Why blockchain is only as secure as the software that interacts with it

Securing the blockchain ecosystem is one of the most challenging cybersecurity problems right now. The blockchain itself might be secure, but that doesn’t mean all the pieces that intersect with it – including wallets, exchanges, miners, smart contracts – are secure, and many aren’t. According to a Carbon Black study, hackers stole $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency in the first half of this year. Although the threat is primarily restricted to the public blockchain right now, the...

Seagate teams up with IBM to reduce counterfeiting via use of blockchain technologies

Seagate Technology and IBM are working together to reduce product counterfeiting with the use of blockchain and security technologies. The project, designed to help manufacturers, integrators, and business partners fight counterfeit hard drives, uses the IBM Blockchain Platform to authenticate the provenance of disk drive products, bringing a new level of multi-layered security protection to the data management industry. Seagate will update the IBM Blockchain Platform on the IBM Cloud with...

G4S now offers vault security for the ‘wild west’ crypto market

Guarding everything from cash transfers to prisons, it was a matter of time before international security giant G4S flexed its muscles in cryptocurrency. Yesterday (October 17) the security firm announced it now offers high-security offline digital currency storage - a result of demand from clients including an unnamed European cryptocurrency exchange itself. The company cited exchanges’ “unique requirements” to other financial markets and the cryptocurrency trading’s...

$1bn in crypto lost to hackers this year, exchanges facilitate $2.5bn in laundering

As part of a report that serves as a stark reminder of how the cryptocurrency market is still mired in criminal practices, in more ways than one, cybersecurity firm CipherTrace estimates that the theft of digital currencies through the hacking of exchanges and trading platforms in 2018 amounts to $927m. Just three-quarters of the way through the year, that figure represents a 250% increase on that of 2017. While here at The Block we’ve endeavored to keep track of the larger and more...

Hackers steal an estimated $59m from Japanese crypto exchange Zaif

Hackers have stolen an estimated $59m (£45m) from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif, according to an official released by parent company Tech Bureau Corporation. The hack is believed to occured on September 14, but evidence was only found on September 17 following an investigation into disruptions to the exchange’s deposit and withdrawal services. Zaif says this survey revealed that a portion of “hot wallets” had been “hacked by unauthorised access from outside, and part of the...

Twitter CEO tells Congress it’s considering blockchain to fight fraud

The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, told US Congress yesterday that the social media platform is considering the use of blockchain technology. It came as part of a wider hearing focused on potential political bias among tech giants Twitter, Google and Facebook, and what they are doing to prevent future election meddling in the US. As reported by CoinDesk, Dorsey was responding to a question from Doris Matsui, a representative of California, during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce...

Japanese crypto exchanges face tighter screening from FSA watchdog

Japan’s financial regulator has enforced a tighter screening process for applicants looking to open cryptocurrency exchanges. A report by the Japan Times yesterday revealed that The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s main financial regulator and watchdog, will ramp up its registration review of cryptocurrency exchanges to ensure they are properly conducting risk management. The registration process forms part of the Payment Services Act introduced in April last year to protect...

One in four smart contracts behind billion-dollar projects are ‘critically vulnerable’

More than one in four smart contracts behind projects that have raised $1bn or more have critical vulnerabilities, according to audits by blockchain security firm Hosho. The findings emerged in the announcement of a partnership between Hosho and AmaZix, which aims to bring additional security services to the crypto community, including smart contract auditing and penetration testing. AmaZix claimed that Hosho’s engineers have audited more smart contracts than any other company. During...

BitGo adds support for 11 more tokens in carrot for lucrative institutional investors

BitGo, a blockchain security services startup, has added support for 11 more Ethereum-based tokens, making the market that bit more attractive for hugely lucrative institutional investments where custodianship is the final barrier to entry. The update brings the total number of tokens it supports up to 68, according to a press release provided exclusively to The Block, as it looks to realise a goal of 100 by year-end. BitGo became a specialist in managing wallets at cryptocurrency...

Blockchain is the answer to 2019 EU payment authentication rules

Consumers who have become used to the convenience of contactless payments throughout their daily lives might be in for a shock next year. That’s because of a clause in the EU’s Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which will be enforced from September 2019. In essence, the clause states that consumers will no longer be able to constantly make contactless payments without any other form of security check or identity verification. In fact, the most likely scenario is that they will...