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Solana Cracks Down on Validators Facilitating Sandwich Attacks

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Solana validators exploiting traders through “sandwich attacks” are being removed from the delegation program, highlighting ongoing challenges with maximizing extractable value (MEV) on the blockchain.

Solana Cracks Down on Validators Facilitating Sandwich Attacks img (1)
Solana Hacker House,

Solana is taking a stand against validators who prioritize personal gain over user protection. In a move to safeguard its ecosystem, the Solana Foundation has removed over 30 validators from its delegation program for reportedly facilitating “sandwich attacks” on cryptocurrency traders.

These attacks involve exploiting the mempool, a temporary holding area for unconfirmed transactions, to manipulate prices and extract profits at the expense of unsuspecting traders. While Solana itself doesn’t have a native mempool, third-party validator software previously offered this functionality.

To combat rampant sandwich attacks during the meme coin craze, Jito Labs, a prominent validator software developer, disabled its mempool function. However, this move merely pushed the problem underground, leading to the emergence of private mempools facilitating these attacks.

The situation escalated with some private mempool operators reportedly earning hundreds of thousands of dollars through MEV strategies. This has prompted the Solana Foundation to take action, with its delegation blacklist targeting validators suspected of participating in private mempools.

While the blacklist encompasses a small portion of the delegation program (0.5% of staked SOL), it sends a clear message: validators prioritizing self-interest at the cost of user security will face consequences. The fight against MEV exploitation on Solana is far from over, but this crackdown marks a significant step towards a fairer and more secure ecosystem for traders.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vanessa Lim is a Singaporean-born tech journalist and analyst with a deep understanding of the intersection between finance, technology, and security. Her expertise spans across cryptocurrency, trading strategies, tech protocols, cybersecurity threats, artificial intelligence applications, and cloud computing solutions. She is passionate about demystifying complex technological concepts and their impact on the future of finance.

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