A Survey of Attacks on Ethereum Smart Contracts (SoK)

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10204)


Smart contracts are computer programs that can be correctly executed by a network of mutually distrusting nodes, without the need of an external trusted authority. Since smart contracts handle and transfer assets of considerable value, besides their correct execution it is also crucial that their implementation is secure against attacks which aim at stealing or tampering the assets. We study this problem in Ethereum, the most well-known and used framework for smart contracts so far. We analyse the security vulnerabilities of Ethereum smart contracts, providing a taxonomy of common programming pitfalls which may lead to vulnerabilities. We show a series of attacks which exploit these vulnerabilities, allowing an adversary to steal money or cause other damage.


Security Vulnerability Consensus Protocol Longe Branch Direct Call Honest Node 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors warmly thank Christian Reitwießner of Ethereum Foundation, Arthur Gervais of ETH Zurich, and Roberto Zunino of Università degli Studi di Trento for their comments on a preliminary version of this paper. All opinions expressed in this work are solely those of the authors. This work is partially supported by Aut. Reg. of Sardinia P.I.A. 2013 “NOMAD”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Atzei
    • 1
  • Massimo Bartoletti
    • 1
  • Tiziana Cimoli
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di CagliariCagliariItaly

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