Blockchain Security Vulnerabilities

Blockchain Security Vulnerabilities

Blockchain has made headlines worldwide as more people are starting to realize just how crucial the technology may be for applications outside of cryptocurrency. However, as the experts at our cybersecurity company in Miami will tell you, there are security vulnerabilities in blockchain that must be addressed.

A few of the most concerning vulnerabilities include:

51% Attacks

Every blockchain security vulnerability list starts with 51% attacks, and our list is no different because this is the largest threat to the blockchain. Why? If a single entity can get to 51% control, they’ll have the power to validate any transactions that occur.

For example, let’s assume hackers or miners get to 51% control over mining. These hackers can then use the built-in popular vote to:

  • Approve transactions
  • Invalidate transactions
  • Re-write part of the blockchain

Thankfully, this threat is truly only a concern at the initial stages of the blockchain when it’s possible for miners to rapidly gain control. You must use strict security measures when the blockchain is new to negate the risk of a 51% attack.

Routing Attacks

A routing attack is a bit more complex than other attacks that we’ve seen. The attack requires a hacker to have access to multiple network routing points that can deny a transaction or create a false route.

For example, one attack in 2014 used routing attacks to:

  • Prevent coins from being propagated across the blockchain
  • Claim the blocked coins as their own

The likelihood of a routing attack is small, but it has been successful in the past and is likely to be mimicked in the future.

Double Spending

Double spending security vulnerabilities exist, which can replicate a single asset and use it in two locations. For example, the hacker may try sending the same coin to two addresses at the same time and try to use the single coin for two transactions.

Most blockchains have evolved to stop double-spending and would stop the coin from being sent to more than one user at a time.

Sybil Attacks

Sybil attacks are an attempt to create a 51% attack, but it’s a bit different in the way that it works. The attack requires the hacker to do the following to try and gain a majority of the vote to take over control of the blockchain:

  • Create multiple network nodes
  • Gain a higher share of the blockchain
  • Obtain majority

Proof of stake and work algorithms can help protect against the Sybil attack.

Endpoint Vulnerabilities

The endpoint is the area of the blockchain where users interact directly with the blockchain. Your mobile phone or PC is likely an endpoint that is vulnerable to hackers because if your user key exists on the device, the hacker can gain access to your wallet.

You can protect against vulnerabilities by:

  • Installing antivirus and malware protection
  • Avoiding saving any keys to your device
  • Reviewing your devices regularly and keeping them updated

It's up to you to follow best practices to protect your endpoint when using blockchain.

If you need help with your cybersecurity in Miami, contact us to see how we can protect you from potential blockchain vulnerabilities.