IOTA Tangle Suffers Attacks From Spammers That Create Parasite Chains
Lewis Freiberg, IOTA Foundation Head, explained the problems that the network is suffering due to spammers that create parasite chains or ‘Side Tangles.’ In a post uploaded by Freiberg, he gave an overview about the Tangle and how the IOTA’s ecosystem is evolving.
The IOTA Foundation describes itself as a non-profit organization that aims to support the development and standardization of the new open-source distributed ledger technologies, also known as DLT or blockchain.
The intention is to educate governments, companies, and the general public about the research and development activities carried out by the Foundation.
But the Tangle system developed by IOTA is different than the blockchain networks that we are used to see. Each of the transactions chooses two earlier ones on the network and approves them. Transaction C would approve transaction B and A and it keeps in this way, systematically.
With their desire to ‘outperform’ other networks, Mr. Freiberg said that they spam the mainnet so as to push the transactions per second (TPS) as high as they can go. Then he said:
“Without fail this results in ‘Wow, the tangle is flying today,’ and then ‘Why did the TPS suddenly drop’ after someone turns off a spammer.”
Confirmed transactions per second (CTPS) on the Tangle are much lower than TPS, but Freiberg explains that this is a misunderstanding. He says that when someone starts sending bad transactions which outweigh the honest transactions by 5 times, then, confirmation rates will drop to 20%. The confirmation rate did not drop, but instead, the number of invalid transactions increased.
All this situation has been brought because of a recent occurrence of a ‘Side Tangle appearing in visualisers. These side tangles are parasite chains – also known as spammers – that select unconfirmed transactions that reference only themselves. This creates a tangle of transactions that differentiates from the main tangle.
“The protocol has been designed to be resilient to funny things happening, someone started spamming transactions with a low likelihood confirmation.”
IOTA is growing and important sums of money are entering the ecosystem day after day. It will be important for IOTA to have all these situations cleared and explained.
“Constant learning and incremental improvement can push the IOTA project forward,” concluded Mr. Freiberg.