In November 7, a vulnerability was found in the Parity wallet contract. Parity wallets that were created after July 29 were frozen and since then inaccessible. According to Parity, 573 wallets were affected altogether and the total balance in all wallets is still unknown. This recent attack on Parity wallet by hacker called devops199 took place almost 5 months after the previous attack in July 2017. The surprising fact about this is that Parity Technology has not yet audited the smart contract even after the first attack in July which is the usually the norm in the blockchain community.
Motherboard stated that Parity wallet company already knew about the flaw since August but did nothing to address the issue. This has led to lots of concern about the irresponsible nature of the Parity team. The Parity wallet was built on the Ethereum blockchain and this hack may cause the Ethereum foundation to lose its competence. In a tweet, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has distanced himself from the Parity hack.
Response from Parity
Since the November 7th hack, parties involved with the Parity network have termed the incident as an accident and not giving it the seriousness it deserves. On November 13th, the network’s team sent out a message to the stakeholders not to believe what is being said out there about the hack and that the team was doing all it can to unfreeze the funds. They are terming the hack as just a mere speculation when there is actually evidence that the actions of the hacker – devops199, were actually intentional. According to a post on Medium, the hack was deliberate and the hacker was not an inexperienced guy, but someone with in-depth knowledge in Ethereum.
Effects of the Hack
Only Parity Technologies will be able to access the databases and determine how much is at stake after more than 500 wallets were frozen. The victims will have to just wait for an indefinite period of time before the case is solved, if at all it could be solved. Trust is among the most important traits any blockchain technology should build with its users. If a network keeps on having the same mistakes and large amounts of money is lost, the credibility of the network and the team might be lost. Popov, who first flagged the hack as a malicious attack and the CEO of Cappasity, has warned that the trust the Parity team had created might vanish if they do not handle the situation urgently.
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“the whole community now anxiously waits to see what will become of the issue. However, the result, either positive or negative will have a long lasting effect on Ethereum’s future as the preferred platform for dApps and blockchain projects.