Before, blockchain technology was only used as a building block for cryptocurrency applications. Now, blockchain technology is being implemented in a plethora of different industries. This development is increasing the likelihood of cyber security risks impacting blockchain technology. Everyone must be cautious of dangerous activity online. Internet safety is of utmost importance; this is why educating yourself on online risks is beneficial. If you use blockchain-based technology, it’s time to get acquainted with common cybersecurity risks. This is how cyber security risks impact blockchain technology.
What is Blockchain?
Essentially, a blockchain is a virtual database where information is stored. Generally, information stored within the blockchain stems from a history of previous and new transactions. Blockchain was traditionally used as a storage place for cryptocurrency transactions, but many people are using blockchain to store other information. This trend has begun to complicate things and test the security levels of blockchains.
Healthcare institutions, real estate agencies, and other huge corporations use blockchains as databases. It must be noted that since those who aren’t experts in this type of technology are interacting with it regularly, the vulnerability of blockchains is at risk. Blockchains are commonly shared and used amongst large groups of people. If certain individuals use blockchain technology improperly, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
Why Should We Be Concerned about Security Risks?
When doing anything online, always be aware that security risks are relevant. Being cautious of cyber security threats is wise for even the most tech-savvy individuals. Most of us spend countless hours of the week using the internet. Cyber security risks are hidden everywhere. As of late, hackers have been specifically focusing on attacking blockchains.
They have done malicious acts such as reversing transactions and stealing private keys. Now you may be wondering: why would anyone waste their time hacking into a blockchain? There are many reasons blockchains have become one of the biggest targets for hackers. Firstly, there is money and confidential information that hackers can benefit from. Secondly, blockchain technology is newer and less established. This means there is an increased chance of weak spots in the foundation of blockchains.
Another reason why hackers are targeting blockchains is due to wanting to seek out cryptocurrency. You, like many, are probably constantly hearing about changes in the cryptocurrency scene. Many make their income or extra money by strategically trading via blockchain platforms.
Since there are endless amounts of money sitting in blockchain, hackers desire to break apart these technologies’ makeup and seek profit. “Whether you interact with blockchain for crypto trading or business uses, you must be concerned about the growing list of cyber security threats online. Learning about common tactics out there will better prepare you for unwanted scenarios,” shares Rudy Mathis, tech writer at Boom Essays.
What Are Some Cyber Security Risks to be Aware Of?
There are all sorts of cyber security risks on the internet. From telltale scams to unknown attacks, hackers always attempt to retrieve the information they plan to steal. Here are some of the cyber security risks that are threatening blockchains.
- 51% Attacks
Hackers can get away with retrieving just enough information to allow them to begin a cyber attack. One of the most popular ways hackers have been getting into blockchains is by gaining over half of the power, or 51% of a blockchain. Control of this ratio of a blockchain allows hackers to perform fraud and other dangerous activities. Hackers could double-charge transactions, rewrite blocks and cause serious damage. 51% of attacks occur during the early stages of a blockchain. Users mine blocks to grow a chain.
When a chain is first starting, there is rarely a high amount of miners interacting with the blocks. This creates the perfect opportunity for hackers to gain control over blockchains and follow through with their planned attacks. 51% of attacks can be prevented if you have enough people mining the blockchains and monitoring the safety of blocks.
- Phishing Attacks
A common cyber security threat you’ve likely heard of before is phishing. This tactic is used to manipulate those into trusting suspicious links. Most phishing is done through email or messaging mediums. Hackers will send a message that looks both official and legitimate to recipients. Phishing mail is meant to imitate a real message to convince an individual that nothing is wrong.
Blockchain key holders may receive an email notification from a hacker that appears as a real message. This can be a link to a login page or another site. If convinced, the recipient will enter their sensitive login information. When phishing attacks are successful, hackers easily gain access to one’s credentials that they can abuse to their liking. By looking for some key indicators, you can tell if an email is a phishing scam. These indicators include sketchy names for website links, lack of information from the email’s sender, and getting an unsuspected notification. You can also invest in antivirus software to fight against hackers.
- Failure to Regulate Blockchain Development
One of the most pressing issues in the blockchain scene is the lack of resources to regulate blockchain development. Many crypto fanatics are scared there will be less innovation regarding blockchain technology if there is too much regulation. This reality is making it easier for hackers to access blockchains daily. Companies also have a conflict due to different rules and practices being used.
The increase in fraud amongst blockchains is heavily due to the lack of regulation of blockchain development. “It’s in the best interest of developers to begin regulating blocks and keeping a close watch on these complicated technologies. By consistently keeping progress up to date, miners and developers can create a stronger system,” Greta Peterson, blockchain blogger at Write My Essay.
- Human Error
Truthfully, the things we do online can make it easier for hackers to get what they want. Human error is unavoidable. While we can do everything in our power to implement preventative measures, we will make mistakes once in a while. The way we store data and interact with technology is crucial. For example, you should never leave your passwords saved or stored on any device. This terrible habit makes it easy for hackers to access your information within seconds.
Human error has also resulted in vulnerabilities within blockchain technologies. This occurs when a user continuously interacts with a blockchain on the same devices in the same patterned behavior. These are known as endpoints, where the blockchain network ends. Hackers will observe users, learning how to steal their keys by collecting data from weak endpoints. The best thing you can do is avoid saving a key onto your device. Monitoring your usage and the site every so often is also another preventative measure you can take.
There are even more cyber security threats you want to be cautious of; these are just some of the primary ones that impact blockchain technology. When interacting with complex technologies such as a blockchain, you need to know what you are doing.
Taking steps to educate yourself on potential threats will lead to positive outcomes in the long run. Ensure that you get antivirus software, keep your sensitive information safe, and be careful with who you interact online. You don’t want to fall victim to the endless threats and cyber security risks online. By working together, we can help diminish the risk of cyber security impacts on blockchain technology.