VB2018 preview: Explain Ethereum smart contract hacking like I am five

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   Aug 28, 2018

Shout 'blockchain' in a group of security experts and everyone will start to laugh. It is fair to say that the security community tends to be rather sceptical about cryptocurrencies and blockchains and the promises that come with them.

But it is easy to forget that many well-meaning people invest real money in these technologies. And that the technologies are often actually very interesting.

One such technology is Ethereum, a blockchain-based platform that offers smart contract functionality. In a VB2018 paper on this technology, MRG Effitas researcher Zoltan Balazs describes in simple terms how the technology works – and it is indeed promising.

00_blockchain_.pngBlockchain, high level overview.

However, he then goes on to describe a number of security issues inherent to Ethereum and how these have led to various high-profile and often very costly hacks, leading to the conclusion that designing smart contracts is hard. To quote Zoltan: "Everyone can come up with a design he or she is not able to hack, but this doesn't mean it is not hackable."

Zoltan's presentation is just one of many great reasons to come to VB2018 (2-4 October in Montreal). Check out the programme for full details of what else is on the agenda - book your ticket now for what promises to be a memorable event!

And don't forget, if you have some (hot) research to share, the call for last-minute papers remains open until 2 September.

VB2018-withdate-325w.jpg

 

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2019 paper: Domestic Kitten: an Iranian surveillance program

At VB2019 in London, Check Point researchers Aseel Kayal and Lotem Finkelstein presented a paper detailing an Iranian operation they named 'Domestic Kitten' that used Android apps for targeted surveillance. Today we publish their paper and the video…

VB2019 video: Discretion in APT: recent APT attack on crypto exchange employees

At VB2019 in London, LINE's HeungSoo Kang explained how cryptocurrency exchanges had been attacked using Firefox zero-days. Today, we publish the video of his presentation.

VB2019 paper: DNS on fire

In a paper presented at VB2019, Cisco Talos researchers Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres looked at two recent attacks against DNS infrastructure: DNSpionage and Sea Turtle. Today we publish their paper and the recording of their presentation.

German Dridex spam campaign is unfashionably large

VB has analysed a malicious spam campaign targeting German-speaking users with obfuscated Excel malware that would likely download Dridex but that mostly stood out through its size.

Paper: Dexofuzzy: Android malware similarity clustering method using opcode sequence

We publish a paper by researchers from ESTsecurity in South Korea, who describe a fuzzy hashing algorithm for clustering Android malware datasets.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.