Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently explained on Twitter that the Ethereum (ETH) network did not really roll back after the hacking of TheDAO in 2016. Instead, the transaction record was changed in the state of TheDAO.
The "surgical intervention" for TheDAO did not roll back the general transaction
Buterin explained that innocent users did not see any of their transactions invalid and rolled back. Instead, the intervention was a “surgery,” involving only the state of TheDAO coins and tokens.
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"We haven't rolled back the blockchain. We intervened in the state. This is different; the former means that innocent users are withdrawn when they are attacked, and this doesn't happen. — Vitalik Buterin, October 2019 28th
The TheDAO hacking incident occurred in 2016 and affected its ICO smart contract. With this wrong contract, the hacker may ask the smart contract to return the stored ETH multiple times. In this way, hackers have stolen 3.6 million ETHs.
The Ethereum network was later changed to deny the results of hacking. This led to the Ethereum Classic (ETC) branch, which is technically a hacker. The current Ethereum is now being used by many people to become the Ethereum fork chain, and ETC is the original chain of Ethereum.
The TheDAO event has been discussed for many years and is one of the credits of Ethereum. V God's new interpretation of the nature of this restoration has led to further criticism, some of which argue that rollback is a more equitable solution.
Immutability may affect other smart contracts
As the Ethereum network now hosts multiple highly active smart contracts, discussions about invariance come. Decentralized finance (DiFi) contracts are particularly prominent because they lock large amounts of money on ETH and other assets.
In Maker DAO, a vulnerability was recently discovered that could allow hackers to steal collateral. The vulnerability has been fixed, but many other smart contracts are now running. Most organizations try to audit and correct smart contracts, but there is still the possibility of loss.
Buterin also asked the encryption community to provide feedback on potential future interventions.
Suppose a popular smart contract wallet used by most Ethereum communities is hacked. This state can be restored by recovering all blockchain activity since hacking and performing TheDAO-style hard fork (HF) to recover funds. How much ETH do you need to support this? – Vitalik Buterin, October 25, 2019
During this period, projects based on Ethereum encountered multiple smart contract vulnerabilities. Perhaps the most dramatic is the Polkadot ICO, whose funds are frozen on Parity's multi-signature wallet. The contract was "suicided" by an amateur to send orders and frozen hundreds of thousands of ETHs. Other vulnerabilities have affected Bancor's unauthorized withdrawals.
Some startups can manage their own tokens and actually have the ability to roll back this vulnerability. Others can also freeze and reissue tokens. Although the Ethereum community does not favor centralized control, the damage is self-repaired by projects based on the network. Therefore, some projects choose to control their tokens through centralized distribution and freezing.