Bitcoin Core Upgrade ‘Critical’ for Everyone

Bitcoin Core developers announced a “full disclosure” of the vulnerability affecting various implementations of the Bitcoin (BTC) client Friday, September 21, repeating calls for all nodes to upgrade to the latest version as a priority.

Addition to technical details about the bug, identified as CVE-2018-17144, the disclosure describes how developers dealt with the threat to the Bitcoin network, along with a timeline of its discovery and patching in Bitcoin Core version 0.16.3.

“To promote fast upgrades, the choice was made to immediately patch and disclose the less serious Denial of Service vulnerability, businesses, concurrently with reaching out to miners, and other affected systems while delaying publication of the full issue to give times for systems to upgrade,” the notice reads.

CVE-2018-17144 had spooked the Bitcoin technical community when an anonymous party announced it this week, with creator Cobra explaining its potential result as “very scary.”

“At this time we understand over half of the Bitcoin hashrate has upgraded to patched nodes. We are ignorant of any attempts to exploit this vulnerability,” the disclosure continues, adding:

“However, it remains important that affected users upgrade and apply the advanced patches to ensure no possibility of large reorganizations, mining of wrong blocks, or acceptance of invalid transactions occurs.”

The reason to upgrade at the current time appears not to share collectively. Luke-jr is a Bitcoin Core developer  subsequently claiming the update publication was “premature.”

Being published way too prematurely (only 2% of the network has upgraded), but the cat's out of the bag,” he wrote on Twitter, nonetheless urging followers to upgrade “ASAP!”


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