Siaberry Inc. to Discontinue Servicing Siacoin Network on November 5th, 2018
Siaberry, Inc., based in Los Angeles and led by Sebuh Honarchian, will be shutting down their hosting servers on the Siacoin Network on November 5th, 2018. Some Siacoin users see this as an attack. Even though, Sebuh sees it as a simulated black swan event. The main objective is to test Siacoin network’s capability to respond to a large segment of hosting servers going offline. Sebuh is happy to see Siacoin devs have patched the loophole that he exploited in version 1.3.4 of Siacoin.
“I was unable to secure funding to keep the servers online to support users on the network. Also I couldn’t pay my development team to keep our software updated with Siacoin’s latest version.” says Sebuh.
At the time of writing Siaberry, Inc. is the largest hosting service on the Siacoin Network. Commanding 14% of the networks users stored data. More than any other host or hosting farm in the entire network.
You can monitor the Siaberry hosting farm at this website. https://siastats.info/hosting_farms (Thanks Hakkane! ❤)
How is it possible that a single entity was able to centralize so much data on a supposedly decentralized storage platform?
Sebuh Honarchian discovered a security flaw in the protocols host ranking system and exploited it. The reason he exploited it was because over a year ago David Vorick refused to fix the security flaw when he told Sebuh about it. By setting his Contract Fee, Storage Fee per TeraByte, Upload, and Download fees lower then anyone else on the network he was able to easily earn the top ranking positions on the network. Combined with an excellent server up-time of greater than 95% and an 8 TeraByte hard drive on each Siaberry he quickly climbed the ranks. The Siacoin protocol grants contracts from renters to the top ranked hosts in the network. A majority of the ranking weight is placed on the pricing of the hosting service. Since Sebuh undercut every other host on the network the protocol granted him the top ranking positions. By placing himself at the top of the rankings Sebuh was able to gain many contracts from the protocol with his Siaberry Farm. At this time Siaberry’s 21 hosts are ranked in the top 30 spots out of 585 hosts worldwide. The main issue for users arises from creating multiple contracts with Siaberries farm. For example if a user remains on version 1.3.3 or older they can make many contracts with the Farm and if the Farm goes offline it can severely reduce the redundancy of the files stored on the network. Although this seems like a malicious attack to most devout Siacoin users, it is not. The amount of contracts Sebuh would need to destroy users data would be 41 Contracts out of 50 the network allots them when they create an allowance for renting on the network. Sebuh’s test was half cocked not on purpose though. Sebuh didn’t have enough money to launch a full scale test on the network.
“Now! Kill the beast while he’s wounded!” ~ Dame Varko — Chronicles of Riddick
Here comes the tricky part of the situation. The timing of Sebuh’s simulated black swan event comes at a crucial time for Siacoin. The network will be forking on the 31st of October and will likely result in a lot of data losses for all the users. Combined with the leaving of Sebuh’s servers on November 5th this can turn out to be a catastrophe for Renting users that do not upgrade to 1.3.6 immediately. Sebuh did intentionally time the off-lining of his servers with Siacoin’s Obelisk troubles. Sebuh warned Siacoin users that he would be disconnecting his servers on November 5th well in advance before Siacoin announced the forking to brick Non-Obelisk ASICS from the network. Although Sebuh didn’t know about the Forks exact date, his gut instinct told him that this was the time to do the test. November 5th is also Sebuh’s Birthday. Sebuh wanted to celebrate a small victory for himself on his birthday.
“I feel like Nebulous is determined to completely monopolize the Siacoin networks hardware. This includes ASICS and Hosting Servers. This is an extremely greedy group of individuals in my opinion. I no longer want to work with them for free and without proper recognition. I need to be compensated for my time and effort in exposing the weaknesses of the network.” Sebuh says.
The funny part is Sebuh used scare tactics to manipulate users into drumming up fears to the developers. The reason for this was to light a fire under the core devs asses to get them to implement a fix for the issue right away. Social engineered hacking was also used to manipulate one Discord user named bryan#7897 who runs https://easysia.com/. Bryan corroborated Sebuh’s plotting and created even more panic in the Siacoin community. Sebuh and Bryan’s conversations are often linked in chat rooms for Siacoin. The test was never meant to be an attack on the networks users but Bryan convinced Sebuh to call it that.
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” ~ Harvey Dent — The Dark Knight
“If you do not wish to be part of the test please update your Siacoin wallet to 1.3.6. Also, please run the Decentralizer created by Hakkane to cancel all contracts you have with the Siaberry farm.” warns Sebuh.
If you want to support Sebuh and his endeavors you are welcome to donate to his wallet. If Sebuh reaches $5000.00 by November 5th, he will continue running the Siaberries for 3 months and gracefully shut them down.