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.

Bitcoin Ransomware Hackers Lose Control of Their Decryption Tool

Michael LaVere
  • Software firm Emsisoft warns that attacks broke their own decryption tool for the Ryuk ransomware.
  • Affected users are at risk of having their files deleted despite paying the bitcoin ransom. 

A security firm has warned that the Ryuk bitcoin ransomware has broken its own decryption tool, causing affected users to lose their files even after sending the BTC ransom. 

Software company Emsisoft told news outlet The Next Web that the hackers behind the Ryuk ransomware are responsible for the decryption error. According to the security firm, a recent update made to Ryuk caused the program to alter the way it calculates the length files, inadvertently making the decryption tool defunct, 

As a result, the decryptor provided by the Ryuk authors will truncate files, cutting off one too many bytes in the process of decrypting the file. Depending on the exact file type, this may or may not cause major issues.

Users who pay the crypto ransom are still at risk of losing their files and data, depending on where the byte cutoff is made. 

Emsisoft recommends Ryuk victims backup encrypted data before running the decryption key,

A final word of advice: prior to running any ransomware decryptor – whether it was supplied by a bad actor or by a security company – be sure to back up the encrypted data first. Should the tool not work as expected, you’ll be able to try again.

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