Understanding Different Type of Attacks on Blockchain Consensus

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

One of the forms of attack on a blockchain is directed against the consensus. The two best known are the Sybil attack, for Proof of Stake (PoS) and the 51% attack, for Proof of Work (PoW).

These types of attacks are what I will explain in this article, regarding the two most used consensuses to forge a blockchain, PoW and PoS.

Sybil and 51% attacks are not the only ways to attack a network, although they are the most important. It is also possible to exploit code vulnerabilities in the protocol, or perform a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

The attack on the PoS protocol is theoretically more likely than on the PoW protocol, since the algorithm is much more complex, because in addition to programming the issuance of coins and coding the structure for block validation, the protocol must manage the distribution of rewards between operators and delegators. Complexity is prone to vulnerabilities.

The DDoS attack consists of affecting the availability of the system, generating large volumes of packages or requests, to overload the system, from multiple sources of aggression.

Both algorithms admit variations in their protocol for the different blockchains, but they keep their essence, and therefore, the same corresponding attack vectors.

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Li₿εʁLiøη

Li₿εʁLiøη

Researcher — ϚʁyptøWriter — Content Creator | Twitter @liberlion17 website: liberlion.com