The auction kicked off on Sept. 1 and was run by digital collectibles marketplace OpenSea, which disclosed the exploit Monday and published an update on the issue today.

The “apple.eth” domain has been grabbed with no way to get it back, thanks to an exploit of an auction by the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS), a domain registration service for the ethereum network.

Taking “full responsibility” for the bug, OpenSea said 17 names in total were taken by the hacker, including other notable ones such as defi.eth, wallet.eth, and pay.eth.

The bug in the auction software had distributed ENS domains to participants who did not hold the highest bid, according to the post.

Further, OpenSea stated:

“One user discovered an input validation vulnerability that allowed them to place bids on a name that actually issued a different name.”

Further issues with the auction process affected some 30 domain names like bitmex.eth or hodls.eth, with bids incorrectly processed. None of these domains were involved in the exploit, however.

An alternative web standard to the internet domain service, DNS, ENS operates on the ethereum blockchain. Unlike DNS, domain names cannot be forcibly retrieved once allocated to a party, thanks to  the immutability of the ledger the information is stored on.

OpenSea explained:

“A blessing and a curse of blockchain-based digital assets is that once they have been distributed, it is impossible for them to be revoked. We can’t redo the auctions for the names that were sold in an invalid fashion.”

As such, the firm has asked for the domain names to be returned so they can be re-auctioned. A reward of 25 percent of the final auction price plus the original bid will be given to the hacker, the blog states.

Apple.eth and the 16 other hacked domains have been blacklisted by OpenSea. ENS is considering blacklisting the names as well.

ENS did not respond to questions from CoinDesk by press time.

Ethereum Network Draws Developer Ire After Scheduling New Year’s Day Upgrade

The organization behind ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, is drawing criticism from developers after scheduling an upgrade on New Year’s Day – a work holiday in most countries.

The Ethereum Foundation on Monday announced the plan to implement the “Muir Glacier” upgrade on Jan. 1. The upgrade will take place when the ethereum network hits its 9.2-millionth block, said a blog post on the organization’s website.

The upgrade would come just less than a month after the network’s last upgrade in early December, known as “Istanbul.”

According to the blog post, node operators and cryptocurrency miners have to download the latest version of client software to comply with the new terms, rules and procedures stipulated under the upgrade.

The main purpose of the Muir Glacier upgrade is to delay a planned increase in the difficulty of mining new units of cryptocurrency by an estimated 611 days, according to a Dec. 16 post on the blog Ethereum Cat Herders, which is dedicated to community-led project management on the blockchain.

The delay comes amid concerns that the so-called “difficulty bomb” would essentially increase the time needed to confirm new blocks of data on the network, resulting in a “degradation in the usability of ethereum due to waiting for confirmation for transactions.”

The upgrade was expected, but the move to schedule it for New Year’s Day sparked a negative reaction among some network users who had planned to take the day off along with colleagues.

Jorge Izquierdo, CEO of Aragon, which allows groups of people to form organizations using the ethereum blockchain, tweeted that he’s “trying hard not to be negative about ethereum lately.”

“Now someone from my team has to work on a day that they were free,” he wrote.

In a subsequent tweet, Izquierdo wrote that Aragon wouldn’t implement the upgrade on his platform’s infrastructure until Jan. 2.

According to Ethereum Cat Herders, the latest upgrade was needed “so soon after the last one” because prior estimates of the timing of the difficulty increase proved wrong.

“In order to avoid a delay with the Istanbul upgrade, it has been decided to address the difficulty bomb aka Muir Glacier upgrade as a separate one,” according to the post.

Ether, the main cryptocurrency for the ethereum network, was changing hands at $129 on Monday as of 5:26 p.m. universal coordinated time (12:25 p.m. in New York), down 0.7 percent over the prior 24 hours. That was the worst performance among digital assets with a market capitalization of at least $1 billion, according to the data provider Messari.

By contrast, bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, was up 2.3 percent to $7,455.

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