Ether Price and Burn Unaffected as “High Severity” Bug Struck Ethereum Mainnet & Led to Chain Split
Ethereum had a chain split on Friday after a consensus bug hit the mainnet.
“The bug was very similar to the one that caused the chain split in November of last year,” wrote Kelvin Fichter.
This bug exploited the consensus bug that was fixed in Geth v1.10.8. Given that Geth clients account for 74.6% of all Ethereum nodes, it was a big deal.
“Ethereum has split into at least 2 versions, and only a third of Geth nodes are in the “correct” chain,” said Lucas Nuzzi, product manager at CoinMetrics. “Block difficulty has dropped 10% over the past few hours.”
Ethereum developer MH Swende then shared that the public announcement experiment about the attack and the subsequent requirement to update to v1.10.8 was successful, with most miners upgrading in time so that the canon chain became longer than the bad chain.
“But it was a really close shave,” said MH Swende.
This discrepancy means that these impacted Geth nodes no longer agree with the rest of the system about what Ethereum really looks like. The same transaction executed on two different nodes produced two different states. And boom, you have a chain split!
— God-like Natural Number Creator Person (TM, R) (@kelvinfichter) August 27, 2021
The bug, which was a “high severity issue,” was found in an audit of Telos EVM, according to a press release. Ethereum core developers were informed, and a patch was released on August 24 to fix it.
“All Geth versions supporting the London hard fork are vulnerable (the bug is older than London), so all users should update,” a statement said when the fix was announced.
Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko meanwhile noted that three mining pools Flexpool, BTC.com, and Binance, were mining on the wrong geth version, which was asked to upgrade to the latest version.
A few minutes later, Binance Smart Chain (BSC) got exploited, since then, all BSC validators have upgraded to v1.1.2, and geth clients have been asked to upgrade to new hotfix to avoid DoS attack. “BSC is in a healthy status,” said the team early on Saturday.
Now that exploit is in the wild, it can be replayed on other networks like Polygon, BSC, xDAI, Görli. Be careful, try not to do any economically significant transactions before things are cleared out.
— banteg (@bantg) August 27, 2021
Popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask said users connected to Infura have been unaffected by the Ethereum bug.
Infura, a blockchain development suite by ConsenSys, also clarified to its users that the security vulnerability that was exploited on the Ethereum mainnet affecting Geth versions <1.10.8 didn’t affect them.
“Infura is unaffected by this exploit. Our infrastructure was updated upon release of the hotfix on Aug 24,” it noted.
Following the attack on Ethereum, as people stopped using the network, for the time being, transactions on the network fell.
“Fork between latest geth and older geth on mainnet. Stay away from doing txs for a while till confirmed, unless you are sure you are submitting to latest geth,” advised Yearn Finance creator Andre Cronje following the incident.
Ethereum tx per second dropping like a rock as the network fights a split pic.twitter.com/TUKhufxFxb
— Will Foxley 🧭 (@wsfoxley) August 27, 2021
However, the price of Ether was unaffected by the entire incident and is currently trading around $3,230, down about 25.7% from its all-time high in mid-May.
Ether also continued to be burned with more than 120,000 ETH, worth over $376 million burned since EIP 1559 implementation earlier this month.