- bitPico claimed to be responsible for the recent DoS attack on Lightning Network.
- The developer had earlier threatened to carry out a controversial SegWit2x hard fork last year.
The Lightning Network recently received a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacked by an unknown agent and there were various rumors surrounding who could have been responsible for this attack. However, the rumor has been confirmed by a strange Bitcoin developer named bitPico, who claimed to be responsible for the cyber-attack on the Lightning Network’s nascent mainnet implementation.
The strange developer – an individual or group of individuals – announced on the bitPico Twitter handle that the cyber-attack was a “stress tool” for the Lightning Network software, which has just entered its beta phase, and claims it had found 22 attack vectors.
The #bitcoin #LightningNetwork DoS attack/test rumors are true. We did create a network stress tool for LN. The network is operating out of 8 countries running 22 attack vectors in-parallel from ~384 endpoints. Don’t trust; Verify. 💰🐳🤓🤓 pic.twitter.com/hfSHVtQo02
— ɃitPico (@bitPico) April 3, 2018
For about 2 weeks, LN developers had kept an eye on the been monitoring the DoS attack, an exploit which saw the strange developer probe the security of the LN nodes by bombarding them with requests to open payment channels.
Just as bitPico claimed, the cyber-attack was a “stress tool” and does not have any financial reason. Customers’ funds remain secure, rather the cyber-attackers would have spent their own funds to spam the LN nodes with payment channels.
Nothing much is known about bitPico, other than the strange developer threatened last year that it would carry out a controversial SegWit2x hard fork – despite the fact that its main supporters later withdrew due to lack of community consensus. However, bitPico did not carry out the threat eventually. Soon after, bitPico went off all social media accounts and laid low for many months, before resurfacing last March with a claim that it would work on the Lightning network.
Users are frustrated by this action as it acted like a pointer to the potential flaws in present Lightning Network’s nascent mainnet implementations. LN developers must quickly find solutions now, as LN is still mainly used by tech-savvies before it is available to non-developers for mass usage and lots of money can be at stake then.
Alex Bosworth, one of LN’s developers, on 25th March tweeted: “Node hardening is in progress. We’re getting a good opportunity to develop robust p2p [peer-to-peer] deployment strategies.”
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