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News/How Stars Arena Dodged a Bullet: Inside the Recent Exploit Patch

How Stars Arena Dodged a Bullet: Inside the Recent Exploit Patch

Van Thanh Le

Oct 6 2023

8 months ago3 minutes read
Robot at futuristic desk juggling AVAX and Stars Arena tokens

Stars Arena: Decentralized Social Media on Avalanche

Stars Arena, a decentralized social media application, reportedly presents a novel way of redefining digital interactions. Collaboratively crafted on the Avalanche blockchain, the app procures its foundational incentive from, yet another breakthrough social media application created on the Coinbase Base chain. 

Transcending beyond rudimentary social media landscapes, Stars Arena allocates selected users the surreal chance to appropriate "shares" of a content creator's channel, thus gate-passing them to premium, exclusive content.

Scaling The Metrics: A Journey Uphill

The novelty and unorthodox approach that Stars Arena exhibits seemed an adhesive for users, reflecting vividly in its surge to become the highest-ranked dApp on the Avalanche network, all within seven days of its launch. 

Boosting the daily transaction count by an earth-shattering 186% just between October 3 to 4, Stars Arena became instrumental in the Avalanche network touching its record of 1.2 million daily transactions — a feat unmatched for four long months.

snowtrace io.webp

Thanks to the Star Arena effect, the crypto price of AVAX also soared. As of October 6, 2023, cryptocurrency charts show that AVAX has increased by over 16% week-over-week.

chart (1).webp

The Achilles Heel: An Exploit Unearthed 

Every innovation harbors a risk, a risk that seeks to challenge and expose. Stars Arena befell a similar searing experience when hackers exploited a vulnerability in the platform to drain funds. Initially dubbed to be over $1 million by a user christened Lilitch.eth, Stars Arena confirmed the attack, albeit downplaying the losses to around $2,000. 

The controversy surrounding the exploit stirred clouded waters, as arguments arose about a smart contract that housed a hefty 107,329 AVAX (Avalanche tokens). At the time of the attack, these tokens harbored a colossal value, summing to a figure over $1 million. 

Echoes of Controversy and Accusations 

Side-by-side comparison of Stars Arena and Friend.Tech platforms with active trading.webp

Scandals advocate attention, and Stars Arena's exploit followed suit. In the aftermath, the platform weathered multiple accusations, and faced the wrath of being labeled a clone equipped with inadequate security measures. 

A Twitter storm ensued post the incident, with Lilitch.eth, tweeting, “1.1 million dollars are being drained right now because of noob devs who couldn’t make a copy of that would work properly.” Stars Arena, however, retaliated, declaring, "THE EXPLOIT HAS BEEN FIXED. BUT DON’T GET THIS WRONG, WE ARE AT WAR."

These counter-arguments spiraled into dichotomies as monopolistic forces were blamed for undermining the platform. Stars Arena maintained that attackers were chipping away at the platform using heavy $5 gas fees to extract a paltry $1, making the attack economically inexpedient.

Market and User Impact: The Aftermath

The orchestration of the illicit attack tremored Stars Arena's reputation noticeably. The platform’s disclosed vulnerability curtailed its transaction count, volume, and inadvertently user activity, raising eyebrows about the platform's feasibility and security robustness, despite Ava Labs CEO Emin Sirer's support.

Repairing The Chink: A Future Outlook

A close-up of a hand holding a smartphone, with the Stars Arena app open, and the AVAX token symbol glowing on the screen.webp

Swift to respond to the ominous exploit, the team patched the vulnerability rapidly, assuring their user community of the rectified issue. However, the blistering incident inflicted a lasting scratch, as the platform faced intensified queries and doubts about its future sustainability and safety measures.

A Mixed Bag of Lessons

The chronicle of Stars Arena's rise and fall is a potent amalgam of swift innovation and glaring cybersecurity vulnerabilities. While the platform's inaugural promise of revolutionizing social media interaction through the blockchain labyrinth underscored its potential, the subsequent expose of the risks served as a rude awakening for the crypto community. 

This wakeup call reiterated the dire need for robust security measures alongside transparent communication. Stars Arena, thus, stands as a telling testament to the tumultuous journey one can anticipate when venturing into the nebulous alleys of the crypto world.

This article has been refined and enhanced by ChatGPT.

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