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Péter Szilágyi, in his talk in Taipei, claims that totalDifficulty can be spoofed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=575&v=qJA6J0mP73w

How is that possible? Can the variable only be verified if all block headers are downloaded from the spoofed chain and would that produce a fraud proof?

  • Nothing bad is going to happen. Read this: github.com/ethereumproject/go-ethereum/wiki/… – Nulik Oct 19 '18 at 20:21
  • After reading: After successfully inserting blocks, if the block is or was the head block of a peer, the blockpool also checks if the block's actual total difficulty is identical to one advertised by the peer. If it is not, the peer received an ErrIncorrectTD and as a consequence gets disconnected and suspended for PeerSuspensionInterval So basically, new blocks are appended to a local cannonical chain and totalDifficulty is checked for validity. What about SPV? They only download headers. Can they choose to download a malicious canonical chain if it is advertised as the longest? – user3223162 Oct 20 '18 at 10:36

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