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It is always troubling to learn some cryptocurrencies may suffer from a major flaw. Any currency using the CryptoNote was susceptible to letting users create unlimited amounts of coins. More specifically, discovering this activity would be virtually impossible to detect. Some currencies, such as Monero and Forknote, have already updated their code to prevent this from happening. Others, however, have yet to make the necessary changes.
CryptoNote Currencies Suffer From Major Flaw
A blog post appeared on the Monero website earlier this week. In this message, it was mentioned how CryptoNote-based cryptocurrencies are vulnerable. No coin wants to be subject to having someone inject unlimited coins into the ecosystem for no good reason. Unfortunately, said vulnerability is very real, and quite a few currencies remain subject to this problem for the time being.
Several CryptoNote currencies have made changes to their source code already. Monero, Boolberry, Forknote, and Aeon are all safe from this exploit. Other currencies, such as Bytecoin, have yet to officially upgrade their code to prevent unlimited coins from being created. The worrisome part is how this method is undetectable. Any community member could exploit the bug and no one would notice it right away.
The exploit was discovered by the Monero Research lab. A detailed post was released explaining how this vulnerability works exactly.Luckily, the Monero blockchain itself had never been exploited in this manner. All exchanges and mining pools should have updated their client by now, as the client was updated months ago. All other CryptoNote coin developers were notified in April of this year as well.
Exploits like these could bring a cryptocurrency to its knees with ease. Thankfully, no real damage has been done in the process that we know of. We can only hope the remaining developers update their code sooner rather than later. Now that the exploit is public knowledge, it could easily be used by someone with malicious intent. It is good to know these problems exist, though. Moreover, it shows how cooperation can go a long way in the world of cryptocurrency.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock
About JP Buntinx
JP is a freelance copywriter and SEO writer who is passionate about various topics. The majority of his work focuses on Bitcoin, blockchain, and financial technology. He is contributing to major news sites all over the world, including NewsBTC, The Merkle, Samsung Insights, and TransferGo.
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