How Does Blockchain Prevent Cyberattacks?

Lukas O'Neill

Lukas O'Neill

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We live today in an increasingly connected ecosystem, pretty much everything is connected to the internet. The problem is that any connected device is potentially vulnerable to attacks from hackers. Yet, the public remain unaware of such threats while the danger is real. For instance,  Since friday 12th of May 2017 the global virus of the “WannaCry” ransomware has affected 30,000 companies just in China and more than 100,000 companies all around the world, including public institutions such as Britain’s National Health Service and Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica. From hacking and controlling your connected car to hacking bank’s data, hacker’s could be the number one source of major financial and personal data losses.

How do “WannaCry” hackers proceed?

This strain of ransomware was spread from device to device by taking advantage of an old security hole in some versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. It infects the computer systems, encrypts the data and requires a payment to restore access.

The hackers can also spread the virus by installing software on the user’s computer though pirate software method (for instance, creating a clone of the real “Popcorn Time” website and using SEO to appear above the real one on Google, then make people click on the clone to install viruses that can access all parts of their system) .

The authors of the global cyber attack launched Friday demand the payment of the ransoms in bitcoins because this crypto currency allows anonymity. But instead of satisfying the cybercriminal’s wishes, the Blockchain Technology could destroy them and here’s how.

How blockchain can help fight cyberattacks?

For the companies that use Blockchain Technology, security offered by the system is one of the most crucial aspects, and given all that’s been happening since friday, we now know why.

Ensuring security of any information

Because most implementations of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) rely on “centralized”, trusted third party Certificate Authorities (CA) to issue and store key pairs for every participant, hackers can compromise them to steal user identities and crack encrypted communications. On the other hand, a Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) used in the Blockchain “distribute” the information. It means that even if one node is compromised, an attacker would have to compromise over 50% of the network before the data would be permanently insecure to the point that it could not be rebuilt. Plus, because each block is tied to the previous block by means of a cryptographic hash, it is very easy to identify the data which has been manipulated. Which makes it very convenient for the organizations with high security requirements and mutually unknown actors such as banks for example.

 Protecting critical infrastructure from Denial of Service attacks

Here’s another failure of centralized infrastructures, by bringing down the single service that provided Domain Name Services (DNS), major websites like Netflix, Paypal or Twitter can be shutted down for several hours.

“The killer weakness of the current DNS system is its overreliance on caching”, Says Nebulis founder Philip Saunders. The Blockchain Technology could bring a transparent and distributed DNS system where domain records will be managed by their owners and thus, will never yield under an excess of requests or manipulated by a third party.

“Blockchain technology, used today mainly in financial transactions, can easily become an alternative way to ensure the security of any information. The principle of the chain, constructed according to certain rules and secure encryption ensures that only one data block is processed at each stage of the transmission information. Consequently, in the case of intruders can not control the transaction process, since not receive all the necessary information. This principle can be extended to the entire Internet”, Says the Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab Alexander Gostev.

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