Vulnerability in Ethereum Allowed Hackers to Mint GasToken

Nov 22, 2018 at 19:30 Update Date :Nov 22, 2018 at 19:30 UTC

A critical vulnerability in an Ethereum led hackers to intimidate high fees on transactions from the crypto exchanges. The flaw has been disclosed by a group of researchers. As per the research, the defect was in the Ethereum-based crypto GasToken. It is still unclear about the number of exchanges affected with the vulnerability, but, as per the researchers, the numbers of platforms affected are in bulk.

According to dApp Level K and Ethereum Smart contract developer, the vulnerability inside the Ethereum framework has been disclosed that can allows minting of a huge number of GasToken while receiving Ethereum.

The enterprise revealed in a publication, November 21, that the weakness has been identified to the firms which are at most risk and have been affected their software for the threat.

GasToken Security

When the Ethereum is sent from one address to another, the time when the weakness of the ETH GasToken security makes it vulnerable. The transaction originators pay for the currency deliverance which comes with risks of ‘griefing’ – an act to attach malicious code to the system in order to cause some damage to the network. And if the firm lacks in ‘gas limits’ protections then the hackers can proceed the transactions on the exchange that contains some amount of computation.

With the help of minting GasToken during the process of receiving Ethereum, it can be possible for the griefing attack to come in the favor of bad actor. The most critical thing to be considered is that the risk is not limited to Ethereum only, other major ETH tokens like ERC-721 and ERC-20 comes under the same risk. The firms that are not setting up any gas limits on the token transactions have to pay a large amount of computation.

Level K Notification

Level K published a material that explains the threat is using a theoretical case. A small portion is as:

“In the simplest exploit scenario, Alice runs an exchange, which Bob wants to harm. Bob can initiate withdrawals to a contract address he controls with a computationally intensive fallback function. If Alice has neglected to set a reasonable gas limit, she will pay transaction fees out of her hot wallet.”

As per Level K, the firms affected by the vulnerability were informed on November 13. The notification was sent to multiple exchanges; as it was not clear which one had no protection.

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