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The three types of attacks that Ethereum's proof-of-stake avatar could face

On Friday, Ethereum (ETH) rose by more than 9% to a new high. This was a few days after the network had successfully undergone the Altair upgrade.

ETH, the native token of the second-largest blockchain by market cap, soared to $4,415 and thus surpassed its previous all-time high. Needless to say, various analysts have expressed varying levels of optimism about this flagship token.

It saw recent upgrades such as Berlin, London, and Altair on its way to becoming a proof-of-stake (PoS) network. However, according to a recently submitted white paper, there are some points to consider regarding this upgrade. On a "proof-of-work Ethereum" blockchain, there are three attack vectors, according to the report.

Computer scientists from Stanford University and the Ethereum Foundation believe that specific types of attacks on Ethereum are possible. Tuur Demeester, a Bitcoin enthusiast, shared the aforementioned paper to emphasize the same. It shed light on two key aspects: "short-term reorganizations" and "adversarial network delay."

The first two types of attacks were covered in the paper "Three Attacks on Proof-of-Stake Ethereum," and now comes the third. "By combining techniques from both refined attacks, we obtain a third attack that allows an adversary with vanishingly small stake and no control over network message propagation (assuming instead probabilistic message propagation) to cause even long-range consensus chain reorganizations," according to the paper.


“Honest-but-rational or ideologically motivated validators could use this attack to increase their profits or stall the protocol, threatening incentive alignment and security of PoS Ethereum. The attack can also lead to destabilization of consensus from congestion in vote processing.”

The attack could also result in "destabilization of consensus due to congestion in vote processing," according to the paper's authors. In addition, Bram Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent and the founder of the Chia project, shared a similar insight.

 He tweeted,

“Some issues with ETH2 consensus, we obtain a third attack which allows an adversary with vanishingly small fraction of stake to cause even long-range consensus chain reorganizations”

Needless to say, he was quickly chastised by various pro-ETH supporters. For example, this ETH supporter stated,

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