These days have missed the alerts for Ethereum Classic. The cryptocurrency was apparently the victim of a cyber threat known as ‘51% attack’. We explain what this hack is and if other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could do the same.
“The stability of the cryptocurrencies was questioned repeatedly throughout 2018, and it seems that 2019 will not be very different.”
By the fifth day of the year, Coinbase has already begun to detect unusual behavior in the Ethereum Classic cryptocurrency – not to be confused with the popular Ethereum digital currency – leading them to suspend interactions with the cryptocurrency as a preventive measure.
The abnormal activity was maintained over the next few days, and several cybersecurity experts said that everything indicated that it was a ‘51% attack’. This is a cyber threat that occurs in the blockchain technology when a single person or group of mines take control of 51% or more of the computing power of the network.
This assumes that they have the same mining capacity as all the other members together, allowing them to block the confirmation of new transactions and prevent the mining of valid blocks to other miners. In addition, they can reverse transactions already completed allowing them to do a double expense with their cryptocurrencies.
As Coinbase reports from their blog, or that caught their attention initially was a reorganization in the chain that included a double expense. On January 7, 15 reorganizations had already been detected, of which 12 were double expenses.
The Ethereum Classic team seems to continue investigating the root of the problem; So far they have not confirmed that it is a 51% attack but they do not rule it out either.
The attack highlights the vulnerability of some cryptocurrencies, since it seems that it is much cheaper to carry it out than expected. But what about the great cryptocoins? Could Bitcoin and Ethereum also suffer a 51% attack? It is very unlikely.