Bitcoin (BTC): vulnerabilities in the Layer 2 Lightning Network?

Despite the growing notoriety of bitcoin (BTC), its Layer 2 network may be in danger. According to two researchers, the latter has vulnerabilities that could cause great losses if protective measures are not taken as soon as possible.

Hypothetical bitcoin (BTC) layer 2 network attacks

The more bitcoin (BTC) interests investors, the greater the risk of malfunction. According to researchers at the University of Illinois, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network has some vulnerabilities. Indeed, the latter claim that these weaknesses could lead to the loss of 750 BTC, the equivalent of $18 million.

In their article, the two researchers, Casimo Sguanci and Anastasios Sidiropoulos present a hypothetical case to explain the weaknesses of Bitcoin Layer 2. According to them, a coalition of 30 nodes could take control of the funds of 31 channels for two months through a zombie attack. And via a massive two-way attack, it could steal up to 750 BTC.

According to the explanations of the two researchers, a zombie attack is a form of vandalism that could render the Lightning Network unusable. The only way to defeat this type of attack would be for honest nodes to close their channel and return to Bitcoin’s Layer 1 network. However, the most disastrous scenario is a double-spend attack.

According to the document, although this attack requires the cooperation of several malicious nodes, it could overload Bitcoin’s Layer 1 with fraudulent closing transactions. Because of this, if attackers have the ability to afford the high fees due to network congestion, they will be able to bypass the queue and double bitcoin (BTC) spending.

BTC Remains Steadfast Despite Threats

The assumptions made by Sguanci and Sidiropoulos make sense since the Layer 2 vulnerabilities of the bitcoin Lightning Network are very real. Despite the risks posed by the attacks mentioned above, they could encounter certain difficulties. This is because the double-spend attack can only take place if the configuration of one of the watchtowers in the network is faulty.

Watchtowers have a primary role in the operation of the blockchain. These allow you to keep track of the state of the Lightning Network and store data from legal transactions. When they work well, they make it easier to verify requests to shut down fraudulent channels. A failure of one of the watchtowers would be the perfect entry point for a double spend attack.

Nevertheless, this is not the first time that the blockchain has had vulnerabilities. Between Flood and Loot, pinning, time dilation eclipse and Griefing, the network has it in spades. However, despite all these weak points, fraudulent accounts have still failed to exploit it. This once again demonstrates the strength of the bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network. Since time, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been the victim of an attack and intends to continue doing so.

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