Within a blockchain network, there usually is no single point of failure. No node in a blockchain network is indispensable, which means that any node can go down due to a DDoS attack without taking down the whole network. However, this does not mean that a blockchain network is immune to DDoS attacks. By flooding the blockchain with spam transactions, an attacker can reduce its availability for legitimate users and potentially have other impacts on the network.
The decentralization of blockchain networks has made some people say that DDoS attacks against a blockchain are impossible. However, this is not strictly true. Traditional DDoS attacks can be executed against a blockchain to slow its operations, and attackers can work within the blockchain ecosystem to perform a DDoS attack.
If an attacker is sending many blockchain transactions to the network, they can fill up blocks with spam transactions causing legitimate transactions to sit in mempools. If such legitimate transactions aren’t included in blocks, they’re not being added to the ledger, and the blockchain isn’t able to do its job. This can have negative consequences such as:
- software crashes
- node failures
- network congestion
- bloated ledger
A transaction flooding incident can degrade the blockchain’s effectiveness by making it incapable of adding legitimate transactions to blocks and the distributed ledger.