Technical Update: New at Factom - Version 0.4.2.4

The last few weeks we have been quietly updating and improving the Factom network and the tools that allow our community to interact with the network. One of these updates was a new version of factomd. We released version 0.4.2.4 this month and it included a few new features and fixes. The installation guide is located here.

  • New domain for the courtesy remote node that automatically updated for all users

  • A new courtesy remote node that helps new users get started faster

  • We fixed an error regarding the wallet's sync status

  • We fixed a GUI bug for a more consistent experience

We also added additional educational material in a new section of our website called Factom University. These materials are for those that are new to blockchain technology. You also now have access to improved and updated documentation and guides.  We are excited to continue to add to these public resources over the next few months.

Factom Network

On June 5 of 2017, the Factom network suffered a Denial Of Service (DOS) attack centered around a component designed to prevent signature malleability.  Per the design, factomd stalled rather than allow bad entries to be made. We deployed a series of patches to deal with this attack.

Contemporaneously with the DOS attack, we noticed that factomd was stalling under what appeared to be “normal” circumstances. On further inspection and monitoring, some of the nodes had cached corrupted chain-heads, caused by the earlier DOS attack.  We halted data-service on the servers on the 16th with the exception of Factoid transactions, as they were not affected.

On June 17th, we cleared existing caches of corrupted chain-heads and rebuilt them, and deployed a patch to the servers to prevent corrupted caches going forward. The patch has resolved the issue, and the Factom network has remained stable since.

A positive result of the recent DOS attack has been the validation of the Factom network’s data recording.  The requirement that the network comes to a consensus before data is committed ensures that if a node(s) gets compromised and multiple versions of the blockchain arise, the network will preferentially stall rather than writing bad data.  Protecting and anchoring the data in the Factom Network is our top priority. The stalls allowed us to keep the integrity of the data without a discrepancy. It isn’t a test we enjoyed being part of, but it is a test that we passed.

As part of our internal post-mortem, we have evaluated and continue to evaluate other components and code-paths that might suffer from similar issues.  Barring any Critical issues, any fixes that we make will be deployed as part of our regular bi-weekly releases.

Please send any feedback or support requests to support@factom.com  

Thanks for being an awesome and supportive community,

The Factom Team

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