is it difficult to break Bitcoin network?
During the last week Bitcoin network has been in danger because of hacker attack based on the transactions flexibility [malleability attack]. Responsibility was assumed by one of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and active participant in the Internet forum bitcointalk.org. He says that lives in Moscow, and made the attack on the network "because it can be done."
The attack was organized by one person, but this method is well-known. Bitcoin developers prepare changes to the code during one year. Although the attack does not have fatal consequences, but it can significantly slow down the speed of transaction processing.
According to the description on the website bitcoin wiki, attack on the flexibility is using flaws in the protocol processing of transfers of funds, allowing the transaction to duplicate. The protocol allows taking any transaction, signing it, changing the id and submitting for approval to the chain units. As a result, only one of the concurrent transactions fall into the resulting chain, and network processing of these two transactions take much longer.
Hacker calles himself Alister Maclin (perhaps in honor of the Scottish novelist Alistair MacLean), admitted at the forum bitcointalk, that he was behind the attack, which lasted several days. He agreed to talk with the publication of Vice and share the details of the stocks held.
Amaclin interviewer demonstrated its capabilities, including the attack on and off the network - these actions were seen in the statistics of the network available online statoshi.info. According to him, to organize such a knowledgeable person share is quite simple - it took him a couple of hours and hundreds of lines of script code.