The possibilities of malware “polluting” Ethereum
Ethereum virus defines malware which corrupts Ethereum platform with malicious code. More specifically, is it is a virus which pollutes blockchain data with malicious codes. Before discussing such scenario, it is necessary to realize what is Ethereum and what its purpose is.
A new way of verifying data
First of all, it is necessary to know that Ethereum is a “decentralized platform that runs smart contracts”. The network provides a haven for apps which are immune to censorship and third-party control. The service also grants access to Ethereum Virtual Machine. There, with the help of “nodes,” users all around the world can launch their scripts.
Secondly, the entire platform functions on the principle of blockchain technology. A blockchain is a list of records (blocks). They contain the information of software script or financial transaction. Furthermore, each block possesses a hash – unique identifier.
For instance, virus researchers use them to analyze and identify the origin of a file. Likewise, they can come up with a verdict: whether it is malicious or not.
Bitcoin transactions are laid on the basis of verifying these blockchain transactions. Within Ethereum, users can get paid for verifying transactions or other transfer information or performing computations.
Therefore, they are paid with “ether,” a form of cryptocurrency tokens. Blocks, which require solving math and crypto algorithms, are the keystone basis for mining cryptocurrency. Mining crypto-coins is not a novelty. Therefore, the virtual community is finding new craftier ways to do so.
Besides the hardware to do so, users create software for such purpose. One of the recent novelties is Coinhive, which allows coin-mining website owners on the expense using visitors’ PC CPU resources. Though Coinhive is a legal service, felons already made use of such idea of crafting their covert coin-mining techniques.
As a result, users are already targeted by fake browser extensions, apps and phishing sites containing coin-mining scripts. Thus, you might wonder how cryptocurrency mining, malware, and Ethereum are related.
The cons of Ethereum
Due to the very fact that Ethereum platform is accessible to everyone and anybody can verify information, the risk of malware arises. Felons can pollute certain blocks with malicious scripts.
Furthermore, they can extract the hash data, mold it into a new string of blockchain, modify it and then place into the network. Interpol warns, such modified blockchain data may be used for personal data theft, or direct users to malicious sites.
The publicity of Ethereum and access to blockchain data may be used for future zero-attacks or create marketplaces for illegal activities. Depending on the origin of the malware, traditional methods might be effective to remove Ehereum virus. However, with the diversity of the malware, the efficiency of such methods wanes.
With the increasing popularity of this platform, more users join it. However, with no watchdog of the placed content on the platform, many gullible users may fall for the trap. There is evidence suggesting that blockchain technology may be subject to botnet attack.
On the other hand, staying with the traditional data sharing and financial transaction method, i.e. using credit card company and online bank services is not a significantly better solution either. The recent case of Equifax data breach reveals the vulnerabilities and disadvantages of such option. Relying solely on third-party authorized organization and companies is not an option.
Speaking of Ethereum, publicity happens to be its advantage as well as the flaw. Therefore, the virtual community needs to solve the issue how to embrace the benefits of Ethereum but at the same time protect the interests of users, software developers, and third-party organizations in order to tackle malware. Now let us discuss Ethereum virus removal options.
Facing and terminating Ethereum malware
Evaluating the risks and dangers of Ethereum network should be crucial. While cyber felons are working on various forms of Ethereum virus, users of the platform should remain vigilant.
The virtual community should find new ways how to protect Ethereum database. Malware invasion into the platform may soon shatter the trust among its users, thus, resulting in the status quo of diverting to current financial data verification models.
Furthermore, cyber security forces, as well as users, will have to find ways how to counterattack various Ethereum virus variations as standard elimination methods may not be sufficient.