September 15th, 2022
The stereotypical “hooded loner hacker” is a shady and malicious character looking to compromise system security for financial gain or personal recognition. But not all hackers wear hoodies, and not all are malicious. Ethical hacking is a relatively new term for a fairly old activity: evaluating system security by emulating the tactics and techniques of malicious attackers. Ethical hackers – also known as white hat hackers – use their skills to enhance the security of blockchains, smart contracts, and dApps by exposing code vulnerabilities.
Ethical hacking is the practice of permissively attempting to achieve unauthorized access to a computer system, application, or data set. Ethical hacking is fundamental to blockchain security. By mimicking sophisticated “black hat” attackers, white hat hackers can uncover security weaknesses, outline them in detailed reports, and propose substantive remedies before malicious actors exploit them.
Security is the cornerstone of decentralized ledger technology. However, the relative immaturity of blockchain technology and resulting security weaknesses, among other reasons, have resulted in the widespread loss of user funds across multiple projects. Injection attack vectors frequently target the client-side of decentralized applications (often cross-site scripting attacks on block explorers) but also server-side, database, and smart contracts. Thus, attackers frequently circumvent complex security infrastructure by exploiting frontend vulnerabilities. Secondly, due to the immutability of the blockchain, data can only be modified with the consent of a supermajority of network nodes, complicating avenues for security enhancement in the post-mainnet stage. In addition, most blockchains are public, allowing anyone to download and store a full copy of the ledger’s contents.
Securing your blockchain is one obvious way to safeguard investments, hard work, and reputation. As the blockchain industry continues to grow and evolve, so do its threats and vulnerabilities. As such, penetration testing and smart contract audits have become essential tools for ensuring the security of blockchain-based systems.
Penetration testing is a form of ethical hacking that projects can utilize to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in a system. By simulating real-world attacks, penetration testing can help organizations to understand their security posture and identify areas that need improvement.
Smart contract audits are another critical tool for ensuring the security of networks. By auditing the code of smart contracts, Web3 projects can ensure that they are free from vulnerabilities that black hat hackers could exploit at any stage of development. By combining penetration testing and smart contract audits, organizations can comprehensively understand the risks and vulnerabilities within their blockchain-based systems. Taking vital steps to address these risks and exposures can help ensure their systems’ security and the data they contain.
Interested in learning about potential blockchain security vulnerabilities and how to stop them before they occur? Connect with our Web3 security experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.