During the early hours of Saturday morning, transactions made on the Lisk blockchain came to a full stop as a faulty transaction triggered automated security systems on the network.
Lisk Blockchain Shutdown
The President and CEO of Lisk, Max Kordek, quickly wrote a Reddit post that explained the situation to the Lisk community.
During European morning hours, an anonymous individual broadcasted a faulty transaction to the Lisk network. Due to a rare edge-case bug in transaction processing, this transaction was deemed valid and went through the processing steps on each individual node. However, it was an invalid, maliciously customized transaction type that utilised this particular code bug.
To combat the problem, the Lisk blockchain immediately stopped processing new blocks, causing all transactions made on the network to freeze. As the network froze, hundreds of transactions began to build-up on the network, with none of these transactions reaching their final destination.
At the current time, it is unclear whether the individual was acting with malicious intent. Kordek says that the bug was found and executed upon, whether it was as an experiment or attack is still unknown.
Is Centralization a Risk For Lisk?
At first glance, the forced temporary pause in the Lisk blockchain may be viewed as something an only centralized blockchain could do.
However, Max pointed out that the cause of the network pause was due to an automated failsafe system which helps protect the Lisk blockchain. Many users of the platform were quick to express their admiration for this innovative and secure system. One Reddit user said, “Almost like Lisk has its own built-in antivirus. That’s awesome, haven’t heard of this in any other project.”
Lisk uses a ‘Delegated Proof Of Stake’ system to help verify the network. This acts similarly to a regular POS system but uses a set amount of delegate nodes to help verify the network
However, many critics believe that a DPOS system introduces centralization to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies. However, in many cases like with Lisk and ARK, DPOS systems have been proven to be fairly successful at securing blockchains worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
At around 5:00 PM GMT, the Lisk team released a fix, which fully reversed the problems caused by this faulty and ‘malicious’ transaction.
Community manager Jan wrote:
We have just now released the fix and solution to this matter and are now returning to a normal and regularly operated network. Within the next moments, everything will be optimally functioning and will allow for all users to use the Lisk blockchain and their tokens as they did prior to this. To remind you all, everyone’s fund is safe.
Max did point out that once the network does start running again, it will act as if the transactions broadcasted after the pause did not exist.
This aspect of the fix was essential in making sure that all funds on the network stayed secure as if the bug never occurred.
From a macro view, it is great to see that Lisk had systems in place to stop bugs such as this one, but seeing as Lisk had problems with “edge-case bugs, 2 or 3 times in the past,” it makes sense why this is something embedded into Lisk’s code.
LSK price was not affected, in fact it was trading up 7% on the day to $9.30 at the time of writing.