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Vulnerable Flaw Exposes Lightning Network to Risk

The Lightning Network is constantly on alert against cybersecurity threats. Recently, Antoine Riard, a security researcher and Bitcoin blockchain developer, revealed a serious security flaw that impacted the entire LN network in December 2022.

The Lightning Network (LN) has fallen victim to a critical flaw

Attackers carried out a “transaction relay jamming attack.” Essentially, they exploited the rule against double-spending to prevent users from retrieving their bitcoins on the main network.

Without going into technical details, this vulnerability allowed attackers to indefinitely prevent the closure of a payment channel, thereby preventing legitimate users from accessing the bitcoins within.

Beyond this ability, the flaw also affected routing nodes and posed a significant security risk to users’ funds.

Antoine Riard states that “this new category of attacks puts LN in a very precarious position.” He adds that “the mitigations deployed are useful for simple attacks, but certainly do not stop advanced attackers.”

According to him, a modification of the Bitcoin network may be necessary to truly protect LN users. As a result, he announces that he will step back from LN development and focus more on the upcoming changes for the Bitcoin main network.

LN is therefore at a pivotal moment in its existence. As numerous challenges lie ahead, these second-layer developers must urgently find sustainable solutions to strengthen user confidence in the solution.

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