DDoS Attack on the Bitcoin Lightning Network

The Lightning network was yesterday the victim of a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service). Around 200 nodes could be forced to their knees and thus almost 20% of all nodes – from 1,050 to 870 nodes.

The user “BitPico” said that he was responsible for this. BitPico is – according to rumors – a supporter of the SegWitx2 camp (SegWitx2 demanded: SegWit and increase the block size for Bitcoin to 2MB).

It is unclear who is behind “BitPico”. Only a Twitter account can be found. An account that describes the user as a Bitcoin fan. According to his own statements, he is also working on the Lightning network. Further tweets suggest that he doesn’t like Bitcoin Cash very much.

The vulnerability in the Lightning network according to onlinebetrug

In any case, this onlinebetrug user found a vulnerability in the Lightning network. Bitpico was able to establish multiple connections to individual nodes. Read more about it: https://www.onlinebetrug.net/en/ He then used the connections to attack and disable the nodes. As a result, the nodes could not establish any further connections.

One solution to this problem would be to limit access to individual IP addresses. However, it would be better if the problem were solved on its own. Several thousand nodes could fend off DDoS attacks of this kind. However, the Lightning network is currently only used by developers, because the setup is too complicated for “laymen”. An appealing wallet (as interface for the Bitcoin Lightning network) is still missing.

The Bitcoin code must grow

At least this attack shows that the Bitcoin code Lightning network is still a very new protocol and needs to be optimized says onlinebetrug. Therefore you should expect bugs and exploits and only use small amounts for this protocol.

If the Lightning network only works if nobody attacks it, then it doesn’t really work. – Andreas Antonopoulos

Time will tell if the Bitcoin Lightning network is up to the coming attacks. In the future, more hackers will try to attack the network in order to gain access to the popular digital currency Bitcoin.

Decentralization is hard. Alex Bosworth, developer of applications for the Lightning network, also knows this. He said his work has been attacked by botnets from the start.