A couple of days ago we experienced an attack on the IOTA network which was promptly fixed. This is what happened:
The original Java IOTA Reference Implementation (IRI) is what the Coordinator is based upon, IRI has been through aggressive optimization iterations and due to the fact that in IOTA’s Tangle the viability of a single node is not important, a simple bug was introduced. This bug allowed for the conducted attack. As a result we got a empirical confirmation that Coordinator protects IOTA against known and even unknown attack vectors.
The IOTA team got to work immediately and diligently sought out and identified the bug and got to work on a fix right away. As nodes updated to the most recent version the network resolved itself. If you have not yet done so you ought to update to the latest version here.
Coincidentally a community member and developer, Peter Ryszkiewicz, had released a spammer earlier in the day, which lead to speculation by some that this was the root cause of the attack.It was not, in general IOTA encourage spam as it improves the network’s throughput. Participants of a certain notorious fora bought into this speculative hypothesis and attempted to spam the network to make what they believed to be the cause worse, which ultimately just gave us a lot of free research data and validation of how the IOTA ledger absorbs such spam attacks organically.
Once the simple bug was squashed everything went back to normal.
Beyond providing free research data and validating IOTA further this incidence also gave rise to some enchanting art from our mesmerizing community-developed live Tangle visualizers: Tangle.blox and IOTA.dance