- Ethereum Classic has suffered a 51% attack that has seen 100 blocks reorganized
- Etherchain is working with Slow Mist, a cybersecurity firm, to investigate the issue
- This marks the first major crypto attack of 2019
In what looks to be the first major crypto crime story of the year, Etherchain has confirmed that Ethereum Classic (ETC) was hit by a 51% attack on the 7th of January. This came via a tweet from their official handle.
“We can confirm that there was a successful 51% attack on the Ethereum Classic (#ETC) network with multiple 100+ block reorganizations. We recommend all services to closely monitored the chain and significantly increase required confirmations.”
— Bitfly (@etherchain_org)
To combat the effects of the attack while investigations are ongoing, Etherchain has put some more security measures in place, particularly for large transactions.
A security firm has also been hired to find the cause of the attack. While the investigation is ongoing, Etherchain has assured users via Twitter that operations will resume eventually and that when the network is more stable, they will be informed:
“Because of the currently ongoing potential for 51% attacks on #ETC we have temporarily increased block confirmations on our ETC mining pool. We will notify you once the network has stabilized again.”
A 51% attack is very unique in that it occurs when a malicious party is able to gain over 51% of a blockchain’s hashing power.
This is very severe as the malicious party in question is able to double spend Cryptocurrency – thus it is also referred to as a double spend attack.
In this case, up to 88,500 ETC was allegedly double spent.
The effect so far
Over 100 blocks were reorganized as a result of the attack.
The management behind Ethereum Classic has stated that they are getting to bottom of the issue:
“We are now working with Slow Mist and many others in the crypto community. We recommend exchanges and pool significantly increase confirmation times.”
Slow Mist was one of the first to alert users when unusual activity was being detected on the network and are currently trying to trace the root of the attack.
This marks the first major crypto attack of 2019 and once the findings from Slow Mist are made public, the blockchain community will be more aware of the vulnerabilities that allow these threats as well as how to combat them.