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Solana Cracks Down on Validators Involved in Sandwich Attacks

Solana Cracks Down on Validators Involved in Sandwich Attacks

In response to the network attacks, the Solana Foundation has taken decisive action. A few validator operators were kicked out of the delegation program for their part in sandwich attacks against Solana users. Tim Garcia, the Solana Validator Relations Lead, announced this decision—which he defined as final—on the Solana Foundation’s Discord channel.

Solana Foundation Addresses Sandwich Attack Problem

“Decisions in this matter are final,” Garcia declared. Since we have identified operators participating in mem pools that enable sandwich attacks, enforcement proceedings are still ongoing. Additionally, the foundation wants to ensure that the delegation program does not enable validators who participate in nefarious actions like sandwich attacks.

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Furthermore, Solana RPC provider Helius’s co-founder Mert Mumtaz clarified that the foundation’s action aims to shield regular consumers from these abusive methods. In other words, sandwich attacks are front-running exploits in which the attacker inserts transactions before the victim’s transaction to manipulate the price and exploit the discrepancy.

The Sol Foundation forbade this kind of attack in a Discord post on May 7, 2024. Garcia also underlined the foundation’s steadfast position. According to the operator’s statement, the delegation program will not accept operators who engage in malicious behaviour, such as using a secret mempool to sandwich attack transactions or inflicting other harm on Solana users.

Garcia also said that should the issue recur, the Solana Foundation will intervene similarly. “Anyone caught engaging in such activity will be removed from the program immediately and permanently, and any stake from the Foundation will be rejected,” she continued.

The Sol Foundation Delegation Program was created to support validators’ efficient operation by assigning SOL tokens to them. Therefore, it eliminates the need for validators to personally possess a substantial quantity of tokens. Furthermore, validators are selected according to their performance; nonetheless, their involvement necessitates adherence to certain guidelines and best practices.

For These Validators, What Has Changed?

The legitimate actors who participated in sandwich attacks can still provide value to the Solana blockchain even after being removed from the delegation program. However, the foundation will no longer send SOL delegations, and thus, their funding is essentially terminated.

Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) problems occur on the Solana network when validators tamper with transactions to increase revenue. Sandwich assaults and front-running are examples of this. In these situations, validators take advantage of price fluctuations to their advantage, driving up expenses and causing slippage for users.

Garcia’s declaration emphasized the foundation’s dedication to upholding laws prohibiting these abusive behaviours. The goal is to keep Solana a fair and reliable place for all users. The foundation aims to prevent such malicious operations in the future and maintain the network’s integrity by cutting off support from validators who have participated in these assaults.

The enforcement measures are part of a larger campaign to address MEV problems on Solana. Furthermore, validators who commit front-running and sandwich attacks undermine the market’s fairness and hurt users financially. The foundation’s swift action demonstrates its commitment to user safety and ensuring the network functions properly and equitably.

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