Ethereum was to undergo an update on its system known as a ‘Hard Fork’ on January 16th/17th. However, due to a vulnerability with the upgrade found by ChainSecurity, as mentioned in there blog post on 15th January, the new Ethereum fork would be vulnerable to the Reentracy attack. This meant it had to be postponed just 24 hours before it was to be released.
It was tweet by Ethereum team developer leader on January 18th that the Constantinople fork has now been rescheduled for 27th February. Whereas the original fork was supposed to be released on block 7,080,000, it will now go live on block 7,280,000.
One of the Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs) was created in order to provide cheaper gas which currently sit between 2,300 and 5,000. The new upgrade is expected to provide storage operations for specific clients for as low as 200 gas. This was known as EIP 1283.
If implemented this proposal could have created a loophole on the Ethereum network allowing attackers to hack funds and steal money without being traced. It would essentially let the hacker insert their own command functions without notifying the original user of the smart contract.
Péter Szilágyi mentioned in a tweet that the refork will be scheduled for 27th of February. It will be a single fork on the main net and a post fork fixup phase on the test net to get them back in line.
It is expected that this means the original fork will go ahead introducing the upgrade with all five EIPs including the buggy EIP 1283. A second upgrade will then take place where EIP1283 will be specifically removed.
As Szilágyi says that he suggests defining two hard forks one for Constantinople and the other which just disables this feature. Another user suggested coming up with a new name because the original Constantinople hard fork didn’t go ahead as planned and may cause confusion. We’ve not found a follow up to this but I’m sure the development team had more important things to think about now than what it should be called.