Researchers uncover Lightning “attack” that could slow or stop payments

posted 29 days ago
The Bitcoin Lightning network could be vulnerable to a simple and disruptive attack, according to a recent research paper. The paper describes a denial-of-service (DoS) attack that could be used to slow down or even stop a huge percentage of payments on the network and, although the behavior hasn’t been seen in the wild and Lightning’s technology is still in-progress, it’s considered a major flaw in the network as it stands today. The paper, entitled “Hijacking Routes in Payment Networks” was published in mid-September.

“The attack allows for a disruption of payments on the Lightning network… It is extremely easy to execute. It takes opening a few Lightning channels to key points, promising zero fees, and then not relaying any payments,” the paper states. Lightning startup Acinq CTO Fabrice Drouin said “...we’re very happy to see independent researchers work on how lightning can be abused and attacked.”
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