Recent DoS nano network attack and V21.3 fixes | by Colin LeMahieu | Nano | Mar, 2021

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Colin LeMahieu

What has happened?

As part of a DoS attack, an enormous amount of dust accounts were created and submitted to the nano network. The goal appears to be a resource-exhaustion attack aimed at denying service to normal users either partially or entirely by filling the network with accounts and transaction volume.

What is this update?

The V21.3 update contains a series of low-risk patches which mitigate the performance impact from the number of accounts. Several cases where the synchronization process would be restarted or prevented from being restarted were fixed. Support was also added to do an age-based query for updated accounts which significantly reduces synchronization bandwidth.

What are the network effects upon upgrade?

After the V21.3 upgrade, nodes will be able to synchronize with the network more effectively, although the overall system performance will remain partially degraded until more complex changes are added in subsequent releases. Node operators should see their block count come in to sync with the rest of the network and the number of confirmed transactions will rise as more nodes are upgraded and synchronized.

Longer term solutions

Additional patches are being added to the upcoming V22 release including dividing the synchronization process into smaller chunks using functionality that is already supported. This will reduce memory consumption in the synchronization process. There are designs to remove account scanning entirely from the synchronization process and these designs will be implemented when complete.



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