Monero (XMR), has been targeted by an attack. Some users could have seen their privacy compromised. The good news is that the attack was not able to link IP addresses with user identities. This proves the resilience of Monero and the way in which it works to protect users’ privacy. XMR is one of the most secure and private virtual currencies in the world due to its architecture and features.
Monero Was Attacked
According to Riccardo Spagni, one of the creators of Monero, the XMR digital currency was attacked. In a report released by Mr. Spagni, a “largely incompetent attacker” performed a Sybil attack against XMR. The goal was to connect IP addresses with transactions.
As per the Twitter thread, the attack had no effect on Monero’s privacy mechanisms. These privacy features include ring signatures, stealth addresses and confidential transactions. In addition to it, Spagni explained that this was an attack that could be done to most cryptocurrencies.
Spagni explained that Dandelion++ was implemented in April this year in Monero. This implementation works by diffusing transaction broadcasts. That means that for Sybil attacks to link transactions to a node’s IP it has to intercept the very first node in the “stem” phase of a Dandelion++ broadcast.
In addition to it, Spagni explained that this attack would have needed thousands of more nodes to prove effective. Even if they prove a link between nodes and transactions, this would also have been a “best guess” heuristic.
Furthermore, Monero’s creator mentioned that Sybil nodes also tried disrupting the flow of transactions. In addition to it, they can also disrupt nodes syncing up by not serving them blocks.
On the matter, Riccardo Spagni mentioned:
“If you are truly concerned about the efficacy of a Sybil attack (whether you’re a Bitcoin or a Monero user) then I strongly recommend you run your node behind Tor, or at least broadcast your transactions on a block explorer’s pushtx functionality (also accessible via Tor).”
A Reddit thread has been uploaded with additional information of the attack. The post includes links to the attacker’s IP addresses. This can be used to ban these IPs to avoid nodes connecting to them.
Despite the recent attack, XMR remains stable as the 14th-largest cryptocurrency in the world. At the time of writing this article, XMR has a price of $117 and a market valuation of over $2 billion.