Pentagon reveals vulnerabilities in blockchain systems

In its recent report “Are Blockchains Decentralized”, Pentagon sheds light on possible critical vulnerabilities in blockchain systems. The security company Trail of Bits reveals in particular the security flaws that can affect the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain. Note that this study was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the US Department of Defense.

While the crisis of Terra Luna profoundly upset the cryptosphere, the cryptocurrency prices keeps collapsing. Losing hundreds of millions of dollars to his followers. Today, the increase in exits and liquidations bears witness to the growing lack of confidence in the market for virtual currencies.

And to make matters worse, the new Pentagon report has just cast another shadow on the board. This by claiming that blockchain systems are not as decentralized as we think. Moreover, this technology is particularly vulnerable to attacks. This is particularly the case of the bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum

Major security flaws in the implementation of blockchain systems

According to the report by security firm Trail of Bits, there are critical vulnerabilities in the implementation of blockchain networks. But also Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake consensus protocols. According to experts, Bitcoin and Ethereum would be particularly vulnerable to a set of potential attack vectors.

Not to mention the disturbances that come from external actors. Moreover, these two networks have a set of privileged participants who have the ability to modify their transactions.

The report adds that for a blockchain to be truly optimally distributed, it must have a Sybil cost. However, without a centralized TTP, it is simply impossible to implement it. Especially for open-source blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Until we discover a mechanism that allows us to apply the Sybil costs without TTPblockchains without access restrictions will not be able to achieve satisfactory decentralization.

Mining questioned

The performance of the extraction method was criticized in the report. According to the security company, there is currently no standard that allows sanction the dishonesty of minors. Also, when it comes to Bitcoin, miners do not participate in the mining process. Add to it the non-encryption and authentication of the Stratum protocol which is used for coordination between mining pools.

Moreover, according to the report, almost 51% of Sybil attacks from the past few years can all be used against Bitcoin. Note also that since 2021, 21% of Bitcoin nodes have been using a vulnerable version. Not to mention the three ISPs representing nearly 60% of its traffic.

In addition, according to Pentagon, it is not uncommon for non-blockchain vulnerabilities to be used to attack its services due to a server vulnerability.

Finally, the validity of blockchains like Ethereum has also been questioned. The report highlights in particular thefull Turing implementation on-chain that does not prevent smart contracts from being upgraded. This makes blockchains face the same trust issues as a centralized financial system.

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Pentagon reveals vulnerabilities in blockchain systems


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