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Solana Foundation Removes Validators Over Sandwich Attacks

The Solana Foundation delegates SOL to validators through the Delegation Program to help them get started.


In a Discord announcement on Monday, the Solana Foundation stated that it had removed certain operation validators due to their involvement in user exploitation. According to the statement, the relieved operators engaged in a sandwich attack by adding mods to the validators to defraud retail users on the network.

“Decisions in this matter are final. Enforcement actions are ongoing as we detect operators participating in mempools which allow sandwich attacks,” Solana’s Validator Relations Lead, Tim Garcia, stated.

A sandwich attack is a type of exploit in which a malicious actor spots a large pending transaction and places two transitions before and after it. The action aims to manipulate the market conditions around the transaction and steal the excess charges on the trade.

Solana Flushes Bad Actors

While making the announcement, Garcia quoted an earlier post on May 7 that showed the guidelines for operator validators. Among the rules is a stern warning of zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviors, including facilitating sandwich attacks.

“Operators engaging in malicious activities such as participating in a private mempool to sandwich attack transactions or otherwise harming Solana users will not be tolerated by the delegation program. Anyone found engaging in such activity will be rejected from the program, and stake from the foundation will be immediately and permanently removed,” the earlier guidelines carried.

Launched three years ago, the Solana Foundation Delegation Program (SFDP) aims to dismantle the challenge of holding a certain amount of SOL before becoming a validator. Based on performance, the foundation picks a number of operators and charges them with validating transactions on the Solana network, giving them a commission for the task.

Further clarifying the issue, Helius, the Solana remote procedure call provider, took to X to comment on the operator’s dismissal. He noted that “since people are abusing the system to rob retail and then keep the profits all for themselves,” the foundation has decided to stop delegating to “validators who rob retail via sandwich attacks.”

Elendu Benedict

Elendu Benedict is a professional writer with sheer competence in crypto-related journalism. With a background in Engineering, Benedict specialises on news related to ETFs, market analysis, and macroeconomic policies that affects the crypto market.