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ETH Merger Increases Network Vulnerability to Attack: Security expert

12-Sep-2022 By: Simran Mishra
ETH Merger Increases

Despite the fact that the Ethereum Merge is touted as a significant upgrade to the blockchain network — the transition to proof-of-stake is potentially making it more vulnerable to attack.

The security expert noted to a local media outlet that unlike PoW systems, a PoS system informs node validators in advance. They notify them of which blocks they will validate, thus allowing them to plan attacks.

The anonymous security expert is a blockchain developer and security researcher working on a PoS layer-2 blockchain.

According to the researcher, if validators successfully line up two consecutive blocks to validate, an attack may theoretically occur on the post-Merge ETH blockchain.

“If you control two consecutive blocks, you can start an expl oit on block N and conclude it on block N+1. This was accomplished without using an exchange algorithm to fix the price that you changed in the meantime.”

The expert said that while it is feasible for miners to verify consecutive blocks in PoW networks — that comes down to “pure luck” and provides the miner no time to plot an attack.

As a result, the security researcher claims that when the Merge takes effect,  ETH will lose some of its security strength.

However, PoS still provides adequate practical security, and it doesn't matter if it is technically less secure than PoW. He noted that it is still a highly secure system.

In PoS, Ethereum validators are prone to slashing since the consensus rules were intended to economically incentivize validators. This was designed to correctly authenticate incoming transactions, and any opposite behavior would result in their ETH stake being slashed.

According to Blocknative's Ethereum Merge Countdown, the Ethereum Merge will ultimately take place on September 15 at around 08:00 am IST. The transition to PoS will make the ETH network more scalable and energy-efficient.

Read also: Google Joins The ETH Merge Excitement

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