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NEO spam attacks have a solution, fee transactions to be prioritized

Ajay Narayan

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NEO spam attacks have a solution, fee transactions to be prioritized
Source: Pixabay

In a recent post on Reddit, there were claims that the spam attack vector on the NEO blockchain was fixed. Their agenda was to prioritize fee transactions and improve network throughput. Wingchan91, a Redditor, also known as @wy on GitHub is a CoZ Developer and a part of the NGD funded HappyNodes project. He had stated:

“the Spam attack vector has been fixed, transaction with fees will get prioritised, network throughput expected to improve very soon.”

Neo blockchain has been witnessing many spam attacks recently which target the fact that Neo does not charge any transaction fees. One of NEO’s best features includes free transactions and especially providing free smart contract innovation calls. Attackers have taken advantage of this feature and now a single attacker can cause a lot of damage to the entire community, says Wingchan91.

The current spam attack starts with one address, through which tiny fragments of GAS [0.00005] will be distributed to thousands of addresses. These addresses once again send back all the tiny fragments of GAS to the starting address which results in causing a build-up of all transactions.

The guidance from NEO and CoZ was to simply add a small transaction fee which is currently a fraction of a U.S cent and this feature could be used by exchanges and wallets only after updating their software. In spite of the guidance, many users reported that their fee transactions [priority transactions] were not going through, instead, they were stuck behind the free spam transactions.

There are currently three bugs which have been discovered, these bugs cause the expected behavior for prioritizing the transactions that form the next block to not work as planned. CoZ and NEO worked together to understand what was really happening with the expected behavior as designed by the NEO core team.

Given a set of 500 transactions, there are fee transactions and a limited set of free transactions. Consider, 500 transactions were ranked based on their Fee per Bytes score and the first preference is given to the fee transactions and then the free transactions. In reality, this was not happening and the free transactions were dominating the list. The reason being a bug in the Free per Bytes score resulting in rounding off the small fees to zero during the calculation and making it look like a free transaction.

Thus, free and fee transactions were treated the same and were randomly getting dropped based on the hash rate. Belane and Jseagrave21 found a way to make sure that this would not happen again and the fee transactions come before free transactions.

It was said that the consensus nodes will soon apply these fixes to their codes as a patch which results in people to see higher transaction counts in each block for a small transaction fee. According to Wingchan91, many projects like Switcheo, Cryptogladiator, and other high transaction projects will start testing NEO in a good way.



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Ajay Narayan is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has majored in Economics, Political Science and Sociology. His interests are inclined towards writing and investing in cryptocurrencies.

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