The blockchain, with its attachment to the volatile bitcoin, has had its share of negative and positive press. But a new report from a team of cybersecurity researchers at INTERPOL — the world’s largest international police organization — shows that there may be a new threat to the blockchain.
The research indicates that the threat relates to the blockchain in virtual transactions that could lead to “malware or other illegal data” being embedded into the blockchain, according to a news release about the issue. As the public ledger of all bitcoin transactions, securing the blockchain technology is vital for digital currencies.
According to an INTERPOL cybersecurity leader and a Kaspersky Lab specialist that came from the Research and Innovation unit at INTERPOL’s Global Complex for Innovation, the open space on the blockchain that enabled to public ledge of transactions is the aspect that could be hacked by malware threats. The research was unveiled at the Black Hat Asia 2015 event in Singapore.
“To conduct this type of research and identify new cyberthreats were among the key aims behind the creation of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation,” IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani said in the news release. “Having identified this threat, it is now important for INTERPOL to spread awareness amongst the public and law enforcement, as well as encourage support from communities working in this field to find solutions for the potential blockchain ‘abuse.’”
The research indicated that based on how the blockchain technology is constructed, that could allow malware to be “injected and permanently hosted with no methods currently available to wipe this data.” It also showed that it could be used for future criminal actions, such as “illegal underground marketplaces dealing in private keys which would allow access to this data.”