On Friday, the NEO network was assaulted by free transactions, which has led to slow traffic and full congested blocks, and the temporary operational standstill of the Switcheo exchange, NEON wallet and Effect Force platform.
NEO posted on its blog on Monday: “The spam appeared in the form of empty invocations, allowing thousands of transactions to be submitted without any actual transfer of funds. It is unknown at this time whether this was caused by a bug in a contract’s code, or was performed with malicious intent.”
The company also added that even though the spam attack did not let users check any updates made on their token balances, their funds were safe the entire time.
The problem was not noticed during the weekend seeing as NEO made no official statement regarding this matter. A notice was made by Effect.AI (EFX), a platform focused on Artificial Intelligence which launched its Effect Force platform in private beta on the NEO MainNet just last month.
“We regret to inform our dedicated Effect Force private beta workers that we are closing the Effect Force platform due to the current major issues with the NEO blockchain. We will keep you posted on the developments,” posted Effect.AI on Twitter.
To appease the growing demand for details from users, the platform informed the online community that NEO is being overwhelmed by free transactions and stating that the network was looking to solve the problem.
The director of R&D at NEO Global Development, Peter Lin, also admitted to the recent issues that plagued the mainnet, posting in their Medium blog on Saturday:
“Recently, the number of transactions on the NEO network has increased significantly. Some of them are meaningless and could be considered as an attack. NEO is designed to be a high-performance blockchain system that can handle high transactions per second (TPS) scenarios in event such as this.”
Lin went over the technical aspects of the blockchain’s condition and issued a few words of advice to the exchanges that support NEO transaction:
“The NEO team is encouraging exchanges to add a transaction fee when a user withdraws NEO tokens from the exchange,” said Lin.
He also stated that the team is recommending all wallet clients to let its users set the transaction fee so that users can opt if they want to pay the fee or not.
NEO’s statement also informed its users that their developers are still looking for solutions so that they can avoid this type of issue in the future.