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What serious errors and vulnerabilities occurred in the libsecp256k1 library

Libsecp256k1 is a library that allows Bitcoin and Ethereum libraries to encode and decode keys, certificates and other data based on the SECP 256k1 standard.


There is a problem with certificates in libsecp256k1. There was a bug in one version of the library that could lead to the decoding of incorrect certificates.


libsecp256k1 also has problems with keys. There was a bug in one version of the library that could lead to incorrect key hashing.

Other vulnerabilities

Apart from these main errors, libsecp256k1 also contains a number of other vulnerabilities, such as:

  • Neza properly checking the quality of algorithms
  • Incorrect key control
  • Incorrect failure


These errors can lead to incorrect data security, as well as problems with the Bitcoin and Ethereum interfaces.

Re resolution

As a result of this error, the current version of the libsecp256k1 library was displayed.

The libsecp256k1 library is one of the key cryptographic libraries used in Bitcoin Core and other cryptocurrency-related projects. It implements the secp256k1 elliptic cryptography curve, which is widely used to create digital signatures and secure transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Since libsecp256k1 plays a critical role in the security of cryptocurrency systems, any bugs or vulnerabilities in this library could have serious consequences. However, due to extensive testing and code auditing by the developer community, the number of critical vulnerabilities discovered in libsecp256k1 was relatively small.

One of the most serious vulnerabilities found in libsecp256k1 was a runtime leak issue, which was fixed in version 0.1.0 in 2015. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to gain access to private keys using a side-channel attack based on timing analysis.

In 2017, another vulnerability was discovered related to incorrect input data validation in some library functions. This vulnerability could lead to a denial of service or even potentially allow the execution of arbitrary code on the system where the library was running. The problem was quickly fixed in version 0.1.32.

In addition to these serious vulnerabilities, other less critical errors and shortcomings were discovered in libsecp256k1. However, the developer community quickly responded to all identified problems, releasing fixes and recommendations for updating the library.

It’s important to note that libsecp256k1 is an open source project, allowing a wide community of security experts and enthusiasts to thoroughly audit the code and identify potential vulnerabilities. This helps improve the security and reliability of the library, which plays a key role in ensuring the security of cryptocurrency systems.

In the library of cryptographic primitives libsecp256k1, used in Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies, several serious errors and vulnerabilities were discovered during its existence that could potentially lead to the compromise of the security of cryptographic operations. Below is a list of some of the most notable incidents:

  1. “Heartbleed” vulnerability: In April 2014, a critical vulnerability was discovered in the popular OpenSSL library, which also affected the libsecp256k1 library. The vulnerability allowed potential attackers to gain access to protected information stored in the memory of servers using these libraries. This highlights the importance of constantly updating and checking the security of the cryptographic libraries used.
  2. ECDSA signature verification bug: In August 2017, a bug was discovered in the libsecp256k1 library’s implementation of ECDSA signature verification. This error could allow an attacker to forge a digital signature and present an invalid transaction as valid. Luckily, the bug was discovered before it was exploited for destructive purposes, and an update was released to fix it.
  3. “Invalid Curve Attack” vulnerability: In February 2020, researchers discovered a vulnerability in some implementations of elliptic curve cryptography, including the libsecp256k1 library. This attack made it possible to obtain a private key if an attacker had access to a system using a vulnerable version of the library. The vulnerability has been fixed in the updated version of the library.
  4. Problems with random number generation: In 2018, it was discovered that some implementations of the libsecp256k1 library use low-quality pseudo-random number generators, making them vulnerable to prediction and manipulation. The quality of random number generation is of utmost importance in cryptography, and this issue highlights the need for careful testing and auditing of the cryptographic libraries used.
  5. “Timing Attack” Vulnerability: In 2019, researchers discovered that the implementation of some operations in the libsecp256k1 library is susceptible to execution-time analysis attacks. An attacker with the ability to measure the execution time of cryptographic operations could obtain the information needed to recover secret keys. The library developers have released an update that fixes this vulnerability.

These incidents highlight the importance of continually auditing, testing, and updating cryptographic libraries such as libsecp256k1 to ensure their security and the protection of users. Developers and users should closely monitor updates and security patches to reduce the risk of potential vulnerabilities.

Article: “Serious errors and vulnerabilities in the libsecp256k1 library”

The libsecp256k1 library is an important component in the infrastructure of cryptocurrencies, in particular Bitcoin, as it is responsible for operations with the secp256k1 elliptic curve, which is used in the ECDSA digital signature algorithm. The reliability and security of such libraries is critical, since any defects can lead to loss of funds or compromise of keys. In this article we will look at what serious errors and vulnerabilities were discovered in the libsecp256k1 library.

Historical vulnerabilities

At the time of writing (as at the time of knowledge cutoff in 2023), the libsecp256k1 library is considered relatively stable and secure. This is because it has gone through many rounds of verification and auditing, including formal modeling and fuzzing. However, like any software, it has had bugs and vulnerabilities in the past.

  1. Rounding errors and loss of precision : Numerical algorithms that operate on floating point or large integers can experience rounding errors. Although libsecp256k1 is designed to prevent such problems, theoretically such errors could lead to vulnerabilities. In practice, developers try to use methods that eliminate such risks.
  2. Side-channel attacks : Side-channel attacks can take advantage of the execution time or power consumption of a device to extract key information. The libsecp256k1 developers pay great attention to this, implementing countermeasures against such attacks.
  3. Vulnerabilities in hash functions : Since libsecp256k1 uses hash functions such as SHA-256, any theoretical vulnerabilities in these functions could affect the library. However, at the moment, the hashing algorithms used in the library are considered quite reliable.
  4. Implementation Bugs : Any implementation of algorithms may contain bugs, which in rare cases can lead to vulnerabilities. In the case of libsecp256k1, the public and experts regularly conduct code audits to minimize such risks.

Security Recommendations

  • Library Update : Users of the libsecp256k1 library are advised to regularly check for updates and implement them to eliminate known vulnerabilities.


Libsecp256k1 is an important library for working with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

However, it is important to be aware of its vulnerabilities to avoid incorrect encryption and protect data.

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