“1337” Says Etherscan Exploiter

Most public blockchains, whether you like it or not, are transparent in nature, with ledger information being available for members of the public to see. However, most native clients of a blockchain like Ethereum do not allow users to explore information on said chain.

Therein lies the value of so-called “block explorers,” which allow users to search for publicly-available information on a blockchain. Etherscan is a popular Ethereum block explorer, and is used by hundreds of thousands of users all across the world.

According to a report from Futurism, the block explorer was subject to a harmless hack/glitch just a few days back. Once the first consumers and users of Etherscan found out about this hack, they took to Twitter expressing their confusion.

As you can see in the Tweet above, the hack looks harmless enough, with the attacker only displaying “1337” on a website pop-up for site users. For those who are unaware, 1337 is internet slang for elite, often in the context of a video hacker. While the message part of the hack isn’t that important, it left some wondering how this happened.

As the community reacted, the individuals behind the block explorer felt it necessary to release an update on the situation. As per the Reddit post released by the Etherscan team, the hack was done by a user who injected javascript into the block explorer through a simple comment on the Etherscan page. Since issuing the announcement, the team has disallowed users to inject javascript through the Disqus comments, temporarily disabling comments as they issued a patch.

It is important to know that no user funds were compromised using this medium of attack, as the attack seemed to be nothing but a well played out joke.

Concluding their Reddit announcement, the Etherscan team wrote:

We have now encoded all the summarized comments on our end to prevent future incidents like these. Thank you to those who brought this to our attention. And ‘kudos’ to the ingenious “hackers” who never ceases to amaze us with their creativity and ingenuity +1

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