Over the past few days, there have been problems for Solana and Arbitrum, which both went offline for a few hours, as well as for Ethereum.
A long chain of attacks has knocked Solana offline
Two days ago, Marius Van Der Wijden reported that someone had tried to attack Ethereum, without success, since only a small percentage of nodes took the invalid chain seriously, while the vast majority rejected it as invalid.
Someone unsuccessfully tried to attack #ethereum today by publishing a long (~550) blocks which contained invalid pow's. Only a small percentage of @nethermindeth nodes switched to this invalid chain. All other clients rejected the long sidechain as invalid
— MariusVanDerWijden (@vdWijden) September 14, 2021
The problem is that, due to the attack, the counterfeit chain was longer than the legitimate one, and this misled some nodes.
Now, the counterfeit chain has been exceeded in length by the legitimate chain, so everything is back to normal. Most users did not notice anything, so the price of ETH was not affected.
More serious problems were experienced by Solana and Arbitrum.
On 14 September, the Twitter profile reporting update information for Solana announced that the Solana Mainnet Beta was experiencing “intermittent instability”.
Solana mainnet-beta is experiencing intermittent instability. This began approximately 45 minutes ago, and engineers are investigating the issue.
— Solana Status (@SolanaStatus) September 14, 2021
The problem was serious, so much so that the attack later led to a depletion of Solana’s network resources, causing a de facto shutdown of the service.
It was then discovered that a sharp increase in transaction load had reached a peak of 400,000 TPS flooding the processing queue.
The lack of priority caused a network fork to begin. The fork then led to excessive memory consumption, causing some nodes to disconnect.
New version against attacks validated by the community
The validation community then opted to restart the network, and a new version of the protocol was released.
Today, version 1.6.25 of the client was released, increasing the resilience of the network during periods of excessive transaction load.
The attack also had an impact on the price of SOL, Solana’s native cryptocurrency.
After hitting an all-time high of more than $210 on 9 September, the price had fallen to just over $150 on 13 September, and yesterday it fell again to below $150. It now seems to have stabilized momentarily at around $155.
Arbitrum also went offline on 14 September.
More specifically, the Arbitrum Sequencer went offline, interrupting the confirmation of new transactions. The project’s development team warned that Arbitrum One is still in its beta phase, during which further interruptions are possible.
It is hard to imagine that three such attacks carried out on the same day would be random.
It is necessary to underline the difference between the resilience of Ethereum, and the vulnerabilities of Solana and Arbitrum, two young projects that do not have years of experience like their famous predecessor.