The Graph – Slashing Upgrade Audit


The Graph team asked us to audit an upgrade of the DisputeManager contract that adds separated slashing percentages to indexing and query disputes.

The pull request that we have audited is the PR#458 at commit b61a9b27eb18eab5ec6bb612244d58c33f2321f2 and the audited files are the following:



Initially the protocol had a single slashing percentage both for query and indexing disputes, but now it gives the possibility to set two independent state variables, namely qrySlashingPercentage and idxSlashingPercentage, together with a modification to the governance restricted setter function that now accepts two parameters, and a helper function to retrieve the corresponding slashing percentage according to the DisputeType enum value passed as input parameter. Moreover, to better reflect the type of the dispute, the Dispute struct has been modified to include the type among its parameters.

Apart from this the getTokensToReward and getTokensToSlash functions have been removed and their logic implemented in the _slashIndexer function.


We understand the purpose of this enhancement and are happy with the small and modular changes. We must also notice that the PR in question is still not merged; we assume that The Graph team will merge it as it is or that no other bugs are introduced in eventual changes. The code has been audited by two auditors over two days, with our findings presented below.

Update: All of the following issues have been either fixed or acknowledged by the graph team. Our analysis of the mitigations is limited to the specific changes made to cover the issues, and disregards all other unrelated changes in the codebase.

Critical Severity


High Severity


Medium Severity


Low Severity

[L01] Duplicated code

The helper functions _pushTokens and _pullTokens are introduced as member functions to the DisputeManager contract in this PR. At the same time, the _pushTokens and _pullTokens are introduced as member functions to the Staking contract in PR#457. Aside from minor differences in revert messages, these functions sharing the same name have identical logic.

Assuming both of these PR’s are merged without additional changes made, there will be duplicate functions across modules in this codebase. This can cause many problems in terms of the maintainability of the codebase.

Consider consolidating duplicate functions within a common library.

Update: Fixed in commit 3c684f4079b118d6aa42cbb4ce944a885f50707e.

[L02] Constant is not declared explicitly

The ATTESTATION_SIZE_BYTES constant is defined in the DisputeManager contract to be 161. Literal values in the codebase without an explained meaning make the code harder to read, understand and maintain, thus hindering the experience of developers, auditors, and external contributors alike.

Developers should define a constant variable for every magic value used (including booleans), giving it a clear and self-explanatory name. Additionally, for complex values, inline comments explaining how they were calculated or why they were chosen are highly recommended.

Consider either defining ATTESTATION_SIZE_BYTES to be a sum of intermediate constants or documenting in comments from where it is derived.

Update: Fixed in commit d5487d80f9dd099f2970ea98e34ff30813c7693e.

[L03] Same event used for multiple variables

The ParameterUpdated event of the Managed contracts (including the DisputeManager contract) is emitted whenever a new value is set for a contract parameter.

In the case of the _setSlashingPercentage function, the event is emitted only once two variables are set. Moreover, neither old nor new values are emitted together with the event.

Consider being more explicit in the event string input parameter to reflect that two variables have been set.

Update: Fixed in commit 7709b944fdbef185a06d48937a099f0b4b19339b.

[L04] Unclear lack of input validation

The initialize and setSlashingPercentage functions of the DisputeManager contract are lacking of any input validation for the _qrySlashingPercentage and _idxSlashingPercentage variables.

At the same time, the comment in line 264 suggests that those slashing percentages are allowed to be zero.

If this is true and there’s a dispute that has been created, any call to acceptDispute will internally call the _slashIndexer and the call will ultimately fail and revert here because of the zero values of the slashing percentages.

This is not a security issue as in this case, to finalize the dispute, the drawDispute function should be called instead. However, unexpected failures may confuse the users.

Consider adding a check in the acceptDispute function that will revert early and loudly whenever a dispute is trying to be accepted with zero slashing percentages. Moreover, make sure to set these parameters to positive values if disputes are intended to be accepted.

Update: Fixed in commit 3b38f9e6d82b7cf7169cad111d9c9cf4cdea3326 where documentation was included to clarify that acceptDispute will fail under certain conditions and that best course of action is to resolve using drawDispute or rejectDispute.

Notes & Additional Information

[N01] Default value used

The IDisputeManager interface is using the zero value DisputeType.IndexingDispute as meaningful value for the enum.

Zero values should never be used to represent meaningful states or values for contract variables, as this can lead to confusion.

Consider adding an initial Null state to the enum to explicitly set non-zero values to proper DisputeTypes.

Update: Fixed in commit 59157c8705c7cda991b6609ede463c6e542d2201.


4 Low severity issues and other notes have been reported with recommended changes to improve the codebase.