The recent malicious attacks on BSV shows the capability of its network’s detection tools, as well as its professional approach to blockchain. In late June/early July, block withholding or block reorganization attacks were attempted on the blockchain in what appears to be an effort to hide the double spending of coins. Due to the network’s immediate response and the effectiveness of its reactive and protective measures, no BSV was reported as stolen or lost.
“The most obvious reason to attempt a block withholding or re-organisation attack would be as part of an effort to double-spend and defraud—that is, spend the same BSV tokens several times by manipulating the records of the blockchain. When these types of attacks occur, it is generally exchanges—which tend to hold significant token liquidity—that are targeted. However, it is important to note that to date, neither Bitcoin Association, nor the Bitcoin SV Infrastructure Team, nor any exchanges with whom we are in contact, have received any reports of anyone claiming to be a victim of a double spend,” Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based nonprofit global industry organization supporting the enterprise adoption of the BSV blockchain, said in a public statement answering the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the attacks.
The attacks were perpetrated by an unknown miner going by the handle “Zulupool,” and it is believed that they are impersonating a Hathor miner who goes by the same moniker. These kinds of malicious attacks happen every now and then, especially to financial insitutions that hold valuable assets, such as digital currencies. It has happened recently to BTC and BCH. In fact, evidence suggests that this “Zulupool” attacker is also the same one behind the recent block reorganization attacks on the BCHA chain. This may make it seem that the attacks could be geared towards not profiting directly off of the double spending of coins, but damaging the reputation of the different chains of Bitcoin.
“Given that the Bitcoin ABC (BCHA) chain experienced a reorganisation incident with similar characteristics just a few months ago, it is possible that this is a coordinated campaign against competing implementations and chains of Bitcoin. While no direct losses or thefts have yet been attributed to the attack on the BSV blockchain, the response by exchanges to restrict BSV deposit and withdrawals and/or trading activities and the attending reputational harm caused by the attacks could indicate that the detrimental intangible impact was the primary goal, not a secondary repercussion,” the Association revealed.
Simultaneous to implementing various technical measures to counter these attacks, Bitcoin Association has also been consistently communicating updates with all the exchanges that carry BSV in order to bring back all BSV services online as soon as possible, which includes deposits, withdrawals and trading. In fact, numerous exchanges have already resumed BSV services.
Furthermore, Bitcoin Association is implementing a zero tolerance policy when it comes to these kinds of illegal attacks that serve to defraud or do harm to the BSV network. All evidence related to the block reorganization attacks are being collated and documented to be used in a criminal complaint. The Association has taken a stand—malicious attacks will not be tolerated; and this should serve as a warning to future attackers.
“Blockchains cannot themselves prevent bad actors. But by working together with exchanges, miners, transaction processors and other industry participants, collectively we can facilitate a safe and trusted environment for users of the Bitcoin SV network. There have been prior attacks on other blockchains, and it is time that industry participants demonstrate that such attacks are in fact illegal—just as attacks against other financial systems are illegal – and will be met with legal enforcement action,” the Association stated.