Posted 8 months ago | by Ben Armstrong

Latest Ethereum Classic ETC Attack May Result in Additional Delistings

A recent Tweet by an Austrian crypto mining firm Bitfly revealed another 51% attack causing a 7,000 blocks reorganisation that corresponds with two days of mining on the Ethereum Classic platform.

Related or not, this is the third attack following the first two earlier this August which the perpetrator had reorganised up to 8,000 blocks and was able to walk away with $9 million in double spending from OKEx exchange.

In light of the first two attacks, OKEx had published a report, describing the incidents in detail and warned if ETC does not improve their security, it will get delisted from the exchange.

The release said:

“to protect users from similar incidents that threaten the security of their funds — the exchange will consider delisting ETC, pending the results of the Ethereum Classic community’s work to improve the security of its chain.”

The first attack was carried out on August 1 and intruders were able to double spend, resulting in OKEx having to reimburse its investor under its user-protection policy, resulting in no losses to the users, but it had certainly dealt a significant blow to the exchange.

When the second attack occurred, OKEx was quick to halt all deposit and withdrawal of ETC, safeguarding the exchange and its customers from any loss.

The report then goes to explain how ETC is more vulnerable in comparison to other prominent coins such as bitcoin and ethereum,

“On a highly robust, decentralized blockchain with a significant hash rate (like Bitcoin), this type of attack has been deemed virtually impossible, due to the prohibitive cost of such an endeavor. But blockchains with lower hash rates, like Ethereum Classic, are more vulnerable to such attacks”

Improvements are Coming!

On August 19, Ethereum Classic Labs announced its plans to enhance security on its system to prevent future attacks. The plans would involve a “defensive mining” tactic where the miners will agree upon a consistent hash rate and any fluctuation above the agreed-upon rate will be deemed as a 51% attack.

Furthermore, other short term plans would involve a whitelist system for trustworthy addresses in collaborations with crypto exchanges and a finality arbitration system to prevent chain reorganisation.

While these plans are being discussed, suspicion at ETC Labs mounts.

In a conversation between the tech coordinator at ETC Labs, Stevan Lohja, and Coindesk, Lohja explained how it was very suspicious for the recent attack to happen just a day after a developer's meeting regarding “aggressive innovation”.

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