NEO, the Chinese blockchain project, presumably does not work for more than 11 hours. Probably, the network fell victim to an unintentional fork.

Force majeure or public panic?

The majority of the public nodes in the NEO network stopped at block #3,293,299, and block #3,293,298 was the last mined. Users who tracked block mining paid attention to the network shutdown. They were surprised to note that the sudden fork was not followed by any reaction from the NEO developers. Neither statements were made by any decentralized applications built on the NEO blockchain, such as Switcheo or Apheleon exchanges.

Some suggested that the NEO network did not actually stop working, citing information from one of the NEO block browsers, Cityofzion, suggesting that the data from Neoscan and NeoTracker trackers were erroneous.

NEO as Chinese answer to Ethereum

NEO is often called the main competitor of Ethereum. The Center for Information and Industry Development (CCID), under China's Ministry of Industry and Technology included NEO in the top 5 blockchain projects in its first ranking published in May 2018.

In August 2018, the specialists of the Chinese cyber security company Qihoo 360 revealed a bug in the NEO code, which made the NEO blockchain vulnerable to DoS attacks. The vulnerability was found within the Smart Contract platform, specifically the System.Runtime.Serialize system call, which did not take into consideration nested arrays. A bug in how nested arrays are de-serialized could cause an infinite loop until the stack-space was exhausted.

While parsing the malicious contract, the 7 master nodes will crash. Furthermore, it will cause denial of service across the entire neo network. Then, Eric Zhang, NEO founder, confirmed the existence of the vulnerability, and fixing it took only 56 minutes.