Attacks and Thefts are nothing new to the crypto industry. These episodes typically happen without warning, leaving the investors counting the losses after the attack. It happened for the first time, 51% attack has been announced in advance on Einsteinium (EMC2). The attack has been scheduled for Saturday, Oct 13.
The famous 51% attack on Einsteinium will be streamed here.
The 51% hack on coin doesn’t involve stealing coins or manipulating coin’s price. Rather, a 51% attack involves taking control of enough of the coin’s hashrate to allow coin to be double spent.
A message has been posted in Twitch were the attack will be live streamed. The hacker notes that if the donations come in higher than expected, they may select a larger project to attack
“If we get $300-500 in donations we’ll have the money to buy the required hashing power to attack Vertcoin. If you want to chip in, Bitcoin:18YvVAxEMYxowSYEmWVtY75ZUdKXXk2vQc, if we go under our goal we’ll do a larger coin but not Vertcoin, if we go over, the remaining money will go to the EFF.”
Oct 13, 3:00 CDT (8:00 UTC) I’m doing 51% attacks against real live CryptoCurrencies and explaining the whole process on twitch. https://t.co/JQm34LrvhW
— GeoCold “Mischief-Maker” (@geocold51) October 8, 2018
Working of 51% Attack:
The 51% attack is very conceptual and the loopholes are very well utilized to enable double spending. The attacker rents enough hashing power to gain majority of hashing power on the targeted coin. For this case specifically, the attacker exchanges Einteinium for another cryptocurrency on an exchange, typically Bitcoin.
Once the attacker has exchanged Einsteinium for Bitcoin, the same command is executed, which was used initially to fork the chain and reverse the initial transfer of Einsteinium into the exchange. The attacker now has Bitcoin and the Einsteinium which he or she used to finance the Bitcoin purchase initially.
Previous 51% attacks
There have been several attacks on Cryptocurrencies. One of the most dangerous 51% attack was executed on Bitcoin Gold in May 2018. After the attacker gained enough control of Bitcoin Gold’s hash power, they were able to successfully double spend Bitcoin Gold for several days, eventually stealing more than 18 million USD worth of coins. Bitcoin Gold is currently in one of the most popular 24 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, according to Coinmarketcap.
It’s quite surprising that the cost of executing the 51% attack is quite low. Despite that, the 51% attacks remain surprisingly low. 51% attacks are typically confined to relatively small market capitalization coins. Increase strict AML and KYC by exchanges makes it more difficult for the attackers to execute the such attacks.
The reason for 51% attack on Einsteinium is quite simple, the attack is being live streamed to raise awareness of how easy it is to execute a 51% attack and ignite the discussion on how to prevent more 51% attacks from happening in the future. The attack is coming very soon, it will be very interesting to see if einsteinium can prevent the attack from happening despite being cautioned.
We’ll be spectating the attack, will you?
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