Another massive security vulnerability in a major cryptocurrency has been discovered, just sitting there, waiting to be exploited – and this time around it’s Bitcoin Cash.
Its blockchain was open to being jammed with a toxic block that would have caused complete consensus failure. The bad block would have split the cryptocurrency in two, halting transactions and crippling its utility and price. Cory Fields, who discovered the bug, reflected on its impact. Fields is a Bitcoin Core developer for the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He detailed the entire process, from discovery to anonymous submission, in a blog titled Responsible disclosure in the era of cryptocurrencies. “Working through this bug, which certainly had the potential for catastrophe, has reaffirmed my belief that the threat of software bugs is severely underestimated in the cryptocurrency world,” writes Fields. ”[This] is a real-world example of how much work is still required to reach the sophisticated level of engineering that cryptocurrencies require, and as a wake-up call to companies who have not adequately prepared for this type of scenario.”