The decentralized nature of blockchain networks could discourage some cybercriminals, but attention must be paid to the security of the blockchain infrastructure.
The unprecedented denial of service (DDoS) attack that shook the Internet in October 2016 was a harsh reminder of the unpleasant state of computer security.
A DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) is an attempt to paralyze the node of a blockchain, flooding it with a high volume of traffic. This is certainly one of the most common attacks seen in nature since it is relatively easy to buy a DDoS attack from any number of hackers or unsavoury businesses.
The main blockchain networks are constantly under attack by DDoS attempts, but the design decisions taken in the development of the network act to mitigate the risk.
Faced with a successful DDoS attack, there is no threat of stolen funds or compromised security, but simply an arrest of network activity.
Since the security of a blockchain is directly related to the power of the computer that builds the chain, a threat is related to the possibility that an attacker gains control of most of the hash power on the network. This would allow the aggressor to open the door to “double spending”, a method to defraud a cryptocurrency.
This method involves sending transactions to the chain, receiving the good or service for which the transaction is paid and then the majority hash power to impose the blockchain at a point before the transaction.
THE REAL RISK FOR CRYPTO EXCHANGES
The attacks outlined so far mainly concern double-spending or the reduction of network service. Attacks cost a lot and are solved by the network’s self-repair capabilities. As with any computer system or network, the biggest attack vector is rather human error. The biggest loss of funds seen so far in crypto land is the result of bugs nested in the currency software itself. Cryptographic errors in cryptocurrency security leave security holes that can be discovered and exploited by sophisticated hackers to undermine a project.
While the attacks outlined are mostly theoretical and are actively defended, the glaring hole in the security of Bitcoin and any other cryptocurrency is the fact that men are not so good at paying attention and being vigilant.
Password reuse, phishing scams, the presence of careless website operators and employees with negligent exchanges continue to be the most damaging errors and the greatest risk when it comes to the health of the crypto-economy.
Over time, some new blockchain attacks could be perpetrated. These could come from huge powers like governments or corporations that have the task of controlling or undermining these promising new ways to store and transfer wealth and value.
In the long term, however, attacks like these will only act to reinforce and evolve the technology to make it stronger and more robust.
HOW TO PREVENT NEW ATTACKS
As it is understood, the main threat of the exchanges are the users and their vulnerability. One way to make communication between customers and the most secure platform is encrypting files and communications in the senders’ browser before they are sent to the servers. FortKnoxster provides this solution. All communication and data are encrypted 24/7 on devices, with serious privacy like no other offers in the market.
The FortKnoxster encryption features are:
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- PDKDF2 key derivation with SHA-256 hashing
BINANCE: 7,000 UNITS STOLEN
A theft of over 40 million dollars in Bitcoins. Here is the loot scored by a group of hackers who successfully attacked Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It was the same company that communicated it, adding a new case to the long list of violations against Bitcoin owners in recent years.
The seven thousand units stolen were taken from the hackers by using different techniques, from phishing to viruses, according to what was declared by the CEO of Binance Zhao Changpeng, who in a post reassured customers by ensuring that the company will use its assets to repay the losses suffered.
GATEHUB: $14.9 MILLIONS STOLEN
Some hackers would have compromised about 100 XRP Ledger wallets on the GateHub service. The attack was announced by the company in a preliminary statement published on 6th June.
In the announcement, the company reveals that some of its customers have reported funds stolen from their wallets. After launching an investigation, the company discovered an abnormal number of API (Application Programming Interface) calls from a limited number of IP addresses.
It is believed that hackers had access to encrypted private keys by exploiting a vulnerability in the API. Silkjær says that from June 5 approximately 23,200,000 XRPs (almost 9.5 million dollars) were stolen from 80-90 victims, of which about 13,100,000 XRPs (5.37 million) had already been recycled through exchange and services mixer.
DRAGONEX: A BIG ATTACK
On March 24, DragonEx encountered hacker attacks, their crypto-assets were transferred and stolen. The stolen cryptocurrencies would be: 135 BTC, 2,737 ETH, 1.4 million USDT, 205.392 EOS and more than 6 million ABBC.
CRYPTOPIA: 1,948 PORTFOLIOS VIOLATED
The New Zealand exchange Cryptopia suffered a hacker attack worth $16 million. The attack took place on 14 January 2019, 1,948 portfolios would have been violated. The hackers acted systematically with absolute calm against Cryptopia, receiving their income thanks to the fact that most of the crypto arrived for miners who had chosen direct payment as a form of remuneration.
COINMAMA: 450,000 CUSTOMERS COMPROMISED
Coinmama, a brokerage firm based in Israel has suffered a serious cyber-attack: the personal data of over 450,000 customers have been compromised.
There are various ways to subvert a blockchain and there have been cases where flaws in the code have been exploited to steal large sums of money. As powerful as they may be, even the blockchains, are not immune to attacks. Any technology has weaknesses and attack vectors, and the blockchain is no exception.
The blockchain has the potential to increase the trust between the parties and the accuracy of the information. All actions are accurately recorded in blocks that are interconnected to the previous blocks. This means that the data is replicated in each successive block, allowing the system to compare the new block with the entire chain. If one block contradicts the others, it will be recognized as false and will alert the entire system.
Furthermore, since all transactions are time-stamped and provided with a digital signature, each participant can trace the chain of actions over a given period, identifying the position of a party that has started the transactions. Every action started on a blockchain is cryptographically linked to a user, who executes it.
This structure makes it harder for hackers to exploit the network, integrate cybersecurity efforts and contribute to the reliability and sustainability of the entire cyber defense system.
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