At Coinbase, our primary precedence is guaranteeing that we uphold our safety commitments to our clients. On February 11, 2022, we acquired a report from a third-party researcher indicating that they’d uncovered a flaw in Coinbase’s buying and selling interface. We promptly mobilized our safety incident response staff to determine and patch the bug, and resolved the underlying system difficulty with none affect to buyer funds.
This weblog submit supplies a deeper look into the timeline of occasions surrounding the bug report, in addition to a proof of the bug itself and the steps we took to resolve it and guarantee it can not occur once more.
(observe, all occasions occurred on February 11, 2022, and all instances are in PST)
- 10:16 AM: A member of the crypto neighborhood tweets that they’ve uncovered a severe flaw within the Coinbase buying and selling interface, and requests contacts within the Coinbase Safety staff.
- 11:00 AM: Primarily based on restricted preliminary info offered by intermediaries, Coinbase Safety declares an incident and mobilizes engineering sources to start testing all buying and selling interfaces to find out the validity of the alleged bug.
- 11:21 AM: The crypto researcher recordsdata a vulnerability report by way of HackerOne, Coinbase’s bug bounty platform, indicating that the flaw resides in a selected API for Retail Superior Buying and selling. Coinbase engineers additionally full a overview of all different consumer interfaces and Coinbase Change APIs and decide that they aren’t impacted.
- 11:42 AM: Coinbase engineers are capable of reproduce the bug, and the Retail Superior Buying and selling platform is positioned into cancel-only mode, disabling new trades.
- 4:01 PM: A patch is validated and launched, resolving the incident.
The underlying reason for the bug was a lacking logic validation test in a Retail Brokerage API endpoint, which allowed a consumer to submit trades to a selected order guide utilizing a mismatched supply account. This API is barely utilized by our Retail Superior Buying and selling platform, which is at the moment in restricted beta launch.
To provide an instance:
- A consumer has an account with 100 SHIB, and a second account with 0 BTC.
- The consumer submits a market order to the BTC-USD order guide to promote 100 BTC, however manually edits their API request to specify their SHIB account because the supply of funds.
- Right here, the validation service would test to find out whether or not the supply account had a ample steadiness to finish the commerce, however not whether or not the supply account matched the proposed asset for submitting the commerce.
- Because of this, a market order to promote 100 BTC on the BTC-USD order guide could be entered on the Coinbase Change.
There have been mitigating components that will have restricted the affect of this flaw had it been exploited at scale. For instance, Coinbase Change has computerized value safety circuit breakers, and our commerce surveillance staff constantly screens our markets for well being and anomalous buying and selling exercise.
Due to the researcher who responsibly disclosed this difficulty, Coinbase was capable of repair this bug in a matter of hours, and conclusively decide that it has by no means been maliciously exploited. We’ve got additionally applied extra checks to make sure that it can not occur once more.
Coinbase strongly helps impartial safety analysis, and when these researchers uncover severe points, we need to be sure that they’re rewarded accordingly. Because of this, we’re paying our largest-ever bug bounty for this discovering: $250,000.
We welcome future submissions from this researcher and others by way of our HackerOne program: https://hackerone.com/coinbase.