Ethereum Core Developer Saved $24 Billion Network From “Immediate Death”

Thursday, Ethereum core engineer Péter Szilágyi published a study titled Avalanche Vulnerability that details a significant flaw he discovered in the Avalanche network code earlier this year.

In the report dated 29 March 2022, Szilágyi described how an attacker may exploit Avalanche by distributing a malicious PeerList package to network nodes and validators.

Theoretically, an attacker might have launched a new validator node, broadcast malicious packets to other nodes and validators, and brought the whole Avalanche network to a halt in an instant. 

Such an assault would have required the expenditure of 2,000 AVAX tokens to fund a new validator node, which would have been a minor price to pay for the potential chaos it might have caused. Szilágyi argued that a hostile actor might simply recover the cost by initiating a short position on AVAX prior to the assault, therefore enabling them to bring down the network for nothing.

Upon the discovery of the vulnerability, 2,000 AVAX tokens could have been acquired on the open market for around $179,000. At the same time, the market capitalization of Avalanche exceeded $24 billion.

Crypto Briefing contacted Szilágyi to inquire about how he discovered the issue. After spotting the flaw, Szilágyi alerted the Avalanche development team, who swiftly addressed it in the avalanchego v1.7.9 update the next day.

In reaction to growing costs on Ethereum’s mainnet, users have rushed to alternative smart contract-enabled networks to engage in DeFi and mint NFTs for a fraction of the cost on Ethereum. The network’s native AVAX token reached an all-time high of $144.96 on November 21, 2021, after starting the year trading for about $3.21. Along with the rest of the crypto market in 2022, its price has declined due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rises and deteriorating macroeconomic circumstances. Currently, AVAX trades for around $18.81.

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