Akhil Sharma
Mar 2, 2023

A guide to different attacks in solidity language.

Solidity is susceptible to various types of attacks and its imperative for developers to know about such vulnerabilities in their code.

A guide to different attacks in solidity language.

Although in its infancy, Solidity has seen widespread adoption and is used to compile the byte-code in many Ethereum smart contracts we see today. Like any other programming language, Solidity is susceptible to various types of attacks. There have been a number of harsh lessons learned by developers and users alike in discovering the nuances of the language and the EVM. This article aims to be a relatively in-depth and up-to-date introductory post detailing the past mistakes that have been made by Solidity developers in an effort to prevent future devs from repeating history.​​

These are few well known attacks which are prevalent in solidity language:

  1. Reentrancy attack: A reentrancy attack is when a malicious contract repeatedly calls into another contract before the first call has finished executing, allowing the attacker to execute unexpected code and potentially steal funds.
  2. Integer Overflow and Underflow: Integer overflow and underflow occur when a variable's value exceeds or falls below the maximum or minimum value that can be stored, respectively. This can result in unexpected behavior, and attackers can take advantage of this to steal funds or crash the system.
  3. Denial of Service (DoS): A denial of service attack is when an attacker intentionally overwhelms the system with requests or data to prevent it from functioning correctly. This can be achieved by creating a contract that uses up too much gas or computation resources.
  4. Logic errors: Logic errors occur when a smart contract's code does not behave as intended, which can result in unexpected behavior and vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.
  5. Malicious libraries: Solidity allows developers to use third-party libraries, but these libraries can be a source of vulnerabilities. An attacker could create a malicious library and trick developers into using it, giving the attacker control over the contract.
  6. Deletegate Call: Delegatecall is like the call function a low level function with similar behaviour. When contract A executes the delegatecall function to the contract B — the code of contract B is executed but with contract A’s storage msg.sender & msg.value.
  7. Race Conditions: The combination of external calls to other contracts and the multi-user nature of the underlying blockchain gives rise to a variety of potential Solidity pitfalls whereby users race code execution to obtain unexpected states. Re-Entrancy is one example of such a race condition.
  8. Block Timestamp Manipulation: Block timestamps have historically been used for a variety of applications, such as entropy for random numbers , locking funds for periods of time and various state-changing conditional statements that are time-dependent. Miner’s have the ability to adjust timestamps slightly which can prove to be quite dangerous if block timestamps are used incorrectly in smart contracts.

It's important for Solidity developers to be aware of these and other potential vulnerabilities and to take steps to mitigate them, such as performing code reviews and security audits, implementing security best practices, and using security tools like static analyzers and fuzzers.