This question is about Solidity code that reads the state of a deployed contract on a Geth node using web3.js. When I call claimsProcessed() with a different account than admin, I expected it to throw my "Security Violation".

Instead it returns a fancy value ...


I have ...

uint256 private claimCount; // == 1    
address admin = 0x123..ce;

and ...

function claimsProcessed() public adminOnly view returns (uint256)
    return claimCount;

modifier adminOnly() {
    require (
        msg.sender == admin, "Security Violation - You are not an admin"

What can I do to get a "Security Violation" when the read operation is performed by another account than the admins.

  • I see a typoo now. Wrong: msg.sender == owner. Correct: msg.sender == admin. Sorry for that. – otembajelle Mar 18 at 11:05

Functions declared as view are usually called off-chain, i.e. outside any block or transaction, and no account is usually involved with the call. When you calls claimsProcessed off-chain, msg.sender is unset and your require statement always throws. Fancy number you see is just decimal representation of the first 32 bytes of ABI-encoded error message: 0x8C379A000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. See the very end of this page for details: https://solidity.readthedocs.io/en/v0.5.6/control-structures.html#error-handling-assert-require-revert-and-exceptions.

  • Thank you for spending your time on my question Mikhail. >> your require statement always throws -> that is not the case. When I use it with the admin account, then it works as expected. – otembajelle Mar 18 at 14:12
  • 1
    OK, if you are calling your method off-chain, but with from parameter set to valid admin address, it will not throw. It looks like Web3 implementation in geth does not translate exception in smart contract executed off-chain into JS exception, so there is no reliable way to distinguish successful execution from unsuccessful one. – Mikhail Vladimirov Mar 18 at 14:27

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