For the last approximately 24 hours, Ropsten testnet is under an attack in my opinion. The gas limit is raised to 200m and the attacker was proposing blocks with more than 4,000 internal txs transfering 1 wei to different addresses. Mining reward is more than 12 eth now.

I think this is the block started the attack https://testnet.etherscan.io/block/586948.

I believe this makes my computer sync extremely slow and for the past 24 hours, I haven't been able to catch up with the chain.

However, looks like the attacker stopped attacking but other miners are still follow the gas limit. Maybe people don't know how to lower gas limit even that miners can do so at some point, some percent of current gas limit.

So my question is: What is the easiest way for miners to lower gas limit? Does it actually help?

Edit 1: There is a hero with this address 0x00d92369a644ab070f38f8877b50feb5b61508ed is trying to lower the gas limit by proposing many (almost 2000 blocks now) empty blocks with lowered gas limit set. His first block is here https://testnet.etherscan.io/block/590360.

Edit 2: The testnet is forked now. It split at block number 590359. Looks like the joke hasn't ended yet.

  • 1
    Is there an easy way to revert and/or reject these established spam TX's? Here's a reddit-sub for more info: reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/5vuni5/…
    – SHA256
    Feb 25, 2017 at 9:43
  • 1
    Can you provide one of your transaction hashes? Feb 27, 2017 at 11:17
  • 1
    Yes : 0xdef7d5fa4e5b8e010fe96bf83d167828012418ddd759a7c2db237fd1ddfa5f39
    – John
    Feb 27, 2017 at 11:19
  • 1
    Is your Parity instance fully synced? Mar 5, 2017 at 21:29

5 Answers 5


Update - 25th March 2017

Ropsten has been revived!

We are pleased to announce that the Ropsten testnet has been revived! Thanks to a generous donation of GPU hashpower, the Ropsten chain has been cleared of the spam blocks that had accumulated in a recent attack.


Update - 18th March 2017

From the https://testnet.etherscan.io/ homepage:

Announcement: There are currently at least 2 forks of the Ropsten network, so depending on which fork you are connected to there might be a mismatch of block data and transactions. Once the new TESTNET has been decided by the community and made public, "testnet.etherscan.io" will move over to the new testnet chain

Update - 6th March 2017

Ropsten should be considered dead. See the answer from 5chdn - (and upvote it!) - for details on its replacement.

For users running Parity, there was a workaround published on the Parity Gitter channel:

So the procedure would be [corrected]:

  • download the ropsten-543210.snapshot
  • restore from the snapshot: parity --chain=ropsten restore ropsten-543210.snapshot
  • grab the ropsten-revert.json
  • run parity --chain=ropsten-revert.json
  • mine on it as much as possible


The below instructions for Geth don't actually work, presumably due to the Parity and Geth chainspecs (genesis.json formats) being incompatible, though Geth won't tell you this when you pass it to geth init.

And the equivalent for Geth using the same ropsten-revert.json file:

  • Remove your current ~/.ethereum/testnet/chaindata folder
  • Initialise with the new .json file: geth --testnet init <path/to/ropsten-revert.json>
  • Start Geth with whatever options you normally use, e.g.: geth --testnet --fast --rpc --rpcapi db,eth,net,web3,personal --cache=1024 --rpcport 8545 --rpcaddr --rpccorsdomain "*"

Ropsten is to be considered dead, and parity launched a Proof of Authority testnet called Kovan.

Read the proposal here: https://github.com/kovan-testnet/proposal

To update your testnet from ropsten to kovan, you will have to upgrade to the latest parity beta release (1.5.4), however, there are no official instructions yet, how to run kovan.

Parity 1.5.5 or greater, use parity --chain=kovan, and for Parity 1.5.4, use parity --chain=kovan-config.json

The chain config is available here: https://github.com/kovan-testnet/config/blob/master/kovan-config.json

Update: Also, Rinkeby PoA testnet announced. But no instructions yet, read more: https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/225

  • 1
    See also: kovan-stats.parity.io
    – q9f
    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:24
  • What about Geth and Kovan? It will be work sometime?
    – Artem
    Mar 13, 2017 at 13:53
  • Afaik, Geth has no working public testnet yet. You can run a private testnet or wait for the Rinkeby implementation.
    – q9f
    Mar 13, 2017 at 14:00

If you've sent any transaction in last 48 hours or so, then it's because of the 51% attack on ropsten, which is not resolved yet. Follow the link below:


& yeah, sometimes the ropsten network has gone down ( or restart, I don't know) earlier too.

I faced a similar issue when I was deploying contracts to ropsten and they ain't showing on etherscan, though metamask is showing the tx-id. ( I used metamask to deploy the contracts )

Please also mention your address on the ropsten. need to take a look.


  • 1
    I send from this account 0xE7Bcd3b454c18313fE88d679eaf41251a58793DD to this account 0xf97f820AB928386a338264B6C1d84903D8F4f872
    – John
    Feb 27, 2017 at 14:26
  • 1
    Hi, Please try now. The testnet is up and running. If you face this issue of txn not getting on testnet, then you might need to check the configuration thoroughly of your setup. I just deployed a test contract to check whether the testnet is working properly or not. & it seems to be working perfectly. here is the link:
    – Vixon
    Feb 28, 2017 at 20:03
  • 1
    I just tested now but I have the same problem. But there is this message : Announcement: Maintenance mode, block data might not be up todate
    – John
    Mar 1, 2017 at 9:17

Check this out ! Kovan to the rescue :) http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/parity-pushes-new-ethereum-testnet-kovan-after-spam-attacks-1609901

  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference, i.e., how to run a kovan testnet node, or what proof of authority is.
    – q9f
    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:13
  • 1
    Kovan is pulled out only parity for now, Ethereum seems to follow with github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/225. I hope they can have the official announcement and/or instructions soon.
    – vutran
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:31
  • Big shout out to Peter, Jeff et al + Gavin et al for Rinkeby + Kovan respective test-net solutions. Us early ethereum supporters don't say it enough but really massively appreciate all you guys efforts! Our goals for an advanced/robust main-net are in alignment whether an element of PoA is incorporated into Casper or not. Would be great to see better communications between the Clients though (simple old skool phone call) before deployment : )
    – SHA256
    Mar 6, 2017 at 15:08

I solved the issue for myself by using geth --fast --testnet instead of Mist. But I had to delete the chaindata first (~/Library/Ethereum/* on the Mac).

  • this solution is not working for me. My chain is not able to catch up with the global chain, kind of 1000 block behind, for past two days.
    – serial007
    Mar 5, 2017 at 5:15
  • Hi @serial007 , I have the same issue. Did you solve it finally?
    – PetrosM
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:15

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