Sunday, an Ethereum miner discovered an error stemming from a memory leak that reduced the RAM usage of Ethereum mining rigs, leading to a sudden drop in hashrate and security levels.
The Ethereum development team quickly responded to the attack by implementing an update called Geth 1.4.12 as a temporary solution. All miners and node operators were advised to update immediately, to refrain from geth nodes running out of memory and crashing on block.
According to the Ethereum security alert, the memory bug in geth has been marked as a high severity security issue and is being dealt by the development team.
Instantly after geth nodes crashed, the Ethereum hashrate plunged, dropping from 5.5 to below 5 TH/s, recording a 12% decrease in the network’s hashrate.
Blockchain and security experts like Blockstack co-founder Ryan Shea emphasized the dropping hashrate of the network, warning node operators and users of the severity of the bug.
Crazy: the Ethereum hash rate is crashing due to a memory bug in Geth, the Go implementation https://t.co/fyeSyauG12 pic.twitter.com/dm1D0biQqe— Ryan Shea (@ryaneshea) September 19, 2016
Benefits of multiple implementations
Ethereum Classic, a spin off network of the main Ethereum network which operates on the original chain, remained unaffected by the geth bug and its major issues.
Major Bitcoin startups and developers cited the importance and the benefit of running multiple implementations of a cryptocurrency and a network, to prevent from the network being negatively affected by a serious technical error.
“Ethereum's Geth bug shows the benefit of having multiple implementations. Bitcoin needs more than just Core nodes on the network,” said Airbitz CEO Paul Puey.
Nodes and hashrate are the two primarily measurements utilized in the digital currency space to estimate the security levels of a network.
Multiple implementations of nodes will enable a network from being hugely affected by high severity bugs like the one that happened with Ethereum.