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US Crypto-exchange Gate.io Confirms 51% Attack On ETC Blockchain

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U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io confirmed in a report from its researchers that a 51 percent attack occurred recently on the Ethereum Classic (ETC) blockchain.

The Gate.io Research claimed that it has detected seven rollback transactions, with four of them being conducted by the attacker and transferring a total of 54,200 ETC in total valued at about $247,000.

A 51 percent attack or majority hash rate attack is a potential attack on a blockchain network where the attacker is somehow able to control the majority of the network mining power or hashrate. This will enable the attacker to or at least attempt to decide which transactions get approved or not.

This would allow the attacker also to revise transaction history and prevent new transactions from confirming as well as allow their own coins to be spent multiple times, a process called double spending.

The research report also published the transaction hash (txhash) for the four transactions created by the attacker and the identity of three of the attacker's ETC accounts. Gate.io suggested all platforms to block the transactions from the attacker's accounts.

The report suggests that the attack happened between 0:40 on Jan 7, 2019 and Jan 4:20 on Jan.7, 2019 UTC, a period of about 4 hours. All the transactions were confirmed normally on the ETC blockchain and became invalid after the blockchain rollback.

Gate.io's censor successfully blocked attacker's transactions at the initial stage and submitted them to the manual exam. However, all the transactions looked valid and confirmed well on the blockchain during the attack, and the examiner passed the transactions.

The Gate.io Research confirmed that the attack caused about 40,000 ETC losses. Gate.io said it will take all the loss for the users and promised refunds.

Gate.io has raised the confirmation number on the ETC blockchain to 500 and launched a new strict 51 percent detect for enhanced protection. However, the research suggests the ETC development team and the community to build a new consensus mechanism to better protect ETC network from 51% attack.

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