The Ethereum Foundation developed two experimental networks for these tests. The attackers must render the networks unusable for 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Ethereum Foundation developer Danny Ryan announced rewards for those who make attacks on two experimental Ethereum 2.0 networks. The individuals or teams that complete the task will receive USD 5,000 for each network that they manage to attack.

The Ethereum Foundation announced the open-source hosting platform Github. There they indicate that they may pay the rewards in Ether (ETH) or the stablecoin DAI, depending on the winners’ preference. The Ethereum Foundation will hold sole responsibility for judging the attacks and deciding whether or not to pay the rewards.

Sigma Prime and Prysmatic Labs designed the attack networks “lighthouse-attack-0” and “prysm-attack-0”, respectively. Both companies focus on developing implementations and research on the Ethereum blockchain.

The reason for these experimental networks is that of providing a sandbox environment in which researchers can breach the security of Ethereum 2.0 to make it more robust in the future.

How to Take Part

In this test, the attackers’ objective will be to avoid, in any way, the completion of operations for 16 consecutive epochs on a single network.

On Ethereum 2.0, an epoch is the time when block proponents suggest a block for certification. After this time, the validators reorganize themselves into committees, that is, into groups that the Beacon Chain randomly chooses to certify the validity of the blocks.

Each epoch lasts 6.4 seconds, which means that attackers will have to manage to render the Ethereum 2.0 network unusable for 1 hour and 42 minutes.

The regulations state that, once the participants perform the attack, they must send as an issue in the same Github repository. There they must describe the work that they have done, with all the technical details that show how they did it to qualify for the reward,

The Ethereum Foundation also requests a description of the effect that the attack has caused on the network and any specific details about what happened, including the epochs and slots where they can see it.

Assessing Attacks and Paying Rewards

The regulations make it clear that there will be at most one reward per attacking entity. In other words, those who manage to breach the lighthouse-attack0 network do not qualify for the reward for successfully attacking prysm-attack-0, and vice versa. To verify who the attacker was, the Ethereum Foundation will review the logs and will see if they match the description that the attacker provides.

Ethereum Foundation researcher Diederik Loerakker clarified that “all this is experimental” and they will improve the process before scaling the test networks. He further clarified that they could divide the reward if it is not clear who made the attack.

The author of the call on Github, Danny Ryan, replied to the announcement on his personal Twitter account. There he clarified that, since the two networks are very small, conducting the attacks should be quite easy. He further announced that, in subsequent attack networks, they will increase the size and will make the challenges more specific and difficult.

It is common practice for the Ethereum Foundation to offer rewards for detecting faults. In early April, they made a call offering up to USD 10,000 for discovering critical vulnerabilities in Ethereum 2.0.

By Alexander Salazar


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