Ransomware incidents are skyrocketing, on the rise 485% globally in 2020 Compared to last year, according to cybersecurity firm Bitdefender. However, many attacks go unreported to the authorities because revealing “we have been hacked” to the world can damage even the company’s best reputation.

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Cyber ​​attacks have been around for decades, but the most recent major health facilities, food manufacturers, educational institutions and investment firm Has opened the world’s eyes to the prevalence of ransomware. Every country, government, industry and organization with an online presence is vulnerable to a ransomware attack. Unlike crypto-jacking (which even the least skilled hackers can maneuver), ransomware is more destructive and involves extensive research, conspiracy, and technical expertise.

Further complicating the issue is the sheer number of ransomware attacks demanding payment by cryptocurrency. Crypto is becoming the “go-to” in demand for payments for hackers today because payments are quick and reliable. Victims want access to their systems restored as quickly as possible, so hackers demand bitcoins instead of wire transfers or payments that can take hours or days to process.

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Unlike demanding ransom using traditional currency, which banks and processing companies can withhold, the crypto market does not have the same regulatory oversight. Hence, criminals can bypass the ‘Know Your Customer’ procedures of banks. And because it is digital, crypto is quickly and easily transferred by hackers around the world.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Since all crypto transactions are recorded on the ledger of a blockchain, tools exist today to mitigate attacks and make reported ransomware traceable. While these tools help law enforcement track transactions, recover assets, and identify hackers, they do not eliminate the widespread ransomware problem. What’s more, many hackers and cybercriminals take advantage of the dark web, which severely hinders traceability and recovery.

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There is an ongoing debate among major global government agencies, investors, blockchain providers and crypto enthusiasts about how we can work together to stop ransomware. Offers include Ransomware payment banhandjob making cryptocurrency illegal And Companies need to immediately disclose ransomware attacks. While these approaches cut off the hackers’ cash supply and prevented companies from handing over their money, the impact on crypto investing individuals as well as crypto companies would prove disastrous. Regulating the cryptocurrency space and/or restricting certain exchanges will make it more difficult to process and help trace transactions; However, hackers will only find other ways to hide and hide transactions such as privacy wallets.

In my work with Proofchain Protocol in the blockchain security field, the question we ask is how can we eliminate ransomware so that we can finally begin to understand the enormous potential of blockchain and crypto technology? The answer lies in the same blockchain that is being used against us.

There are two main reasons why a ransomware attack is successful. The first focuses on state storage or how data is stored on the blockchain. Leading blockchains keep their data and transactions on a single, common centralized ledger. On this centralized network, transactions are grouped together in “blocks” that are arranged sequentially, and each must be independently secured. Each block contains a limited number of transactions and must depend on the other to validate the transaction. As usage increases, the ledger grows, which slows down transactions. All data is replicated across all nodes on a centralized blockchain, making it vulnerable to ransomware attacks. A user’s transactional data can potentially be exposed to everyone in the network, which raises privacy and security concerns beyond an external security breach.

The decentralization of the blockchain – and thus the storage of all evidence and data – is the first step in eliminating ransomware. This approach eliminates a centralized server and allows peer-to-peer transactions to occur in parallel, asynchronous and on-chain. Transactions scale independently of each other and with the size of the network, while preventing user data from being exposed to hackers, both internally and externally, among other users. A true peer-to-peer network means that users control their data and transactions; There are no supernodes, clusters or other third parties involved. I believe many experts in the crypto and blockchain world agree that decentralized blockchains are our best defense against ransomware. Unfortunately, most aren’t ready for the market yet.

The second reason ransomware is successful is because of the many security flaws found in the blockchain itself. Hackers break into cyber security by taking advantage of passwords and keys with the aim of ultimately keeping users safe. To eliminate the ransomware one has to eliminate the passwords and keys. 2021 IBM Cost of Data breach report concludes companies are adopting zero-trust security model Were in a better position to handle data breaches. Zero-trust, passwordless digital identity and biometric authentication technologies protect users, their data, their transactions and their investments. Additionally, QR codes and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology allow users to secure, authenticate and prove ownership of their digital and tangible assets, while allowing them to sell, rent or license their assets for monetization. allows. The ability to split and store private keys further enhances security for users.

Decentralized, peer-to-peer blockchains are the best way to build enterprise applications because of their ability to scale quickly and offer zero trust and selective disclosure. Their wealth – and identities – are inaccessible and untouchable. by 2022, gartner projects That “60% of large and global enterprises, and 90% of medium-sized enterprises, will implement passwordless methods in more than 50% of cases,” which will help prevent cyberattacks.

The crypto and blockchain communities are working together to combat ransomware by educating their users and the public. Although I have seen the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges and digital assets (particularly in sports, arts and entertainment), many people are unsure how this industry works, let alone how positively it can affect their daily lives. How can it affect Education is critical to helping governments, enterprises and communities better realize the potential that blockchain offers as a safe, secure and effective way to conduct businesses and promote participatory capitalism.

Blockchain has the power to restart global commerce and change the way data is shared between industries, companies and people around the world. Eliminating the ransomware is the first step in this change.