Vertcoin 51 Attack
Due to continuous market turndown and cryptocurrencies hashrate decrease, a lot of digital money became vulnerable to 51% attack. Vertcoin (VTC) has joined the list of cryptocurrencies suffering from the attack.
In a detailed blog post, Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt revealed that Vertcoin’s network went through repeated 51% attacks, with the largest reorganization having a length of 310 blocks and a depth of 307 blocks which, according to the specialist, may have caused double spends upwards of $100,000.
For a 51% attack to be successful, the attacker would need to control more than 50% of the networks computing power. This will allow the attacker to exclude and modify the ordering of transactions while in control. A 51% attack in this case allows the attacker to pick an arbitrary previous block from where they can extend an alternative block history. This will then outpace the block history produced by the rest of the network and therefore defining a new canonical transaction history as seen with $VTC.
Interestingly, Vertcoin’s mining algorithm is geared against ASIC and ASIC-like devices. The mining on the network will be achieved solely through commonly available graphic cards. Apparently, this is a step to break centralization in mining.
This year has seen a rise in 51% percent attacks against cryptocurrencies such as Verge, Bitcoin Gold, and ZenCash, to name a few. Some projects have already taken steps to prevent this kind of incidents in the future. Bitcoin Gold’s team revealed that it plans a hard fork as a solution to prevent 51% attacks.
Earlier this year, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightning Labs, Elizabeth Stark, stated that the number of 51% attack would grow since the cost of the attack was getting lower. The recent attacks were made on the evening of November 7, unknown hackers successfully conducted a “51% attack” on the network of Ukrainian cryptocurrency Karbo and AurumCoin. As a result, the Cryptopia exchange lost over $500 000.
It is noteworthy that Vertcoin has informal ties to the MIT Digital Currency Initiative and is known for it’s Lightning Network implementation.