, will command the contract to self-destruct or terminate itself from future blocks. The Ether in those contracts will be sent to a separate address.
“SUICIDE creates dirty objects much more cheaply than any other opcode, and this creates a memory blowup,” Buterin says. “We have identified two possible fix strategies and are starting work on implementing them.”
As developers are working hard to stop these attacks, Gavin Wood, founder of Ethcore, made a bold statement on the future of the network. These attacks could continue for months and most likely until the metropolis upgrade. However, the network may need to conduct another hard fork if these problems drag on.
“The attacker seems happy testing the protocol thoroughly, so they’ll probably continue. A hard fork will fix many of the most grievous problems we know of, though others may be lurking,” Wood tells CryptoCoinNews. “I have been calling for a fast hard fork since day 1. It would be around 4 minor changes to the yellow paper and each implementation, yet there has been little movement on it.”
Jeffrey Wilcke, co-Founder of Ethereum, was quick to dispute that option as he wants to focus on changing the gas costs.