It’s not every day a pseudonymous hacker decides to do their part to better the cryptocommunity but this is exactly what has been happening over the last ten days as the hacker bitPico has confirmed that he has been flooding the Lightning Network nodes with an automated attack toolkit.
These hacks have led to some nodes reporting issues such as temporary crashes. The incidents were first brought to light at the exact same time when the attacks began. Nodes began to report slowing and people noticed transactions were not processing on many channels.
After a careful inspection, it was revealed that the DoS attack was not stealing any funds and it was actually costing the hacker to pull off this stunt. The attacker had to pay a small fee for every payment channel that was opened and even though it was less than a penny per channel, it definitely is adding up over time.
At first, the good intention behind these attacks was not obvious. bitPico had been a big supporter of larger blocks in the past and this led many to believe he was attempting to sabotage the network. Confirming the good nature of the attack bitPico posted about how important it was to ensure that second-layer scaling solutions are not easily hacked and as a BTC investor, he is doing his part to help protect the technology against future attacks.
The attacks have already spawned a series of preventative measure as Lightning Labs developers are now looking into an additional 22 different attack vectors bitPico has helped reveal. The DoS attack works by opening thousands of micropayment channels on the network. In the current status, the Lightning Network does not allow nodes to disconnect from channels that are thought to be spamming but thanks to bitPico, that may soon change.
The Lightning Network Security Fixes
The lightning Network must be prepared to handle all zero-day threats that may emerge. Zero-day attacks are vulnerabilities that are not revealed until the project goes live. In many instances, hackers will exploit multiple zero-day attack methods to maximize their effectiveness.
The Lightning Network Beta Steams Ahead
The Lightning Network Beta testing stage is moving ahead according to plan with the total number of Lightning Network nodes now surpassing that of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The Lightning Network is now handling actual transactions but is still not fully prepared for full-scale implementation. Thanks to unique individuals such as bitPico, the entire network is getting free real-world testing.
The Lightning Network – The Future of BTC
The Lightning Network is definitely earning its name as adoption continues to expand. People are hungry for the days of near-zero fees for BTC transfers and crypto-community is largely in support of the initiative. Those against the project worry that the protocol is being forced out too quickly due to the overwhelming demand and that there are still many vulnerabilities that must be first remedied.
What do you think guys? Are we quickly approaching the days of “Lightning” fast BTC transactions again? Let us know in the comments below.