Retro

10/26 Mainnet Bug Retro

Find out more about recent upgrades to Mina’s network in our latest release retrospective.

Summary

  • On 10/26, a chain-halting bug was discovered on mainnet, which resulted in paused block production for approximately 2 hours.
  • To prevent this type of attack from happening again, an emergency soft fork was issued to all block producers on 10/27. 
  • O(1) Labs has made network improvements to reduce the likelihood of future similar attacks. 

Bug Discovery

On 10/26, a chain-halting bug was discovered on mainnet, which resulted in paused block production for 2 hours and 6 minutes. The issue was reported by community member olgerd_py#5810 on Discord who noticed blocks were being produced much slower than normal. 

Out of an abundance of caution, ecosystem partner O(1) Labs took immediate action and were able to complete the fix and release an upgrade within one day.

Technical Details

Upon further analysis of the bug, O(1) Labs determined that the chain-halt was caused by an issue in the block production code. Block producer’s would accidentally produce invalid blocks, and would refuse to broadcast those blocks to the network since they wouldn’t pass validation. No funds were at risk, and no protocol-level bugs allowed the invalid blocks to be accepted into the chain.

Network Upgrade Implementation

Within one day of the issue being discovered, engineers implemented and released `a hotfix to the 1.3.1.2 stable release.’ Block producers were notified via #mainnet-block-producers and #mainnet-updates channels on Discord, as well as email. This release included a security fix for this bug, critical for active block producers. Users were strongly encouraged to upgrade to avoid the risk of missing blocks. However, no funds were at risk.

Block producers were sent a reminder about the release and to confirm the upgrade on 11/2. The network has been working as expected since the fix was completed.

All nodes should now be running  1.3.1.2, or newer.

Thank you to the community members who identified the issues, including olgerd_py#5810, mcd#8527, @emre • PICONBELLO#4353, and @garethtdavies#4963, and everyone who collaborated to upgrade quickly. 

About Mina Protocol

Mina Protocol is being incubated by O(1) Labs, the leader in zk-SNARKs and verifiable computation. Mina Protocol, the world’s lightest blockchain, provides a foundation for the decentralized digital economy (Web 3.0), by affording all participants fully P2P, permissionless access to the chain, from any device. By utilizing recursive zk-SNARKs, the Mina blockchain always stays the same size — about 20 kilobytes (the size of a few tweets). Recursive zk-SNARKs allow nodes to rapidly share and update proof of the correct blockchain state across the network. This breakthrough application of zk-SNARKs solves the issues of scalability and high barrier to entry for nodes that have plagued legacy blockchains to-date. By making it easier for nodes to participate, Mina improves decentralization and therefore security of the network. The Mina blockchain can be easily accessed from any device, including phones and browsers, and can be seamlessly integrated into new decentralized applications (dapps).

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