Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet,…
Valerie is Techopedia's Editor-in-Chief. She is a skilled writer and editor with expertise in crafting evergreens, analyses, forecasts, and educational materials, covering global financial markets,…
An eclipse attack involves a malicious actor isolating a specific user or node within a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network. In executing this attack, the perpetrator redirects the target’s incoming and outgoing connections away from legitimate neighboring nodes to nodes under the attacker’s control.
This effectively secludes the target, creating an isolated environment within the network.
By distorting the genuine state of the blockchain ledger, the attacker gains the ability to manipulate the isolated node, leading to unauthorized transaction confirmations and disruptions in block mining.
The success of eclipse attacks hinges on exploiting the connections between nodes in a blockchain network.
While the decentralized structure of most cryptocurrency protocols makes these attacks comparatively challenging and less frequent than other online threats, eclipse attacks still pose a significant risk to online security.
Understanding their operation and adopting preventive strategies is vital for protecting the integrity of blockchain networks.
The mechanics of an eclipse attack exploit the limited connectivity inherent to nodes within a decentralized network. These nodes are constrained by bandwidth and can only establish connections with a subset of neighboring nodes.
Instead of attacking the entire network, as seen in a sybil attack, malicious actors need only compromise a node’s connections with its limited set of neighbors.
To execute an eclipse attack, an attacker often employs a botnet or phantom network to inundate the target node with a flood of IP addresses.
The target node may sync up with these addresses when it reconnects to the blockchain network.
The attacker bides their time until the victim node reconnects with the malicious nodes or deploys a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack to force reconnection.
Although achieving success may require multiple attempts, once the victim node connects to the attacker-controlled nodes, false data can be injected, often deceiving the unsuspecting victim.
The outcomes of an eclipse attack in cryptocurrency projects can encompass double-spending attacks and disruptions to miner power, ultimately empowering attackers to manipulate transactions and mining outcomes.
Defending against eclipse attacks involves proactive strategies and meticulous network design. Implementing preventive measures early on in blockchain network development can significantly reduce vulnerabilities.
Some approaches to thwarting eclipse attacks include:
Cryptocurrency eclipse attacks underscore the significance of robust network architecture and security protocols in blockchain ecosystems.
While these attacks mainly affect individual users or specific nodes, repeated incidents can erode trust and compromise the overall network.
To ensure the longevity and success of decentralized technologies, it’s vital not only to comprehend the use cases and tokenomics of blockchain projects but also to delve into the underlying consensus mechanisms that underpin them.
Techopedia’s editorial policy is centered on delivering thoroughly researched, accurate, and unbiased content. We uphold strict sourcing standards, and each page undergoes diligent review by our team of top technology experts and seasoned editors. This process ensures the integrity, relevance, and value of our content for our readers.
Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet, CryptoNews, and Business2Community. His interest in cryptocurrency is driven by a passion for leveraging decentralized blockchain technologies to empower marginalized communities worldwide. This includes enhancing financial transparency, providing banking services to the unbanked, and improving agricultural supply chains. Sam has a Master’s Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and has worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the UK Defence Academy.
What is CryptoNight Mining Algorithm? CryptoNight is a proof-of-work (PoW) hashing algorithm used in various cryptocurrencies. Developed in 2013 as...
Ruholamin HaqshanasCryptocurrency journalist
What is BEP-20? BEP-20 is a token standard for the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). It is designed to offer a...
What is Merged Mining? Merged mining, sometimes called combined mining, refers to the process of mining multiple proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies...
Eric Huffman Editor
Trending NewsLatest GuidesReviewsTerm of the Day