Recently, one of the biggest stories in the crypto world got a new round. And it definitely boosted blockchain security development.
So what happened? Back in 2016, unknowns hacked the Bitfinex exchange and stole 120,000 BTC. The exchange compensated users for their losses and also promised to pay $400 million to catch the frauders.
The offenders couldn’t be found for six years. During this time, they took out only 20,000 BTC. The rest sum had remained on the balance till the FBI tracked the transaction and confiscated the remaining 100 thousand coins (by the way, it became the largest crypto transactions that have ever been made!)
The serial entrepreneurs and spouses Elijah Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan are suspected. But there is a theory that they just bought access to the wallet and are used as scapegoats.
As the Bitfinex technical director said, it was quite easy to cheat the exchange at that time due to a mistake in the protocol. There was a similar story with The DAO platform. Both of these cases changed the course of blockchain’s development, and now it’s much more reliable than ever.
For now, blockchain platforms can be attacked in familiar ways. For example, phishing hits and social engineering in common take place every day. The “51% attack” is popular too: attackers invade most of the network to confirm any transactions they want, from transferring funds to their own wallets to double-spending. This is especially dangerous if the platforms have centralized components.
Overall, there is top of modern blockchain attacks types:
- 51% Attack
- Eclipse attack
- Vector 76 attack
- Sybil attack
- Finney attack
- Routing Attack
- Race attack
- Attack on cryptographic vulnerabilities
- Transaction queue overflow
- Denial of service
Of course, the full list is much longer. In this sense, centralized exchanges are still a big problem: they keep a lot of money and they are very vulnerable. For example, large cryptocurrency exchanges like Mt.Gox, BitGrail, Coincheck have been attacked at least thirty times in recent years. There is only one solution — to develop and distribute decentralized exchanges, i.e. DEX.
Moreover, as the crypto market grows more instruments that need protection appear — like smart contracts. There are different ways to improve their security, from cyber audits to bug bounties and increasing digital literacy.
In turn, the #MetaHash team works hard to protect against possible attacks. For example, when a huge number of transactions are generated and the network load increases, the amount of commission rises. In order not to fall for the trick of changing the local network time, we made the main parameters autonomous. There are many more examples of system protection, you can find them on pages 42–44 of our Yellow Paper.
The question is, what kind of attacks will come down on crypto projects in the future? Experts are already predicting that quantum computers can change the situation dramatically: they may become the worst threat as well as a universal security solution.
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