Tech

Ed Drake

bitPico claims responsibility for DoS attack on Lightning Network

A shadowy developer, known only as bitPico, has claimed responsibility for the latest DoS attack to hit the lightning network, according to reports.

bitPico posted the claims on their Twitter feed, as part of what they described as a ‘stress tool’ for the beta Lightning Network software. According to their findings, there were as many as 22 different attack vectors uncovered.

The DoS, or Denial of Service, attack has been the subject of much speculation over the last two weeks, with developers worldwide taking an interest in the efforts of the previously unidentified attacker.

The attack has revolved around mass requests to open payment channels, which could ultimately be used to attack user funds. While there is neither an apparent suggestion of a financial motive, nor any suggestion that user funds have been compromised, the attack has nevertheless highlighted some of the remaining security issues with the software.

bitPico remains an anonymous and somewhat unknown developer, which could either be an individual, or a group of developers working in consort.

Previously, bitPico came to attention when it announced it would execute a hard fork to SegWit2x, after the time when those primarily involved in the fork had withdrawn their support, citing a lack of consensus for the fork.

However, while the suggestion proved controversial at the time, bitPico did not follow through on their intentions, and subsequently went quiet on social media. When the group re-emerged in March, it was to announce their work on the Lightning Network, which has ultimately led to the claims of responsibility for the latest round of attacks.

Despite the claims, it remains uncertain whether bitPico is behind the attacks, and to what extent they or other contributors are involved. While Lightning Network’s technology remains in beta, efforts like those of bitPico will serve to shed light on issues surrounding the project.

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