Ethereum Bug Leads to Node Failure and a Subsequent Fork in the Network

Vulnerabilities in Ethereum’s older node smart contracts result in Ethereum forking the network.

An Ethereum Schism 

An exploitative error in Ethereum’s node operation has resulted in a fork in the Ethereum network. The exploit stems from node operators continuing to run outdated versions of Geth

Geth, as described by developer Kacharlabhargav in his Medium article, writes that Geth (Go Ethereum) is the line interface for running the Ethereum node implementation of the Go Language. The issue was that the bug impacted Geth clients and node operators who were still running the outdated versions. 

The fork is designed to remove the out-of-date and exploitable node infrastructure from the Ethereum mainnet. News of the fork was announced on August 27th by the Go Ethereum Twitter page

“Around 54% of Ethereum nodes are running with a major infrastructure bug. The concern is that this could lead to double spending attacks, where cryptocurrency is spent. Still, then the transaction is overwritten by the alternative chain,” wrote Tim Copeland in his article for the BlockCrypto

At the current moment, Ethereum is operating normally. The Go Ethereum (Geth) team is still requesting operators to update their nodes if they haven’t already and to do so immediately. The split appears to be a necessary precaution to protect the Ethereum mainnet from attack and exploitation. 


Why Fork?

The purpose of Ethereum forking the network was to protect the Ethereum mainnet against exploitative attacks. 

As a result of the fork, hackers may still exploit the old vulnerabilities but are unable to access the Ethereum mainnet. This provides security against the attack vectors that were at risk due to node operators failing to update.

“The public announcement experiment was successful in so far as most miners had upgraded in time — so the canon chain became longer than the bad chain. But it was a really close shave,”  Ethereum security and Geth coder Martin Swende tweeted on August 27th.  

At the current moment, the Ethereum network looks to be secured. 

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