Intentional DDoS on Lightning Nodes was 'Successful'

Intentional DDoS on Lightning Nodes was 'Successful'

 bitPico successfully launched a DDoS attack on Lightning Network nodes, with the intentions of exposing vulnerabilities which need to be fixed. 

bitPico successfully launched a DDoS attack on Lightning Network nodes, with the intentions of exposing vulnerabilities which need to be fixed. 

The Lightning Network (LN) has been heralded as the current best answer to the question regarding Bitcoin's scalability issues, and potentially high transaction fees. The LN has proposed to be a fix to this issue by allowing parties to set up payment channels, by way of multi-signature addresses, which would facilitate fast and cheap transactions. The way this works is that these payment channels are set up off-chain, simply put, each transaction going to and from each party (node) on the payment channel is then submitted to the blockchain, after the payment channel has been closed. 

In the name of good science, and the importance of diagnosing and repairing vulnerabilities, well-intentioned 'attacks' may be carried out. A group using the pseudonym, "bitPico", exposed vulnerability of the LN by successfully executing a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service)  attack on LN nodes. A DDoS attack is carried out when a one's network is intentionally overwhelmed by huge volumes of traffic, with the intention to crash the network. This particular attack was carried out on multiple nodes which were operating on the LN. These nodes operate by saving temporary data, acting as cache, which is what allows the LN to carry out transactions efficiently. If these nodes are attacked, and overwhelmed with data, they run out of their temporary storage space, which kills the intended function of the nodes, rendering their services unsuccessful. According to the bitfalls.com article, bitPico's intentions were as such: 

(We) did this in order to secure the network by pointing out its weaknesses, and that this is why they’re trying to attack it from multiple angles.

Again, attacks like these are important to identify and allow the public to propose fixes to the network. We need vulnerability checks to prevent actual malicious attacks from causing real damage and potentially hijacking the development of a mass-used Lightning Network. If you're interested in seeing more technical info on offered fixes, please see see the github page here. 

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