Bitcoin Lightning Network Developer Reveals Recent Security Issues

Revealed only three years ago, the development of Bitcoin’s scalability layer has a long way to go. As the Bitcoin Lightning Network recently reached 10,000 nodes, the network still faces a number of security vulnerabilities that threaten the potential adoption of the solution.

Bitcoin Lightning Network

The Bitcoin Lightning Network, a layer two protocol that could potentially solve the scalability issue of Bitcoin, revealed itself to be ridden with security problems in the past few months. Revealing the security issues, Rusty Russel, a lightning network developer, published a full disclosure of the network vulnerabilities that appeared in August this year.

Publishing a message on the Linux Foundation, Russel had revealed that the Bitcoin lightning network nodes would not always check the funding output of the transactions. In this case, a malicious party could scam and successfully complete the transaction without paying at all, or by paying a partial amount of the proposed transaction.

The vulnerability relies on the Scriptbuykey, which is a script of the output transaction information that demands a certain number of conditions to be met so that the other party can receive the sent Bitcoins.

To solve this, Russel proposes that once the transaction is about to be processed and completed, the nodes should check if transaction data such as ‘funding_created’ is in line with the ‘funding transaction output’ that the ‘open_channel’ received.

For now, the Bitcoin Lightning Network developer urges all users to upgrade their software to at least the c-lightning 0.7.1 version, which conducts the process without any issue.

The Lightning Network is an ambitious project that was initially created in 2016, with the first transactions being tested in December 2017. By implementing bidirectional payment channels that do not manage the custody of funds, the second layer solution proposes that it would increase the transaction throughput of Bitcoin, which averages at around 7 TPS.

While not fully developed and adopted, the Bitcoin Lightning Network recently hit an all-time high of 10,000 nodes worldwide. As the solution has still a long way to go, it will take several years before Bitcoin’s scalability problem gets solved.

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