Ethereum Developers Find Geth Bug as Hard Fork Nears
Ethereum's Geth has re-released its Byzantium hard fork software after spotting a bug. But low adoption is concerning with the fork so close.
The discovery of a denial-of-service (DoS) attack vulnerability led the developers of ethereum's Geth software to release a new version just days before the Byzantium hard fork.
With Geth comprising about 75 percent of all ethereum nodes, the vulnerability could leave nodes running the previous Byzantium-compatible release more susceptible to DoS attacks after the hard fork.
Explained by ethereum developer Casey Detrio on Reddit, the vulnerability stems from an oversight in one of the new Byzantium features. The risk is that this bug could be exploited by an attacker who wants to take ethereum nodes offline – a form of attack that the ethereum community has dealt with in the past.
Bug fixes have been coming from other ethereum node software groups ahead of next week's planned fork as well.
Hard forks are hard
The issues unearthed by the tests have been of an unexpected severity, leading some ethereum developers to question their approach to the hard fork release process.
Internal discussions are also underway about the possibility of postponing Byzantium, but this approach also poses risks. This strategy would require all nodes to update their software so that the software change is triggered at a later time – a complicated prospect with such little time before the fork.
Indeed, the Parity team tweeted out that, in their view, the fork should be delayed given the recently discovered issues.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Detrio explained that "updating is not necessarily a quick and easy process for users with extensive infrastructure," such as exchanges or mining pools, and requires ample time to be done correctly.
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