Recently, the BSV network has been attacked by a malicious actor using block withholding or reorganization, possibly in order to hide the double spending of coins. Double spending is the act of spending one coin two or more times. It is like using a $5 bill to buy a cup of vanilla ice cream, and then using that same $5 bill again to purchase chocolate ice cream. The result would be a missing $5 bill in the cash box when inventory is done. Double spending is essentially stealing, and therefore, it is a fraudulent activity that is highly illegal.
These types of malicious attacks happen from time to time because like any other financial institution, digital currency networks attract criminals due to the value of the assets they hold. BTC and BCH have also not been spared. In fact, it might even be possible that the unknown miner using the moniker “Zulupool,” who was responsible for the BSV attacks was also the same one who attacked the BCHA chain; aside from using the same handle, both employ the same modus operandi (M.O.).
“Just a few months ago, an actor also using the same ‘Zulupool’ moniker carried out deep block reorganisation of the Bitcoin ABC (BCHA) chain. While we cannot independently confirm that it is the same party who is behind the recent attacks on BSV, the BCHA chain incident had similarities in methodologies and characteristics with the reorganization attacks on BSV, and also used the same Zulupool name; these factors strongly suggest it is the same actor,” Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organization that supports the BSV blockchain, revealed in a public statement in the form of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the attacks.
“Given that the Bitcoin ABC (BCHA) chain experienced a reorganisation incident with similar characteristics just a few months ago, it is possible that this is a coordinated campaign against competing implementations and chains of Bitcoin. While no direct losses or thefts have yet been attributed to the attack on the BSV blockchain, the response by exchanges to restrict BSV deposit and withdrawals and/or trading activities and the attending reputational harm caused by the attacks could indicate that the detrimental intangible impact was the primary goal, not a secondary repercussion,” the Association added.
Because of these malicious attacks, coins are stolen and networks are damaged. Although no BSV was reported stolen or lost and the attacks could be deemed unsuccessful due to the effectiveness of the BSV network’s detection tools and the immediate reactive and preventive measures put up by the BSV Infrastructure Team, these attacks still highlight the fact that there is an urgent need for law in blockchain. And Bitcoin Association is setting the standard for dealing with these types of fraudulent activities as it implements zero tolerance for illegal attacks.
“Blockchains cannot themselves prevent bad actors. But by working together with exchanges, miners, transaction processors and other industry participants, collectively we can facilitate a safe and trusted environment for users of the Bitcoin SV network. There have been prior attacks on other blockchains, and it is time that industry participants demonstrate that such attacks are in fact illegal—just as attacks against other financial systems are illegal—and will be met with legal enforcement action,” Bitcoin Association said.
At present, the Association and the BSV Infrastructure Team are conducting an extensive investigation into the matter, while at the same time collecting and documenting evidence to be used for the criminal complaint that has been filed. It is important to take legal action accordingly in order to let the world know that these kinds of illegal activities that aim to defraud or harm the network will not be tolerated. In this way, future attacks can also be prevented as criminals would think twice before setting their sights on BSV.