Research Claims 60% of Bitcoin Full-Nodes At Risk Of Inflation Bug Attacks

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Bitcoin (BTC) node data shows that 60.22 percent of full nodes on the bitcoin network run software that is still susceptible to a reported vulnerability.

The stats are from Luke Dashjr’s website, a bitcoin core developer who has noted that about 60,101 of BTC full nodes continue to run software that renders them vulnerable to an inflation bug labeled CVE-2018-1744.

In September last year, data showed that bitcoin nodes were at risk of attack from a bug that ostensibly allowed malicious miners to affect the network by artificially inflating the circulating supply of BTC. The bug would have made it easy for these bad actors to simply print fake bitcoins via a double input.

Research into the incident further revealed that bitcoin developers did not make the catastrophic consequences of the bug known to the public.

Developers did choose to disclose that the bug was able to expose the network to what they called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Yet, it is only after the developers had fixed the potential exploitation weakness that they moved to disclose the vulnerability and the potential disaster it could have caused.

Dashjr’s website presents stats alleging that in total, there are 99,638 bitcoin full-nodes at the moment. Having such a number of running full nodes contrasts stats presented by multiple analytics platforms, given that its estimates are almost ten times higher.

According to BitNodes, the number of bitcoin full nodes running currently is 9,515. Another site, CoinDance, puts that number at 9,391 nodes.

According to TNW, a tech news outlet, Dashjr has explained the discrepancy in numbers by noting that many of the analytic platforms tend to catalog only ‘listening’ full-nodes.

But the report downplays the distinction between a node that is “listening” and those that do not, terming it as immaterial.

The Next Web explains that a listening node is more visible and can easily be found. Dashjr added that economic nodes, which deal with transactions, can also feature as either “listening” nodes or otherwise.

According to him, it is not enough to just focus on listening nodes as it doesn’t provide a “very useful metric.” To him, considering non-listening nodes is an important aspect too.

The bitcoin nodes chart on Dashjr’s website catalogs activities in a four-week interval and updates every other hour.

Vulnerability to malicious actors is one of the challenges that blockchains grapple with and isn’t an isolated matter.

Other than EOS that has already paid five bounties in 2019 for various vulnerabilities, Tron just disclosed that it discovered and fixed a bug vulnerability that would have crashed its network.


Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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