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Foundation Console DC Usage Follow-Up

· 3 min read


Previously, the Helium Foundation Console faced an exploit that was amplifying existing network usage. Following the discovery of this bug in the legacy Router/Console code backing this Network Server, several patches were deployed to prevent the exploit. While those patches were effective in fixing those specific bugs, two more bugs went overlooked and have now been patched.

For broader context on the preceding bug fixes, see the post dated June 16, 2023 - Foundation Console DC Usage

As a result of fixing the latest bugs, the network will reflect a decrease in paid DC usage. This brings usage on Foundation Console more in line with other LoRaWAN Network Servers on the network. The impact was isolated to the Data Credit balance of the Helium Foundation Console (OUI 1). Approximately $10,100 USD in Data Credits were ‘paid’ to the Hotspot(s) of the exploiter of these bugs.

It is important to note that the bugs were specific to a legacy platform that is not actively maintained. The core infrastructure of Helium Packet Router continues to perform as designed.

After the bug fix on June 13, paid traffic decreased. Two remaining exploits were discovered and have been patched. Network traffic is likely to normalize to a lower rate as seen following the June 13 fix.


One of the bug fixes in the prior release was to introduce a feedback mechanism for LNS's to inform the Helium Packet Router of a 0 Data Credit balance more accurately to stop device traffic flows. This was implemented through an update to the Session Key Filter reporting mechanism in Console/Router.

A similar bug was found where a user's organization could reach a low balance (e.g., 5 DCs) and still transfer larger packets (e.g., 11 DCs) for free and their devices would not be removed from the Session Key Filter as expected. This allowed the exploitation of data transfer rewards.

A second similar bug was found where a device's session key would be re-added to the Session Key Filter after toggling the device on and off in Console.


Updates to Console and Router have been deployed to fix the bugs. Console now disables all of the devices on an organization once the balance of the account reaches 0. Furthermore, the Enable/Disable functionality manages session keys as expected. This prevents any continued packet transfers when the user's balance can't cover them.


While these fixes are specific to Foundation Console, they further eliminate potential avenues for exploitation. The Core Developers remain committed to ensuring the consistent and fair operation of the Helium IoT Network.