Blockchain is considered by many as the future of security and the next generation of technology that will take over the world. It has faced some criticisms due to its potential vulnerabilities but will continue to be used in most aspects of life. One of the critical aspects of the technology that has been criticised is the security protocol behind blockchain. It lacked a centralised point of control to manage the ledger and supply transparency, therefore allowing for logical attacks. One issue that cyber security experts are targeting is vulnerabilities in cryptography used by blockchain technology, which can leave new algorithms open to attack.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralised database of transactions occurring and verified by a network of computers. It is considered to be an incorruptible digital ledger. It is mainly used for finance but has expanded to other industries such as the real estate industry. It is more secure and transparent than the traditional centralised database. The distributed network of participants works in unison to ensure that all nodes in the network hold each transaction.
Blockchain Security Vulnerabilities
Cryptography is one of the critical aspects of a blockchain network. After being implemented for blockchains for over five years, it is now commonly referred to as the “backbone” of blockchain technology. The idea behind cryptography is that it gives a simple means to securely send messages from one party to another without information leaking through a third party. It has been found that blockchain security is vulnerable to various attacks.
The following will describe the different attacks that have been found to exploit the security of blockchain technology. These attacks were found by researchers in cryptographic protocols and how they affect blockchain technology.
In a Sybil attack, two separate users come together to create many fake identities that are registered in different blockchains. These counterfeit identities do the same tasks as a single user. Therefore, a Sybil attack has damaged the blockchain’s security by compromising the network’s integrity.
In a 51% attack, where an attacker controls most of the computational power, this could give an attacker complete control over a blockchain network. If someone had over 50% of the total computational power within a network, they could manipulate transactions and prevent other transactions from occurring by not acknowledging them.
Phishing attacks are often targeted at individuals. They are common in emails and can also come in pop-ups. The blockchain attacker will take advantage of a user’s email account or private key and try to get as much personal information from a user as possible. The attacker will then create a new identity on the target network to gain control of the user’s knowledge.
In a routing attack, this network can have many participants. Therefore, it can reach more users than a single network that reaches fewer participants. This could be used to create valid blocks across a wide range of blockchains and, therefore, increase the value of the blockchain.
In conclusion, cryptography has been recognised as one of the critical blockchain security problems. The security protocols behind blockchain technology need to be advanced to keep up with the speed at which technology grows globally. Blockchain is simply a step in the future that could have huge implications on society and the impact it can have on us. With anti-crypto technologies being developed, such as quantum computers and quantum secure blockchains, cryptography will still be a key component of our digital world.
It offers a decentralised way of managing information and has proven beneficial. It is crucial for software developers, businesses, and individuals to understand all risks associated with blockchain technology. This includes how it is implemented and the risks that are present within the technology. As researchers continue to use blockchain technology, more problems will arise regarding blockchain security. Therefore, cyber security experts will continue monitoring blockchains for security problems and find new ways to exploit the technology.