Dogecoin Network's Patched Bug Is Still Present in 280 Blockchains, Blockchain Security Firm Says

The bug pertains to the way peer-to-peer communications are conducted on blockchain networks such as Litecoin and Zcash.

AccessTimeIconMar 14, 2023 at 7:28 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 4:51 p.m. UTC
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Blockchain security Halborn says a vulnerability it found last year on the open-source codebase of the Dogecoin network is still present in at least 280 other networks, as per a Monday post.

During an assessment in 2022, the researchers found several critical vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by attackers to compromise the network. At the time, Dogecoin developers addressed and resolved the vulnerabilities.

However, further investigations by Halborn revealed that similar vulnerabilities were present in several other networks, including Litecoin and Zcash. This could potentially expose over $25 billion worth of tokens to potential security risks, Halborn said.

"Due to codebase differences between the networks, not all the vulnerabilities are exploitable on all the networks, but at least one of them may be exploitable on each network," Halborn CEO Rob Behnke said. "On vulnerable networks a successful exploitation of the relevant vulnerability could lead to denial of service or remote code execution."

Halborn has dubbed the vulnerability “Rab13s.” According to the researchers, the most critical vulnerability found in the affected networks pertains specifically to the way peer-to-peer (p2p) communications are conducted in these networks.

An attacker can send malicious consensus messages to individual nodes in the network, causing them to shut down and leaving the entire network vulnerable to 51% attacks or other severe issues.

While some of the vulnerabilities were previously found on the Bitcoin network, Halborn also identified a zero-day vulnerability that was uniquely related to Dogecoin. This particular vulnerability was related to Remote Procedure Call (RPC) services, which could allow attackers to execute code remotely and impact individual miners.

Meanwhile, Halborn said it made a good faith effort to contact the affected networks for responsible disclosure. The severity of the Rab13s vulnerabilities, coupled with the simplicity of the p2p messaging mechanisms, increases the likelihood of attack.

However, due to the severity of the vulnerabilities, Halborn is not releasing further technical or exploit details at this time.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.

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