The Era of Digitalization, The Era of Cyber Attacks
With the advancement in technology and fast paced digital development happening around, the world is facing several security risks and attacks. Navigating the online world has become a real concern with the incidences of hacking attacks taking place across the digital world.
One attack after another, releasing ransomware on the internet and causing disruption seems to have become a competition of skills and competence for the hackers. Whenever something big happens, a group of hackers takes responsibility publicly with pride. Not just about the money anymore, it’s to show the world that something undoable can be made possible, if performed by a capable group, at the right place and the right time.
After the havoc created by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware, its successor and a similar ransomware known by the name ‘Petya’ or ‘GoldenEye’ has caused serious disruption at large firms in Europe and the US. Few of the major firms which got affected include the Russian steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft, French construction materials company Saint-Gobain and advertising firm WPP. The transport firm AP Moller-Maersk, legal firm DLA Piper, Heritage Valley Health System, which runs hospitals and care facilities in Pittsburgh, and food company Mondelez also said their systems had been hit by the malware.
Blockchain – The Immutable, Incorruptible and Secure Network
Blockchain technology is the panacea for the incidences of risks, attacks and vulnerabilities. The Blockchain’s approach to storing and sharing information provides an effective way to tackle security threats. It is the same technology that has enable the secure exchange of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and can potentially serve as a tool to prevent cyber attacks.
Blockchain Technology can enhance cyber security by these means:
- Distributed DNS System
- Blockchain-based Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
- Distributed Evidence
Protection against DDoS attacks via Distributed DNS System
Let’s take an example of the recent massive DDoS attack in which by targeting the single service that provided DNS for major websites, the hackers were able to restrict access to popular websites for several hours including Netflix, Twitter, PayPal, etc. This incident highlights the fact that how easy it has become for hackers to target critical services. It is one of the many cases that reflect the failure of centralized infrastructures.
The major loop whole of the current DNS system is its overreliance on ‘cache’. Caching makes it possible to target Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against DNS servers and manipulate DNS registries.
The Blockchain approach to storing DNS entries could improve security by removing the single central target that can be attacked to compromise the entire system – a distributed DNS system that will never fail under an excess of requests. Blockchain leverages the scattered public keys infrastructure to apply in the mechanisms of authentication. The decentralized public key is less prone to security attacks. Assigning of SSL certificate based on the Blockchain technology is another method that can prevent the hackers from making use of counterfeit certificates.
Another benefit that Blockchain can provide is that it will remove the network fees associated with DNS reads. The cost will be imposed only on updates and new entries. This can be helpful in lifting a great deal of pressure from the physical backbone of the Internet, doing away with many of the redundancies of the traditional DNS.
Also, a distributed DNS, where domain records are under their owners’ control and not any central authority, will make it potentially impossible for any single entity, including governments, to manipulate entries at their will.
Protecting Identities with Blockchain-based PKI
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), a form of public key cryptography, secures websites, emails, messaging apps, and other forms of communication. However, hackers can compromise Certificate Authorities (CA) to spoof user identities and crack encrypted communications, since PKI relies on centralized trusted Certificate Authorities to issue, revoke, and store key pairs for every participant.
Publishing keys on a Blockchain would eliminate the risk of false key propagation. It will enable applications to verify the identity of the person with you are communicating. In a Blockchain, you can tie identity attributes of a person to a tamper-proof hash making it impossible for someone to forge the identity. Thus, by referencing hashes that match identity attributes of an individual tied to the ledger, one can reconstruct the entire identity management system. Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), based on blockchain can be used as a replacement of PKI. It runs the hash function and compares the result against original metadata saved on the blockchain in order to verify the integrity of data.
Distributed Evidence for Protecting Data Integrity
The Blockchain approach to document signing replaces the concept of keeping private keys secret with transparency, by distributing evidence across many Blockchain nodes, making it practically impossible to manipulate data without being caught.
A Blockchain application can store the hashes of original data and files on the Blockchain and can verify other copies by running hashing algorithms and comparing the results with what is stored. If data is manipulated, it will be quickly discovered because the original hash exists on millions of nodes.
Since more devices and data is connected to the internet now, we can expect new and unpredicted cyber security threats in the future. Blockchain may not have an answer to everything that’s wrong with the Internet, but it is a powerful tool that coders can leverage to reinforce their systems against the various kinds of threats, especially where centralized data and single points of failure are the major concerns. For a complimentary consultation session contact us at or visit https://www.avyaan.com/ for more information.