On March 5, 2019, multinational computer giant IBM filed two new blockchain patent applications, one patent that IBM is currently seeking to maintain network security through blockchain technology, and the other patent focusing on the use of the blockchain technology. Technical database management capabilities. From the perspective of network security, in recent years, various fields have become the focus of hacker attacks. At the same time, countries are also paying attention to the use of blockchain technology in cybersecurity. In 2018 alone, 75% of CEOs and board members regarded cybersecurity and technology acquisitions as their top priorities. In addition to business giants, many civilians are also considering adopting blockchain-based network security solutions.
1. Countries try to use blockchain technology in the field of network security
After experiencing the concept explosion period and hype period of blockchain technology, the global attention to blockchain technology is still high, and major countries and regions in the world are competing for blockchain development and application exploration. , Israel as the representative, countries actively encourage the exploration of the application of blockchain technology in the field of network security, and gradually show results.
(1) United States
In 2018, the U.S. Congress released the 2018 Joint Economic Report, proposing that blockchain technology can be used as a potential tool to combat cybercrime and protect the nation’s economy and infrastructure, pointing out that applications in this field should be the top priority for lawmakers and regulators. Task. The U.S. DARPA is also investing heavily in blockchain projects designed to securely store highly classified program data within the Department of Defense. In 2017, President Trump signed a $700 billion military spending bill that included authorizing a blockchain security study that called for “investigation of the potential attack and defense networks of blockchain technology and other distributed database technologies. Applications” to support the development of cryptocurrency tracking, forensics and analysis tools by DHS in the United States.
In 2018, the Russian military used blockchain technology to strengthen defense cybersecurity. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has established a unique research laboratory in the ERA Technology Park to develop blockchain technology and apply the technology to strengthen cybersecurity and combat cyberattacks against critical information infrastructure. Experts believe that blockchain will help the military track down the source of hacking attacks and improve the security of its databases.
In October 2018, the Israel Securities Authority has begun using blockchain technology to improve cybersecurity and address cybersecurity challenges. The blockchain software system is said to have been developed by information company Taldo over a period of three months. This time, according to the Israel Securities Authority, the blockchain technology is embedded in a system called Yael, which government agencies can use to send messages and notifications to agencies under their jurisdiction. Not only the current application, the Israel Securities Authority also stated that in the near future, there will be two more systems that will also embed blockchain technology. One is an online voting system, which uses blockchain technology, which allows investors to participate in meetings from anywhere; the other is the Magna system, which is used by institutions under the supervision of the Authority to record all reports. The Israel Securities Authority believes that using the advantages of blockchain technology that cannot be tampered with to prevent information from being edited or deleted can provide an additional layer of protection for the information passed to the regulatory agency to prevent information leakage and increase the credibility of information transmission. . Not only that, as long as the information is on the chain, the blockchain technology can check the specific situation of the information in the transmission process in order to verify its authenticity.
2. Analysis of the application of blockchain technology in the field of network security
From improving data integrity and digital identity to securing IoT devices to prevent denial of service attacks, blockchain has great potential for applications in cybersecurity. In fact, blockchain can make a difference in all three aspects of confidentiality, integrity and availability, improving system resilience, improving encryption, auditing, and increasing transparency. In recent years, relevant practical applications in the field of foreign blockchain technology network security are also booming.
Table 1 Typical applications of blockchain technology in the field of network security
As a new round of change in the Internet age, blockchain, as a new information storage, dissemination and management mechanism, allows users to participate in the calculation and storage of data, and mutually verify the authenticity of the data, to “decentralize” And “trustless” way to achieve reliable transfer of data and value. At present, the application of blockchain technology is typically represented by the field of network security, and has gradually expanded to many areas of the society, and has received widespread attention and global exploration.
While blockchain technology combines with existing technologies to generate new formats and models, the development of blockchain technology and the in-depth application of network security still require a long process of integration. Its core mechanisms and potential network risks in application scenarios It also brings new challenges to technology applications and existing cybersecurity regulatory policies. Therefore, while we rationally look at the technical advantages of blockchain and its application in the field of network security, it is imperative to strengthen the response to potential network security risks to ensure the healthy and orderly development of blockchain technology.
With the complexity of network attacks and the diversification of network functions, traditional intrusion detection techniques have the problems of high false positive rate, poor adaptability and low detection rate. Therefore, we need to study new intrusion detection techniques to improve the security detection capability of intrusion detection systems.In recent years, deep learning It has achieved amazing results in image recognition, speech recognition, natural language processing, etc. Deep learning technology has excellent performance in processing complex large-scale data, which also brings new ideas for processing multi-feature intrusion data. The flexible application of deep learning in the field of network intrusion detection can effectively improve the detection rate and reduce the false positive rate and false negative rate.
3. Blockchain technology faces cybersecurity threats
Blockchain is not omnipotent, and it cannot be superstitious or mythical about blockchain technology. With the wide application of new technologies such as big data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, the continuous emergence of data leakage and information security incidents has also brought new challenges to personal privacy protection, enterprise safety production, and social public services. The blockchain based on distributed ledger technology has natural advantages in ensuring data security and information integrity, and is given “high expectations” by many people.
However, blockchain is not a panacea, from the technical complexity and number of systems to its implementation, blockchain cannot guarantee 100% security. Transaction rate limits and debates over whether information should be kept on the blockchain are concerns for the technology’s use in cybersecurity.
At present, the blockchain technology itself still has some network security risks, and certain security problems may be caused during the application process. In recent years, the frequent occurrence of blockchain network security incidents has caused significant economic losses. According to statistics, from 2011 to October 2018, the global loss caused by blockchain network security incidents was nearly 3.6 billion US dollars. It can be seen that blockchain network security issues cannot be ignored. Based on existing research reports in the industry, the network risks and challenges faced by the blockchain are divided into six aspects: infrastructure security, cryptographic algorithm security, protocol security, implementation security, use security and system security.
(1) Infrastructure security
The development of blockchain, infrastructure is the key. The infrastructure of the blockchain mainly includes network resources such as switches and routers, storage resources such as hard disks and cloud disks, and computing resources such as CPUs and graphics processing units (GPUs). Currently, there are mainly physical security risks, as well as security risks such as data loss and leakage.
Physical security risks mainly refer to the security risks of the blockchain storage device itself and the environment in which it is located. For example, there may be unrepaired security vulnerabilities in databases such as LevelDB and Redis, resulting in unauthorized access and intrusion of blockchain storage devices, or Security risks that exist in the physical operation and access environment of storage devices.
Data loss and leakage are mainly aimed at the theft and destruction of block data and data files, or data loss and leakage caused by misoperation, system failure, poor management, etc., and the consistency of online and offline data storage. For example, the IO node of EOS can synchronize irreversible transaction history data to an external database through native plug-ins. While external database data provides convenience for developers and users, it may also lead to more risks of data loss and leakage.
(2) Cryptographic Algorithm Security
Blockchain uses a large number of cryptographic algorithms for security. However, some existing cryptographic algorithms have certain defects, and the use of defective cryptographic algorithms will greatly affect the security. In addition, with the development of quantum technology, the use of cryptographic algorithms that cannot resist quantum attacks has a greater risk. At present, the algorithm of cryptocurrency is relatively safe, but with the development of mathematics, cryptography and computing technology, it will become more and more fragile, and there are also problems in the use of the encryption algorithm in the blockchain. In addition, the impact of quantum computing on existing public key cryptography is subversive. In 2017, IBM announced that it had successfully built and tested two new machines. Of course, there have also been random number vulnerability incidents in terms of algorithms. For example, in December 2014, blockchain.info broke out the random number problem.
(3) Protocol security
Blockchain is a new protocol layer, a decentralized protocol, distributed on top of Web2.0, supporting point-to-point transmission, based on distributed characteristics, without any intermediaries, Americans can directly send and store data and participate in financial transactions. Protocol security mainly refers to the potential security risks of consensus mechanisms and P2P networks, and mainly faces threats such as consensus algorithm vulnerabilities, traffic attacks, and malicious nodes.
(4) Realize safety
The security of the smart contract operating environment is the key link of blockchain security. The smart contract started late, and its risks mainly come from the security loopholes in the code implementation. At present, some blockchain projects will design and use their own virtual machine environment, such as Ethereum’s EVM, while Hyper Ledger Fabric directly uses mature Docker and other technologies as the processing environment for smart contracts. Due to the security vulnerabilities of the computer itself, or imperfect verification and control mechanisms, attackers can deploy malicious smart contract codes to disrupt the normal business order, consume network, storage, and computing resources in the entire system, thereby causing various security threats.
(5) Use safety
It mainly refers to the security problems of smart contracts, digital wallets, exchanges and application software used. In addition, malware on the server where the blockchain application is located, system security loopholes, etc. may become the vulnerability of the attacker to break through the blockchain application. At present, there are the following problems. For example, private key custody can easily lead to self-theft and hacker theft; the password of the blockchain wallet is in danger of being recovered; once the private key is lost, it is impossible to do anything with the assets of the account. The most important thing is that all digital currency systems can be hacked. For example, in December 2017, North Korean hackers attacked South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges, resulting in the theft of 7.6 billion won (about 6.99 million US dollars) worth of cryptocurrency.
(6) System security
The combination of the above-mentioned infrastructure, cryptographic algorithms, protocols, implementations, and use of security loopholes and hacker attacks can cause a fatal blow to the blockchain. The combination of social engineering methods and traditional attack methods makes the blockchain more vulnerable, and organized attacks will cause great harm to the security of the blockchain. The comprehensive use of algorithm/protocol/use/implementation loopholes, combined with the decryption of network attacks, uses technology and social engineering to attack the cryptocurrency system. Once a country or organization adopts a comprehensive security attack, it will cause great harm to the cryptocurrency system.
4. Suggestions for Response to Security Threats
(1) Concentrating on tackling key blockchain security risk response technologies
For protocol security, anti-ASIC hash function is used in POW, and more effective consensus algorithms and strategies are used; for security, it is necessary to carry out strict and complete testing of key codes, and adopt more secure smart contracts; for use security, The main purpose is to protect the generation, storage and use of private keys, and to encrypt and protect sensitive data using an effective soul coin mode. In addition, it is also necessary to choose a safe exchange, because exchanges gather a large number of digital currencies, so they can easily become the target of hackers or some hostile and terrorist organizations; for algorithm security, anti-quantum algorithms can be used, such as lattice-based Signature algorithm, or adopt blind signature, ring signature, aggregate signature, multi-signature, threshold signature strategy, in a word, it is necessary to adopt new cryptographic technology that can stand the test; against hacker’s attack, put forward a method of mimetic defense. Mimic defense is a technology, and the use of mimic defense technology will play a very good role in improving the security of blockchain systems.
(2) Explore innovative blockchain supervision methods
Explore blockchain supervision modes such as “sandbox supervision” and “penetration supervision”, and regulators can construct a “safe sandbox space” for the testing and innovation of specific blockchain products, services and application modes, in order to meet the needs of enterprises in real scenarios While testing the requirements of its product solutions, it is strictly to prevent risk spillovers; or by setting up one or more regulatory agency nodes in the blockchain nodes, so that the regulators can obtain comprehensive and timely access to blockchain business processes, user relationships, information flow, etc. Supervision information, in a “penetrating” way, go deep into the core of the blockchain business to implement supervision.
(3) Blockchain should return to the essence of technology, and storage security standards need to be established urgently
With the acceleration of the interactive flow of information, the blockchain can break away from the scope of digital currency and move towards a broader equity asset market. Digital asset management has become one of the applications that blockchain is expected to land as soon as possible. However, due to the lack of security infrastructure construction and protection, the storage-targeted blockchain has become the “hardest hit area” for hacker attacks.
In the development process of blockchain technology, the development of various technical branches and application fields of blockchain is uneven, and there is a lack of unified conceptual terms, architecture and evaluation standards. The technical and mechanism characteristics bring challenges to laws and regulations. To a certain extent, it hinders the development, application and industrialization of technology. Focusing on technical architecture specifications, development specifications, identity authentication and other related standardization and compliance issues, the International Organization for Standardization and open source organizations have begun to standardize blockchain security to standardize the application and development of blockchain technology. Up to now, the International Telecommunications Union Telecommunication Standardization Organization has been active on the topic of blockchain security, with a large number of participants, a wide range of research, and a clear promotion route. The International Telecommunications Union Telecommunication Standardization Organization has established three focus groups, one problem group, and established a number of standard research projects to carry out standardization work around the overall development of blockchain, security and the Internet of Things, next-generation network evolution, and data management applications.
(4) Strengthen and promote the development of the blockchain security product and service market
Encourage network security companies and blockchain-related companies to pay attention to blockchain technology security issues, promote the development and application of related security products and services such as smart contract vulnerability mining, blockchain product code auditing, and business security monitoring, and improve blockchain products. Apply the security level and anti-attack ability to continuously optimize the ecological structure of blockchain technology.
Blockchain technology is increasingly becoming an important driving force for innovation in the field of network security. The huge changes brought about by its technology cannot be ignored, and potential network security risks in technology and application scenarios are gradually emerging. While all countries in the world are striving to seize the opportunities of technological development, they also need to face up to risks, and actively respond from multiple perspectives such as development guidance, strengthening supervision, risk research and judgment, and international cooperation, so as to effectively prevent and resolve new technology network security risks, and effectively protect the blockchain. The healthy and orderly development of technology in the field of network security.
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