In a nutshell, a smart contract is an agreement between buyers and sellers, the execution of which is automated, allowing all parties involved to get the outcome as soon as possible without the intermediary or time delays.
A smart contract is accessible to all users of a given blockchain. Yet a scenario can arise where security weaknesses and vulnerabilities become visible as well. Then, these possible security loopholes can be exploited by attackers or cybercriminals to damage an organization's smart contract, which eventually may lead to revenue loss and disclosure of customer data.
In this article, there are several tips to help you secure your smart contracts against cyberattacks and hacking attempts.
Cyber Attacks on Blockchain/Smart Contracts Cases
Although smart contract technology is growing in use, common errors still occur from time to time. Here are some recent events indicating that smart contracts, as blockchain technology, are not safe from cyberattacks and exploitation of vulnerabilities:
- In 2016, a DAO named Genesis DAO was cracked by hacker(s) who took advantage of a security loophole in the system. The hackers reportedly stole $50 million in ETH from Genesis DAO's investors.
- In August 2021, one of the major crypto robberies occurred. Attackers stole $613 million worth of cryptocurrency from Poly Network. They exploited a security vulnerability in the digital contracts Poly Network utilizes.
How to Secure Smart Contracts
Security is essential for smart contracts. When securing smart contracts, many factors must be taken into consideration, such as coding errors, protocol bugs, compilation errors, and different network attacks.
To minimize the risk of cyberattacks, it's absolutely important to develop smart contracts with a high level of attention to security. Given below are some tips on how to ensure error-free smart contracts code as well as to create a strong security culture.
Write a more secure smart contract code using best practices
First, consider selecting which blockchain network you prefer to work with. If you have no specific preferences yet, check out the transaction times and costs of various platforms. The platform you choose mostly influences which programming languages can be used to write your smart contracts.
Smart contracts are developed in different programming languages such as Solidity, Vyper, Go or Rust, etc. Following all established and freely available resources for coding a secure smart contract is very important.
Write short and sensible functions, separate the logic either by using several contracts or by grouping related functions, use well-tested libraries, design proper access controls, avoid copy-paste, employ a dependency manager, secure the development life-cycle, and keep a regular check on your contracts after deployment.
Conduct Smart Contract Security Audit
Subjecting your smart contract to third-party audits is an efficient means of obtaining unbiased analysis and finding security loopholes. Hexens will be the best choice for you as it offers a completely new approach to cybersecurity solutions.
The experienced team at Hexens will audit your smart contract for common types of attacks, analyze the code, dig deep into the technology flows to strengthen the security of your smart contract. Our multi-auditor approach shows astonishing results, Hexens’ primary goal is to provide incomparable experience when dealing with your cybersecurity needs.
These analyses not only would help you learn about bugs in your contract but also enable your team to optimize your code and enhance the performance of your smart contract.
Be Sure to Consider Blockchain Particularities
Take into account the nature of blockchain and smart contracts at every phase, from preparation and development to pre-release testing. Be mindful that smart contracts are software with open code and storage.
Once attackers dig inside smart contracts, they can attempt to detect and exploit flaws in the code. Moreover, any confidential user details such as passwords or ID numbers recorded in a smart contract will be made publicly available.
Eliminate as Many Risks as Possible During the Development
Before implementing a smart contract into the main network, it is essential to cover the entire code with unit tests to review the logic for possible test cases. This way, you make sure that the smart contract performs precisely as it should and declines anything that shouldn't be executed.
Putting too much functionality into smart contracts offers great opportunities for hackers, so ensure that your smart contract comprises only the required business logic and nothing else.
Use Automated Vulnerability Scanners or Automatic Validation Tools
An automated security vulnerability scanner can aid in analyzing the security of a smart contract. This can help you detect bugs in the code that might result in security weaknesses, as well as help you prevent possible attacks. You can also use automated validation tools to check your smart contract and help you increase its security to the maximum extent possible.
In addition, you should research all known attacks and vulnerabilities targeting the type of smart contract you intend to develop. Lots of classifications of smart contract weaknesses, as well as security recommendations and testing tools exist, but these vary greatly depending on the specific blockchain network. Even though automated validation tools are good to collect some vulnerabilities, they never can or should replace a professional audit.
In conclusion, creating a sound security culture with clear procedures and conducting an audit by Hexens will enhance the security of your smart contract.