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Author Topic: [2018-06-08]Blockchain's Once-Feared 51% Attack Is Now Becoming Regular  (Read 54 times)
Portal_Network
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June 08, 2018, 04:30:05 PM
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Monacoin, bitcoin gold, zencash, verge and now, litecoin cash.

At least five cryptocurrencies have recently been hit with an attack that used to be more theoretical than actual, all in the last month. In each case, attackers have been able to amass enough computing power to compromise these smaller networks, rearrange their transactions and abscond with millions of dollars in an effort that's perhaps the crypto equivalent of a bank heist.

More surprising, though, may be that so-called 51% attacks are a well-known and dangerous cryptocurrency attack vector.

While there have been some instances of such attacks working successfully in the past, they haven't exactly been all that common. They've been so rare, some technologists have gone as far as to argue miners on certain larger blockchains would never fall victim to one. The age-old (in crypto time) argument? It's too costly and they wouldn't get all that much money out of it.

But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

NYU computer science researcher Joseph Bonneau released research last year featuring estimates of how much money it would cost to execute these attacks on top blockchains by simply renting power, rather than buying all the equipment.

One conclusion he drew? These attacks were likely to increase. And, it turns out he was right.

"Generally, the community thought this was a distant threat. I thought it was much less distant and have been trying to warn of the risk," he told CoinDesk, adding:

"Even I didn't think it would start happening this soon."

See more: https://www.coindesk.com/blockchains-feared-51-attack-now-becoming-regular/
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hatshepsut93
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June 09, 2018, 09:51:14 AM
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For a long time it has been theorized by Bitcoin experts that altcoins are quite susceptible to 51% attacks when they have low hashrates and disproportionately high prices. I remember Andreas Antonopoulos once said that the world can only afford one PoW blockchain and I agree with him - there's no reason to have thousands of useless clones that require huge amounts of power to be resistant to attacks. I would say that 51% attack is a mechanism that separates the chaff from the wheat in crypto world, because decentralized systems are meant to be resistant to any attacks.

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June 09, 2018, 11:28:50 AM
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In order to organize an attack 51% need more power. It seems to me that this is the handiwork of ASICs producers. Perhaps they thus respond to the attempts of altcoins to protect their algorithms from the use of asics. I may be wrong, but I think I am. 51% attacks are on coins using the algorithm Equihash. These asics have not yet been delivered to customers so no one has such facilities yet.

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June 09, 2018, 03:48:16 PM
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This is why you have to be careful when dealing with coins that are poorly secured.

There is no free lunch, and all the shitcoin pumpers saying "cheap fees" or other arguments don't tell people that their shitcoin can get cracked like a rotten walnut on a whim.

More vulns are lurking too, but I'll leave that for another day. I have zero sympathy for shitcoins/shitforks -- they haven't been tested like Bitcoin has.

fortitudinem multis - catenum regit omnia
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June 09, 2018, 05:04:30 PM
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Am I the only one wondering why these 51% attacks haven't been happening much sooner? It really does surprise me, especially so with how coins in general have only grown stronger. Before the craze started every altcoin could be 51% attacked with a fraction of what is needed to perform an attack right now, but nothing really happened. Either way, I don't think people will learn from it and stop getting involved in the weaker coins -- they are too greedy and retarded to care about potential dangers.
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June 10, 2018, 03:45:32 AM
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Am I the only one wondering why these 51% attacks haven't been happening much sooner? It really does surprise me, especially so with how coins in general have only grown stronger. Before the craze started every altcoin could be 51% attacked with a fraction of what is needed to perform an attack right now, but nothing really happened. Either way, I don't think people will learn from it and stop getting involved in the weaker coins -- they are too greedy and retarded to care about potential dangers.

There can be many reasons for that, I think the most likely one is that miners didn't want to attack altcoins while it was profitable to mine them, but now that profitability is low, miners might use 51% attacks to squeeze some last profits. Also some of the attacks were tied to protocol bugs which might not have been there earlier or it took a long time to discover them.

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June 10, 2018, 06:53:02 AM
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To be sincere, first time I will be knowing about what a 51% attack is about is on this thread. Did some more research and stumbled on Crypto51 website. It was mind boggling to discover that it costs $0 to $100 to take down some of these currencies. Take Quark for example, with a marketcap of about $3 Million, costs only $2 to take it down.

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