While black hat hackers usually use their skill and knowledge for evil intent such as breaking into investors’ computers and bypassing crypto exchange security protocols to steal money, white hat hackers are using theirs for positive contributions in the crypto ecosystem, and they have reported earned $878,000 from cryptocurrency bug bounties in the last 12 months.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, especially exchanges are the primary target of black hat hackers to perform their nefarious acts.
In the first two months of 2018, Coincheck and BitGrail lost more than $500 million and $195 million worth of cryptos respectively to these hackers. In June, both Coinrail and Bithumb were hack victims suffering losses of $40 million and $30 million in cryptocurrency respectively. The list goes on and on, and according to reports on TheNextWeb, a minimum of 3000 vulnerabilities have been reported in 2018.
With bug bounty programs, however, companies invite hackers and ask them to try to break and bypass their security systems. During the competition, the participants are expected to report any vulnerability so that the company can fix it before black hat hackers use it against them.
HackerOne, a bug bounty platform that connects companies with hackers, claimed that its hackers were able to generate $534,500 (60% of this year’s bounties so far) from Block.one, the startup behind EOS, TheNextWeb reported.
Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the US, has reportedly given out $290,381 for bug bounties in 2018, making it the second-largest spender in bug competition this year. Following closely is Tron, who allegedly spent $76,200 this year for the same purpose.
According to a HackerOne representative, about 4% of all the bug prizes awarded to hackers on the platform so far in 2018 were from cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. The representative also went further to state that these rewards from the crypto industry were more profitable for hackers when compared to other industries.
Promoting Security in the Crypto Space
In an attempt to improve its security systems, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has announced a SAFU Hackathon with $100,000 BNB as prizes to be won.
The hackathon has been scheduled for Jan 19 – 20 as a part of the exchange’s Singapore blockchain week. The Winners of the competition will also receive mentorship from top blockchain companies such as Ethereum Foundation, Binance Labs, and more.