Dash Developer Discusses ‘ChainLocks’ To Protect Against 51% Attacks

Dash developer Alexander Block recently discussed a new protection mechanism against 51% mining attacks, dubbed ChainLocks, in a blog post. Block wrote that the introduction of Long Living Masternode Quorums (LLMQ’s) gives Dash the ability to implement ChainLocks, which is part of the new Dash Improvement Proposal (DIP) 8.

Details and information about ChainLocks emerged to serve as an answer to questions about how the cryptocurrency would combat 51% attacks.

Working To Thwart 51% Attacks

In the post, Block explained that the premise behind ChainLocks is to leverage LLMQ’s in order to have blocks be signed as they are seen by the network. This will purportedly help prevent attacks and any attempts by those looking to reverse transactions. ChainLocks would also incentivize miners to publish blocks immediately, according to the blog post.

The developer also noted ChainLocks is only secure with a “Sybil protected network of semi-trusted nodes,” which means a coin without these types of nodes will not be able to roll out a system like ChainLocks.

The requirement of 1000 Dash (roughly $90,000) per masternode reportedly makes it impractical from an economic standpoint to carry out a Sybil attack. The post explained an attacker “would have to buy at least 60% of all Masternodes to get a realistic chance of success.” Overall, Block said the “unique and powerful network infrastructure” of ChainLocks would make it possible to roll out “more innovative features on top of LLMQs.”

Remaining Popular In Venezuela

Dash remains a popular cryptocurrency among Venezuelan citizens. CryptoGlobe reported on the official launch of Dash Text in the country back in early November. The platform allows users to send and receive payments in Dash. It is particularly notable since it can run without the use of a smartphone or the internet.

According to Dash Text, 47% of the country's population lacks access to the internet, while 60% do now own smartphones. Speculation is that Dash Text’s features, as a result, would be useful to a population struggling in the midst of immense economic difficulties.

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Israeli Hacker Indicted For $1.75 Million Cryptocurrency Theft

A hacker from Tel Aviv named Eliyahu Gigi was recently indicted for his alleged role in stealing roughly NIS 6.1 million (or $1.75 million) in cryptocurrencies from people in numerous different countries, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

According the indictment filed this week, Gigi operated numerous scam websites that infected computers with malware that would steal cryptocurrencies that were stored on the devices.

The hacker stole nearly $2 million worth of bitcoin, ethereum, and dash, before they were arrested in June of this year. Gigi carefully covered his tracks by attempting to use remote servers and doing his best to conceal the cryptocurrencies and the wallet addresses that they were stored in.

He then transferred the currencies between different wallets, split them into different cryptocurrencies and used other tactics to obfuscate the ownership of the funds.

During the investigation, it was initially suspected that Gigi was guilty of stealing $100 million, however, once the investigation was concluded, that number was significantly scaled down to less than $2 million.

According to the Israeli publication Globes the investigation was conducted by the Israeli Police's cyber unit, and led to the arrest of Gigi and his younger brother, a 22-year-old demobilized soldier. The news outlet adds:

At the outset of the investigation, suspicions were raised that the two brothers had stolen $100 million from digital accounts kept in bitcoin through an international fishing fraud. The indictment eventually filed was against only the older brother, and the initial suspicions that $100 million had been stolen were scaled down to NIS 6 million. [$1.75 million]

Police were initially tipped off to the crime after receiving reports the hacker was sending messages to users on cryptocurrency forums, directing them to a website that claimed to offer wallet management software.

Some of the users who received the message thought that the website looked suspicious. Worried about their security, they reported the websites and Gigi's forum accounts to police.