Two Ethereum Bugs In Smart Contracts For Tokens Cause AltCoin Blood Bath

in cryptocurrency •  11 months ago

Medium post published  over the weekend claims to have discovered a vulnerability in ETH  ERC-20 contracts, which the author states affects “more than a dozen  ERC-20 contracts.” 

According to the post, the exploit is done through a “batchOverflow” a  “classic integer overflow” issue, which occurs when computers deal with  numeric values outside of the range that can be represented with a given  number of bits. 

The post includes a proof-of-concept, which appears to show the  researchers generating a nearly unlimited amount of tokens from a  vulnerable ERC20 token contract. 

Another similar bug deemed “proxyOverflow” was also discovered  yesterday by Blockchain security startup PeckShield which observed a  suspiciously large amount of MESH tokens being transferred. 

The researchers noted that their study found that the bug is present in a  number of tokens, including – UGToken, SMART, MTC, FirstCoin, GG Token,  CNY Token, MESH and SMT tokens. While others still may be affected by  the bug. 

 “A proper way to recover from these vulnerabilities and devastating  effects requires coordination and support from all eco-system members,  especially digital asset exchanges,” PeckShield wrote. “In the meantime,  we cannot over-emphasize the importance of performing a thorough and  comprehensive audit of smart contracts before deployment.” 

ERC-20 tokens make up about 90 percent of the $53 billion token market,  according to data by CoinMarketCap. In response, at least two exchanges,  Poloniex and OKEx, temporarily suspended ERC20 token deposits. The  service is back up on Poloniex. 

 In a statement published  Tuesday, the Hong Kong-based exchange OKEx— third-largest in the world  as measured by daily trading volume — announced the suspension of  deposits, explaining that attackers have exploited a smart contract bug  called “batchOverflow” to generate “an extremely large amount of tokens”  seemingly out of thin air and then deposit them into a  normal Ethereum address. 

“We are suspending the deposits of all ERC-20 tokens  due to the discovery of a new smart contract bug – ‘BatchOverFlow’. By  exploiting the bug, attackers can generate an extremely large amount of  tokens, and deposit them into a normal address. This makes many of the  ERC-20 tokens vulnerable to price manipulations of the attackers,” OKEx  wrote. “To protect public interest, we have decided to suspend  the deposits of all ERC-20 tokens until the bug is fixed. Also, we have  contacted the affected token teams to conduct investigation and take necessary measures to prevent the attack,” the exchange added.

Changelly, a cryptocurrency trading service that acts as a broker  between users and exchanges, has also suspended ERC20 token trading in  response to the exploit.

This comes a day after some users of MyEtherWallet, an app for storing and sending Ether and Ethereum-based tokens, suffered a DNS hijack attack. Which resulted in the theft of some users’ of the interface for the ETH blockchain’s funds. 

Ethereum is currently trading at [FIAT: $647.60] down -8.19% while Bitcoin is trading at [FIAT: $9,159.44] according to Coin Market Cap at the time of this report. 

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