‘Flawed’ open-source ledger aims to highlight blockchain weaknesses
Researchers from Kudelski Security, a Swiss cyber security solutions provider, is set to launch a “purposefully vulnerable” blockchain to highlight vulnerabilities in blockchain ecosystems. According to a report by IT news site Computerworld, the company will demo the blockchain during the Black Hat conference in August.
Known as the FumbleChain Project, the ledger is written in Python 3.0. This will make it easy for developers to read and modify its source code. The ledger is also modular, allowing developers to add new challenges which will further promote continuous learning.
The FumbleChain Project blockchain will be available on GitHub as a code download. It will also available as a demo on the company’s website. The demo will allow anyone to test its features without having to learn a line of code.
The head of cybersecurity research at Kudelski, Nathan Hamiel commented, “For the most part, blockchains aren’t inherently secure. […] Quite often you’ll have vulnerabilities that crop up in places that are rather unexpected. What we wanted to do was create this pre-made blockchain, create this educational framework around it so you can learn more about it and more about blockchain security.”
Blockchain, which is a peer-to-peer-based distributed ledger, is highly secure. However, some of the applications built on top of the blockchain can make it vulnerable to some forms of attack. Jack Gold, the principal research analyst at J. Gold Associates explained, “Like most things, the devil is in the details. Blockchain is a specification more than a technology, and a relatively loose spec at that. …There are various ways to implement it…, so if you implement in an insecure fashion, it can be broken.”
The recent 51% attack on Ethereum Classic was proof that even blockchain networks can be breached. Cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets, which store cryptos for their users, must therefore invest a lot of time into developing their systems, Gold believes.
Blockchain has also been quite polarizing, Kudeski Security’s Hamiels pointed out. Those who advocate for its use believe it has the power to revolutionize the world. The skeptics remain against it, calling it overhyped.
Hamiels commented, “The truth is somewhere in the middle. There are certainly problems blockchain solves, and I think it’s an interesting area that people have a lot of questions about. People are curious about the technology, but they don’t have a way to easily gain access to information about it without spending a lot of time to learn about it. I’m hoping this solves that.”
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.
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