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EtherCamp’s ProjectKudos public code audit

Following our audit of the HackerGold HKG token, we’ve been asked by the EtherCamp team to review their new ProjectKudos contract.

The audited contract can be found in the master branch of their GitHub repo, specifically, commit 6665fdd4b71088443a74d1ed9fda52c6a8c8b975. Main contract file is ProjectKudos.sol.

Here are our assessment and recommendations, in order of importance:


We have not found any severe security problems with the code.

Potential problems

Use latest version of Solidity

Current code is written for old versions of solc (0.4.0). With the latest storage overwriting vulnerability found on versions of solc prior to 0.4.4, there’s a risk this code can be compiled with vulnerable versions. We recommend changing the solidity version pragma for the latest version (pragma solidity ^0.4.4;) to enforce latest compiler version to be used.

EDIT: EtherCamp fixed this problem on these commits.

Timestamp usage

Timestamps used correctly correspond to commented dates.

The code uses timestamps for contract logic. There’s a problem with using timestamps and now (alias for block.timestamp) for contract logic, based on the fact that miners can perform some manipulation. In general, it’s better not to rely on timestamps for contract logic. The solutions is to use block.number instead, and approximate dates with expected block heights.

Given the nature of the contract, we think the risk of miner manipulation is really low. The potential damage is also limited: miners could only slightly manipulate if kudos can or can’t be given near the end date. We recommend the EtherCamp team to consider the potential risk and switch to block.number if necessary.

For more info on this topic, see this stack exchange question.

Remove unnecessary code

  • duringVote function modifier
    The duringVote function modifier is only used once. Consider removing it and adding the checks at the start of giveKudos function. Having unneeded extra variables and code increases risk and attack surface for contract’s invariants to be broken.
    EDIT: EtherCamp fixed this problem on these commits.
  • GrantReason enum
    The GrantReason enum is not needed and adds extra complexity with no benefit. The same clarity can be obtained by having two uint constants called uint constant GRANT_REASON_FACEBOOK = 0; and uint constant GRANT_REASON_TWITTER = 1;. This would allow removing the grantUintToReason and grantReasonToUint functions.
    EDIT: EtherCamp fixed this problem on these commits.
  • strToBytes function
    The function is used to convert strings to byte arrays. It’s only used to convert from project string codes into project byte32 codes. Consider removing the function and requiring caller of contract send byte32 codes directly (handle conversions in Dapp UX). Even more, consider using strings directly inside the contract, changing the projects mapping from mapping(bytes32 => ProjectInfo) to mapping(string => ProjectInfo) to improve code readability and reduce complexity.
    EDIT: EtherCamp fixed this problem on these commits.


Code quality

Code is good in general. The function updateUsersIndex, though, is quite confusing. Consider refactoring the code to improve code clarity. Some preconditions are missing in some functions, too. Consider adding preconditions to this, this, this, and this functions.

Usage of magic constants

There are several magic constants in the contract code. Some examples are:

Use of magic constants reduces code readability and makes it harder to understand code intention. We recommend extracting magic constants into contract constants.
EDIT: EtherCamp fixed this problem on these commits.

Additional Information and notes


No severe security issues were found. Some changes were recommended to follow best practices and reduce potential attack surface.

EDIT: EtherCamp followed many of our recommendations and fixed the code based on our comments, on these commits.

Note that as of the date of publishing, the above review reflects the current understanding of known security patterns as they relate to ProjectKudos contract. We have not reviewed the related Virtual Accelerator project. The above should not be construed as investment advice or an offering of HKG. For general information about smart contract security, check out our thoughts here.