Recently, Ethereum has been undergoing several DOS attacks which have caused several major issues, longer block times being to most salient.
The attacks have gained greater community attention as it’s been going on for nearly two and a half weeks with the attacks showing no signs of stopping.
Beginning during Devcon2 and causing a minor disruption since then, the attacks have been constant and unforgiving. The cost of the attacks are up to an estimated $12,000 so far; nobody really knows why this is happening and nothing major has been done in the weeks after the attacks initially began. Recently, the co-founder of Ethereum and lead developer has been hinting at some kind of fix to this situation in a post on the Ethereum
“This is due to the EXTCODESIZE opcode, which has a fairly low gasprice but which requires nodes to read state information from disk; the attack transactions are calling this opcode roughly 50,000 times per block. The consequence of this is that the network is greatly slowing down, but there is NO consensus failure or memory overload. We have currently identified several routes for a more sustainable medium-term fix and have developers working on implementation.”
Forking is largely disliked by cryptocurrency users, however, a hard fork has been suggested among the community for several days since the attacks have happened. Not much attention has been given to this solution up until now.
There seems to be nothing much that can be done to slow this down at this point, but if you are still actively mining Ethereum, Wilcke has suggested that you use the following settings:
–cache-size-db 1024 –gas-floor-target 1000000 –gasprice 50000000000
If you still plan on using geth, these are the settings Wilcke also recommended:
–cache 1024 –targetgaslimit 1000000 –gasprice 50000000000
If you’re confused on how to mine with Parity, a guide has also been set up here to help you out.
While this is truly only a minor inconvenience for most users, it seems unlikely that these attacks will stop soon; the attacks have not slowed down much in any way since they’ve started. While Parity does not provide any major help to the situation and is also affected by these DoS attacks, it’s still highly recommended you at least shift to Parity for the time being while changes are being made.
Because Ethereum houses many smaller token coin ecosystems that also depend on its services, for example, Iconomi, a fast fix will most likely be done.