Researchers question security of the Ripple Network
Recently, researchers at the University of Bern conducted a technical analysis of the ripple protocol. According to this analysis, the network is faulty and has security problems. However, the decentralized nature of XRP is also being questioned.
On December 2, the Research Group for Cryptology and Data Security of the University of Bern published a report in which the network is examined for error vulnerabilities. In it, the Profit Revolution researchers criticize the security and „liveliness“ of the system and explain that the violation of one of these two terms would lead to difficulties for all participants of the Ripple Network:
Security means that nothing „bad“ ever happens. „Liveliness“ means that something „good“ happens again and again, so that the network continues to process transactions and make progress.
The researchers believe that these properties are only guaranteed to a limited extent. The researchers explained that the Ripple Network contains faulty nodes, which in the worst case could trigger double spending. Further it is called:
If one or more of these conditions are violated, especially if attackers become active in the network, the system can fail with difficulty.
A response to this analysis was not long in coming. David Schwartz, Chief Technology Officer at Ripple, commented on the researchers‘ criticism via Twitter. He welcomed the research and appreciated that any weaknesses were identified and highlighted.
Any opportunity to improve the XRPL consensus protocol or security and reliability in general is a good thing.
However, he went on to protect the network from the alleged threats and explained that Ripple is more secure than other block chains. The researchers also emphasized in their report that their analysis was purely theoretical. Furthermore, they could observe these problems not only with Ripple, but also with some other networks.