Currently, financial systems across the world are looking at a promising future of Blockchain technology which is in its nascent phase. Though Blockchain technology has evolved as the most secure form of executing financial transactions, Blockchain smart contracts are vulnerable to cyber security threats. Blockchain smart contracts are exposed to cyber-attacks at various stages and the vulnerabilities in smart contracts are the software weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers. Now before we try to understand cybersecurity and vulnerabilities of smart contracts, it is imperative to know about what Blockchain smart contracts are and how it works.
By definition, a smart contract is an immutable digital agreement/contract of any virtual transaction that gets stored on the blockchain. To perform the transfer of any digital assets, data from blockchain first gets verified by the smart contract and when all conditions are met then the transfer of digital assets takes place. These get stored in nodes which are distributed computers in the network that have the record of the entire blockchain. The smart contracts are part of DApp (decentralized applications) which is deployed on Ethereum, which is the most popular decentralized blockchain platform for virtual currency transactions. Smart contracts are vulnerable as they are publicly exposed to cyber threats at various stages and that’s where smart contract security is one of the major concerns for blockchain experts. Though the blockchain is secure for peer-to-peer functioning and public registry, it is vulnerable at the smart contract development stage and at various re-entry points of smart contract transactions.
There is no comprehensive list of vulnerabilities that is available publicly to which smart contracts are exposed. This makes it difficult for blockchain developers to control and fix these vulnerabilities, cropping in at various stages of smart contract transactions. Officially there are 37 vulnerability categories that are written in Solidity, which is the programming language of designing smart contracts. These vulnerability categories are all defined on the SWC registry, which can be caused by many reasons. Vulnerabilities may come from the code itself during development. It is very important to ensure that smart contract code development should be done very carefully to avoid vulnerabilities into the smart contract. The remediation process of these vulnerabilities is very costly and manual in nature, which makes it very difficult to control the exposure of cyber threats. Any software weakness is a vulnerability and hence the list of 40 can easily go up to a big number. The risk is very high to have vulnerabilities in a smart contract of a DApp (distributed application). This is because smart contracts act like bank ATMs. It can transfer tokens in an unintended fashion because of the vulnerabilities it has. It is important to fix all the vulnerabilities before deploying the smart contract. There is a huge need for vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management in the Blockchain cybersecurity industry for securing smart contracts.
The smart contract remediation procedures are available in market that are performed by the Red team of code auditors, DLT, Vulnerability assessor, Penetration testers, Blue team of DLT forensic experts, SOC (L-X), SOC Ar., IRs, THs, and Yellow team of DLT architects, engineers, coders, developers, and programmers. The vulnerability assessment procedures that are available are in Web2 technology which involves manual testing and also continuous involvement of the testing team and development team. Performance testing in Web2 technology is not very effective and prone to security loopholes. With these limitations, there is a dire need for automation and agility in testing procedures. New Web3 technology can perform automated vulnerability assessments of smart contracts which have decentralized web-based tools for blockchain.
State-of-Art Web3 technology-based BlockChainSentry application for smart contract vulnerabilities is capable of automating smart contract scanning, assessment, and remediation processes.
BlockChainSentry application scans any .sol file uploaded in its repository and shows the scanning result on the dashboard. The report that gets generated displays all the vulnerabilities and the severities of the vulnerabilities at the same time. BlockChainSentry application displays low, medium, and high vulnerability status of the severities on the dashboard. It also categorizes the vulnerabilities that can help in the prioritizing remediation process. BlockChainSentry application detects and locates the vulnerabilities and also provides guidance about vulnerability and how it can be remediated. The application automates the scan which means without any human error assessment 37 publicly known vulnerabilities get identified immediately and reported on the BlockChainSentry dashboard.
If you like to try our BlockChainSentry application for automating smart contract vulnerability management and remediation, please contact us for a 30 days trial of the application.