Cardano outsmarts DDoS attacker who ends up funding network improvements

The Cardano blockchain successfully defended against a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack aimed at stealing staked tokens.

The attack had little impact on ADA’s value, up by a modest 0.4% during the last 24 hours to $0.38 as of press time, according to CryptoSlate’s data.

Attack details

On June 25, Fluid Token’s CTO, Raul Antonio Rosa Padilla, reported that the blockchain suffered an attack at Block 10,487,530.

According to him, the attacker attempted to overload the network by spending 0.9 ADA per transaction, targeting 194 smart contracts with multiple transactions per block. Despite this, Cardano’s network maintained normal operations, resulting in the attacker losing funds instead of stealing them.

Phillip Disarro, founder of Anastasia Labs, a Cardano-based development company, suggested that users could help stop the attack by deregistering any of the 194 stake credentials used by the attacker. He highlighted deregistration as the quickest method, rewarding users with 2 ADA tokens per credential until the attacker’s 400 ADA was exhausted.

Disarro stated:

“Just to clarify, the network is behaving as intended. Liveliness is unaffected. Everything (block size limit, transaction size limits, block times) are all set so conservatively that any attack on liveliness is a total waste of funds. Even with validators deserializing 194 junk scripts (~16kb each) per transaction the validators are totally fine processing these transactions (which involve deseralizing roughly 200x what they are used to).”

Following Disarro’s post, the DDoS attacker ceased their efforts to prevent further financial losses. Disarro noted the irony that the attacker inadvertently funded open-source development work at Anastasia Labs and Midgard.

While the blockchain continued to operate normally, Intersect, a Cardano membership group, reported that the attack negatively impacted some stake pool operators (SPOs). However, efforts are ongoing to identify solutions to prevent future occurrences. The group remarked:

“The network has experienced a higher load than normal and some SPOs have been negatively affected due to an intensification in block height battles. However, the chain as a whole is functioning as expected, with only a small impact on overall transaction timings and some reduction in chain density.”

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