An unknown hacker attempted to break into the Monero network with a Sybil attack. He wants to prove that Monero is not as anonymous as many think. To attract attention, the hacker now publishes the transactions, IP addresses and porn preferences of 100 Monero users on a daily basis.
The hacker believes that Monero has never been truly anonymous
In his opinion, several problems have been encountered since 2016 by the blockchain analysis company CipherTraceshown. But the Monero developers would never have done anything to solve these problems.
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To make his criticism more heard, publishedthe hacker now daily private data of Monero users. In a post he explains why and how he does it all:
The main reason I decided to go public is the blatant lie that Monero is an anonymous cryptocurrency.
The hacker tried to gain control of the Monero network through a so-called Sybil attack .
Monero expert Riccardo Spagni describes hackers as incompetent
Former Monero developer Riccardo Spagni says on Twitter that the attacker tried to reveal the IP addresses of the nodes transmitting the transactions. Nevertheless, the hacker was unable to break the network’s privacy mechanisms:
According to Spagni, the attack was a novelty in that it marked the first Sybil attack on Monero. Overall, however, it was not big enough to be effective.
The attacker would have had to hack many thousands more nodes. But even if he had, he still wouldn’t have been able to prove a connection between a node and a transaction – it would just have been best guess.
In addition, Spagni mentioned that Monero developers added a new feature called Dandellion ++ to Monero in April, which is supposed to make it more difficult for such hacker attacks:
Dandelion ++ scatters transaction transmissions and makes Sybil attacks more difficult. This means that in order to connect a transaction with the IP address of a node, a Sybil attack must be intercepted on the very first node.
Spagni also added that a Sybil attack can happen on many public blockchains. Therefore, such an attack could also hit Bitcoin and other privacy coins.
In other words, it seems like Monero holders have nothing to fear:
Nothing disturbing happened. The design of Monero makes it practically impossible to identify a user with certainty.
Meanwhile, Spagni recommends users who fear another Sybil attack to use their own node and the Tor Browser to process transactions.