What is an Eclipse Attack?

A hostile actor uses an eclipse attack to isolate a particular user or node from the rest of the peer-to-peer network. The attacker’s intention is to block a user’s visibility of the Peer-to-peer network in order to set up assaults that are more sophisticated or to create widespread havoc. Despite having distinct ends in mind, Sybil and Eclipse assaults on the peer-to-peer network of Bitcoin are comparable which also effects other platforms. The fundamental structure of the targeted blockchain network affects how simple or difficult a blockchain attack may be carried out. In their 2015 article titled “Eclipse Assaults on Bitcoin’s Peer-to-Peer Network,” experts from Hebrew University and Boston University provide a thorough discussion of eclipse attacks. Therefore, it is important that you utilize trusted and secure at bitcoinaussiesystems.com.

What happens during an eclipse attack?

Crypto eclipse attacks are possible because nodes in a decentralized network cannot connect to each other simultaneously because of bandwidth restrictions. A node is compromised by an attacker using a Botnet or phantom network. The attacker either will then employ malicious nodes to wait for the target to rejoin or will introduce a Distributed Denial of Service attack to compel the victim to return to the network. The worst thing is that after a target node has been taken over, the attacker may supply it with fake information. The victim typically is not conscious that the network has already been infected. In crypto projects, some effects of eclipse assaults include:

Miner power disruption: When a hacker tries to conceal the information that a block has previously been processed from an eclipsed miner, blocks may be omitted from a trustworthy blockchain. This causes the victim to waste time and processing resources computing compromised blocks.

After that, the attacker can speed up their hashing within the network. Attackers may then start attacks on several miners at once and mount a 51 percent attack on the network, whereas an eclipsed miner is cut off from the legal network. 

Double-spend attacks: An attacker may trick a victim that is disconnected from its real network into accepting one of the following two types of transactions:

  • An unreliable input
  • The same input as a transaction that has previously been verified on a trustworthy network

What effects might an assault during an eclipse have?

There is typically a deeper purpose behind an attacker’s choice to target a network user. Typically, eclipse assaults can act as entry points for larger-scale intrusions and disruptions.

1. Double payments with 0-confirmation

Accepting a transaction without receiving any confirmation puts the user in danger of double-spending. The sender may, in theory, make a new activity and use the funds elsewhere even if the original activity has already been published. Until a transaction is recorded on the blockchain and included in a block, money might be double-spent. The inclusion of new transactions with a greater charge before the original transactions might potentially render the earlier transactions invalid. This is a problem since some people and companies routinely accept transactions with zero confirmations.

2. Double spending on N-confirmation

Double spending with N confirmations is comparable to spending with 0 confirmations. On the other hand, their preparation is more involved. Many companies choose to delay declaring a payment as genuine until a predetermined number of confirmations, which makes them susceptible to assaults. Attackers outnumber both miners and traders in this scenario. By arranging a purchase with the vendor and publicizing the deal to eclipsed miners, they are successful. The transaction is then verified and added to the blockchain as a result. The miner was previously disconnected from the network; therefore, this particular channel is not the appropriate one. The attacker then transmits the merchant this blockchain version, leading the latter to release goods and/or services under the impression that the payment has already been approved.

3. Putting down rival miners

As the intended users are frequently ignorant that they have been cut off from the genuine network, eclipsed nodes remain operational. Therefore, miners will carry on mining blocks as normal. Once they have synchronized with their honest peers, new blocks will be removed. The majority of the time, 51 percent of assaults are conducted by extensive eclipse attacks on significant miners. The odds of this happening are quite relatively remote, though, given how expensive it would be to get control of the bulk of the hashing power in Bitcoin. An attacker would potentially require over 40TH/s to be successful at 80TH/s.