Tally contest
Findings & Analysis Report


Table of contents


About C4

Code4rena (C4) is an open organization consisting of security researchers, auditors, developers, and individuals with domain expertise in smart contracts.

A C4 code contest is an event in which community participants, referred to as Wardens, review, audit, or analyze smart contract logic in exchange for a bounty provided by sponsoring projects.

During the code contest outlined in this document, C4 conducted an analysis of the Tally smart contract system written in Solidity. The code contest took place between October 20—October 22 2021.


15 Wardens contributed reports to the Tally contest code contest:

  1. WatchPug (jtp and ming)
  2. harleythedog
  3. pants
  4. cmichel
  5. pauliax
  6. leastwood
  7. elprofesor
  8. JMukesh
  9. TomFrench
  10. 0xngndev
  11. Koustre
  12. ye0lde
  13. defsec
  14. csanuragjain
  15. gpersoon

This contest was judged by 0xean.

Final report assembled by moneylegobatman and CloudEllie.


The C4 analysis yielded an aggregated total of 14 unique vulnerabilities 40 total findings. All of the issues presented here are linked back to their original finding.

Of these vulnerabilities, 2 received a risk rating in the category of HIGH severity, 3 received a risk rating in the category of MEDIUM severity, and 9 received a risk rating in the category of LOW severity.

C4 analysis also identified 6 non-critical recommendations and 20 gas optimizations.


The code under review can be found within the C4 Tally contest repository, and is composed of 6 smart contracts written in the Solidity programming language and includes 407 lines of Solidity code.

Severity Criteria

C4 assesses the severity of disclosed vulnerabilities according to a methodology based on OWASP standards.

Vulnerabilities are divided into three primary risk categories: high, medium, and low.

High-level considerations for vulnerabilities span the following key areas when conducting assessments:

  • Malicious Input Handling
  • Escalation of privileges
  • Arithmetic
  • Gas use

Further information regarding the severity criteria referenced throughout the submission review process, please refer to the documentation provided on the C4 website.

High Risk Findings (2)

[H-01] Arbitrary contract call allows attackers to steal ERC20 from users’ wallets

Submitted by WatchPug

Swap.sol L200-L212

function fillZrxQuote(
    IERC20 zrxBuyTokenAddress,
    address payable zrxTo,
    bytes calldata zrxData,
    uint256 ethAmount
) internal returns (uint256, uint256) {
    uint256 originalERC20Balance = 0;
    if(!signifiesETHOrZero(address(zrxBuyTokenAddress))) {
        originalERC20Balance = zrxBuyTokenAddress.balanceOf(address(this));
    uint256 originalETHBalance = address(this).balance;

    (bool success,) = zrxTo.call{value: ethAmount}(zrxData);

A call to an arbitrary contract with custom calldata is made in fillZrxQuote(), which means the contract can be an ERC20 token, and the calldata can be transferFrom a previously approved user.


The wallet balances (for the amount up to the allowance limit) of the tokens that users approved to the contract can be stolen.



  • Alice has approved 1000 WETH to Swap.sol;

The attacker can:

        1000 ether

As a result, 1000 WETH will be stolen from Alice and sent to the attacker.

This PoC has been tested on a forking network.


Consider adding a whitelist for zrxTo addresses.

Shadowfiend (Tally) confirmed

[H-02] Wrong calculation of erc20Delta and ethDelta

Submitted by WatchPug, also found by harleythedog

Swap.sol L200-L225

function fillZrxQuote(
    IERC20 zrxBuyTokenAddress,
    address payable zrxTo,
    bytes calldata zrxData,
    uint256 ethAmount
) internal returns (uint256, uint256) {
    uint256 originalERC20Balance = 0;
    if(!signifiesETHOrZero(address(zrxBuyTokenAddress))) {
        originalERC20Balance = zrxBuyTokenAddress.balanceOf(address(this));
    uint256 originalETHBalance = address(this).balance;

    (bool success,) = zrxTo.call{value: ethAmount}(zrxData);
    require(success, "Swap::fillZrxQuote: Failed to fill quote");

    uint256 ethDelta = address(this).balance.subOrZero(originalETHBalance);
    uint256 erc20Delta;
    if(!signifiesETHOrZero(address(zrxBuyTokenAddress))) {
        erc20Delta = zrxBuyTokenAddress.balanceOf(address(this)).subOrZero(originalERC20Balance);
        require(erc20Delta > 0, "Swap::fillZrxQuote: Didn't receive bought token");
    } else {
        require(ethDelta > 0, "Swap::fillZrxQuote: Didn't receive bought ETH");

    return (erc20Delta, ethDelta);

When a user tries to swap unwrapped ETH to ERC20, even if there is a certain amount of ETH refunded, at L215, ethDelta will always be 0.

That’s because originalETHBalance already includes the msg.value sent by the caller.

Let’s say the ETH balance of the contract is 1 ETH before the swap.

  • A user swaps 10 ETH to USDC;
  • originalETHBalance will be 11 ETH;
  • If there is 1 ETH of refund;
  • ethDelta will be 0 as the new balance is 2 ETH and subOrZero(2, 11) is 0.

Similarly, erc20Delta is also computed wrong.

Consider a special case of a user trying to arbitrage from WBTC to WBTC, the originalERC20Balance already includes the input amount, erc20Delta will always be much lower than the actual delta amount.

For example, for an arb swap from 1 WBTC to 1.1 WBTC, the ethDelta will be 0.1 WBTC while it should be 1.1 WBTC.

  • User can not get ETH refund for swaps from ETH to ERC20 tokens;
  • Arb swap with the same input and output token will suffer the loss of almost all of their input amount unexpectedly.

Consider subtracting the input amount from the originalBalance.

Shadowfiend (Tally) confirmed:

This doesn’t allow explicit stealing by an attacker, but does leak value. We would suggest a (2) severity on this.

0xean (judge) commented:

This results in a user losing assets that they will never be able to recover. Per documentation

3 — High: Assets can be stolen/lost/compromised directly (or indirectly if there is a valid attack path that does not have hand-wavy hypotheticals).

Lost assets are a high sev.

Medium Risk Findings (3)

[M-01] Swap.sol implements potentially dangerous transfer

Submitted by elprofesor, also found by WatchPug, Koustre, cmichel, JMukesh, and pauliax


The use of transfer() in Swap.sol may have unintended outcomes on the eth being sent to the receiver. Eth may be irretrievable or undelivered if the msg.sender or feeRecipient is a smart contract. Funds can potentially be lost if;

  1. The smart contract fails to implement the payable fallback function
  2. The fallback function uses more than 2300 gas units

The latter situation may occur in the instance of gas cost changes. The impact would mean that any contracts receiving funds would potentially be unable to retrieve funds from the swap.

Proof of Concept

This issue directly impacts the following lines of code:

Examples of similar issues ranked as medium can be found here and here, just search for ‘M04’. A detailed explanation of why relying on payable().transfer() may result in unexpected loss of eth can be found here

Tools Used

Manual review

Re-entrancy has been accounted for in all functions that reference Solidity's transfer() . This has been done by using a re-entrancy guard, therefore, we can rely on msg.sender.call.value(amount)` or using the OpenZeppelin Address.sendValue library

Shadowfiend (Tally) acknowledged

[M-02] Unused ERC20 tokens are not refunded

Submitted by WatchPug

Based on the context and comments in the code, we assume that it’s possible that there will be some leftover sell tokens, not only when users are selling unwrapped ETH but also for ERC20 tokens.

However, in the current implementation, only refunded ETH is returned (L158).

Because of this, the leftover tkoens may be left in the contract unintentionally.

Swap.sol L153-L181

if (boughtERC20Amount > 0) {
    // take the swap fee from the ERC20 proceeds and return the rest
    uint256 toTransfer = SWAP_FEE_DIVISOR.sub(swapFee).mul(boughtERC20Amount).div(SWAP_FEE_DIVISOR);
    IERC20(zrxBuyTokenAddress).safeTransfer(msg.sender, toTransfer);
    // return any refunded ETH

    emit SwappedTokens(
} else {

    // take the swap fee from the ETH proceeds and return the rest. Note
    // that if any 0x protocol fee is refunded in ETH, it also suffers
    // the swap fee tax
    uint256 toTransfer = SWAP_FEE_DIVISOR.sub(swapFee).mul(boughtETHAmount).div(SWAP_FEE_DIVISOR);
    emit SwappedTokens(

Shadowfiend (Tally) acknowledged:

I believe the 0x API does in fact guarantee that we won’t have any sell tokens left over, particularly since we intend to use RFQ-T for these quotes, but if not we will fix this… And we may make the change regardless to future-proof.

0xean (judge) commented:

Downgrading to sev 2

2 — Med: Assets not at direct risk, but the function of the protocol or its availability could be impacted, or leak value with a hypothetical attack path with stated assumptions, but external requirements.

As I believe this to be a “leak value” scenario.

[M-03] Users can avoid paying fees for ETH swaps

Submitted by pants

Users can call Swap.swapByQuote() to execute an ETH swap (where they receive ETH) without paying swap fee for the gained ETH. They can trick the system by setting zrxBuyTokenAddress to an address of a malicious contract and making it think they have executed an ERC20 swap when they have actually executed an ETH swap. In this case, the system will give them the ETH they got from the swap (boughtETHAmount) without charging any swap fees for it, because the systems consideres this ETH as “refunded ETH” that wasn’t part of the “ERC20” swap.


Users can execute ETH swap without paying swap fees for the ETH the got from the swap.

Proof of Concept

The steps of the attack are:

  1. Deploy a malicious contract (denoted by M), that will be used for zrxBuyTokenAddress.
  2. Call Swap.swapByQuote() with zrxBuyTokenAddress=M and minimumAmountReceived=0. The rest of the arguments should specify our ETH swap, nothing special here.
  3. Define M to return 0 and 1 at the first and second times when fillZrxQuote calls zrxBuyTokenAddress.balanceOf(address(this)), respectively.
  4. As a result, boughtERC20Amount now equals 1 and the function will “return any refunded ETH” to the caller, without charging any swap fees on it. This ETH is actually the output of that ETH swap.

Tool Used

Manual code review.

Charge swap fees for the “refunded ETH” on ERC20 swaps (when boughtERC20Amount > 0), or require boughtETHAmount == 0.

Shadowfiend (Tally) acknowledged:

Still working through whether this is an issue we’re truly worried about; in particular, if you want to do this, you probably might as well use the 0x API to swap directly.

Nonetheless, it’s overshadowed by #37, which will likely lead to changes that will make this impractical as well.

0xean (judge) commented:

Downgrading to severity 2 as this would lead to “leaked value” as only the fees are lost by the protocol in this attack vector and customer assets aren’t being stolen.

Low Risk Findings (9)

Non-Critical Findings (6)

Gas Optimizations (20)


C4 is an open organization governed by participants in the community.

C4 Contests incentivize the discovery of exploits, vulnerabilities, and bugs in smart contracts. Security researchers are rewarded at an increasing rate for finding higher-risk issues. Contest submissions are judged by a knowledgeable security researcher and solidity developer and disclosed to sponsoring developers. C4 does not conduct formal verification regarding the provided code but instead provides final verification.

C4 does not provide any guarantee or warranty regarding the security of this project. All smart contract software should be used at the sole risk and responsibility of users.