DoS Bug Identified in Ethereum’s Geth Software on Eve of Hard Fork

Developers have identified a denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerability on Ethereum’s Geth software, prompting them to release a new version on the eve of the Byzantium upgrade.

Geth Developers Publish New Software

It didn’t take long for the Geth team to neutralize the bug by releasing Urgent Update v1.7.2, a hotfix release to address the DoS vulnerability in the EVM.

“Please upgrade before block 4_370_000!” karalabe wrote on the Go Ethereum Github page.

Analysts say the vulnerability stems from an oversight in one of Byzantium’s new features. Left unchecked, the bug could be exploited by an attacker who wants to take the network nodes offline.

Geth is Ethereum’s most popular client, representing roughly 75% of all system nodes.

On Friday, Ethereum’s second-biggest software client Parity issued a new software upgrade to correct a so-called “consensus bug.” The error could have caused the network to split during the hard fork.

Hard Fork on the Horizon

The hard fork for Byzantium, which is the first leg in the long-awaited Metropolis upgrade, will occur at block 4,370,000. The fork is expected to occur Sunday evening. The development community remains generally optimistic that the upgrade will occur in unison across all clients, thus assuring no unintended splits.

Although hard forks have a negative connotation for bitcoin, they are generally seen as a positive for ether. That’s because the Ethereum community favors hard forks over their softer versions when it comes to implementing much needed updates. Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has explained previously that hard forks offer numerous advantages with respect to blockchain network upgrades. He event went as far as describing soft forks as a “dangerous game.”

Ether prices are holding above $340 on the eve of the expected fork, bringing the total market cap closer to $32.5 billion. Prices are up more than $40 from the Friday low near $301.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi