Web3: I enjoy learning about many cybersecurity-related topics, and as a result of my exploration, I now have a deeper grasp of cybersecurity.
So now that it’s trendy and everyone wants to do it, I figured I could also learn more about blockchain security. I so reasoned that I should share those things with you and my learning with everyone as I come to understand them. So let’s get this blog going.
Comparison of Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0
In the 1990s, Web1 was developed as a platform for businesses to build static pages and websites. The platform where users may now add and generate content was upgraded with Web2. Simply said, Web3 is thought of as the third iteration or avatar of what you may refer to as the internet.
The situation with Web3 is different. Web 3.0 is a network that is accessible to both computers and people. To put it simply, Web 1 is your dictionary, Web 2 is Wikipedia, and Web 3.0 is the upcoming massive database that both AI and people will be able to access.
Web 3.0 is distinctive in a number of ways. More decentralization and increased user and company control over their data are promised with this iteration of the internet.
It will no longer be controlled solely by Google and Facebook. One could argue that Web 2.0 overly emphasized advertising and marketing, a problem that Web 3 seeks to solve.
What Web3 is in reality:
The next phase of internet development is Web3. It is a decentralized, open-source network that enables safe, peer-to-peer communication without the use of middlemen.
This new web version will run on blockchain technology and be entirely decentralized (running on the same technology that has allowed for the growth and adoption of cryptocurrency).
Unfamiliar people should know that a blockchain is a shared distributed database or ledger between endpoints on a computer system.
It enables the storing of electronic data in a manner that ensures the confidentiality of the record data without requiring a third party.
This means that, in the context of cryptocurrencies, transactions can be recorded and verified without the involvement of a third party like a bank or a national government.
What sets web3 apart?
In the past and present, AI could only gather information from web pages 1 and 2 and show or relay it to you in its current form.
However, Web3 will enable AI and machine learning to retrieve data from the web, comprehend information, and present it in a thorough manner.
E.g., Siri and Alexa now respond to questions with statements like “According to Wikipedia,” and the text-to-speech response is taken directly from the Wikipedia entry.
With Web3, Siri, and Alexa would be able to search through a variety of sources of data and provide a thorough response to the user’s individual question.
This is but one possible instance of how Web3 could enhance the usage of AI and machine learning.
The architect of Web1 and Web3, Tim Berners Lee, essentially thinks that Web3 is a web associated with quality and that depends on how data is consumed.
Anyone can add data and content to Web3 without it being regulated by centralized gatekeepers. The goal of Web3 is to offer a platform where information and content can be understood by both humans and machines.
Web3 as it stands right now:
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 changed their separate architectural and security approaches in the past to open up additional economies. Through the Secure Sockets Layer, Netscape enabled secure communication between user browsers and servers in Web1 (SSL).
Transport Layer Security (TLS), the SSL replacement, was driven by Web2 intermediates like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon as well as other certificate authorities.
Web3 will also evolve in a similar way to Web2, albeit with increased investment in web3 applications and web3 security businesses. And the reason for this is that a decentralized web will need web3 applications, also known as dApps and decentralized security apps.
These web3 applications and web3 apps will need to be built without the typical web2 application logic and database layers.
Web3 applications will operate using a paradigm that includes blockchain, network nodes, and the usage of smart contracts to handle logic and state, in contrast to web2 applications, which follow a specific structure.
Web3 firms and web3 cybersecurity firms have received a lot of money due to the impending arrival of web3.
Web3 startups have attracted funding rounds totaling more than $1 billion due to the notion that web3 will be the next platform intimately associated with cryptocurrencies and digital wallets.
A few web3 companies, like Ledger and Fireblocks, will create security web3 applications, which are anticipated to gain popularity soon.
French security infrastructure provider Ledger received $380 million in funding the previous year. Similar finance for cryptosecurity was obtained by Fireblocks, amounting to $310 million.
The primary distinction between web3, web2, and web1 in terms of protection is that once a transaction is completed, it cannot be undone, making protection, security, and monitoring necessary.
Advantages of Web3
Despite its security issues, Web3 has numerous advantages over conventional Web 2.0 systems.
The following are a few advantages of Web3:
Enhanced security: Because web3 lacks a single point of control, it may be more resistant to hacking and other security risks. Giving organizations more control over their data and equipment enables the creation of new technologies that may be much more secure than those now in use (for example, blockchain technology).
Reduced prices: Web3 can assist in lowering costs for both users and enterprises by doing away with the requirement for intermediaries. Companies can charge individuals for access when they have a monopoly over any sector, including data and technology. People can get information more affordably by making it available online or by making the technology open source.
Enhanced privacy: Web3 platforms are frequently developed with privacy in mind, so users may be confident that their data is secure. It is less probable that information will be unintentionally disclosed to any third parties because the majority of platforms are built to utilize encryption by default for all communications and don’t exchange information with other users. Additionally, since no one is directly in charge of the conversations, there is very little risk that someone will sell your information to a party with an interest.
Greater control: Users have more control when they interact directly with one other and the data they desire than when they employ an intermediary.
Lack of Accountability Hazards with Web3: With the introduction of Web3, there are several risks that need to be considered. The possibility of losing control is the first. With Web3, there is no single entity in charge of the network. This implies that there won’t be anyone around to remedy anything if it goes wrong. Currently, compliance requirements require organizations who control information to protect that data, Ensure its integrity and put in place specific procedures to guarantee user privacy. In a decentralized market, nobody is in charge of making sure that these safeguards and regulations are in place.
Lack of Centralized Control and Data Access in Web3 Making educated judgments can be challenging when there is a lack of consolidated data since information is dispersed among numerous departments and locations. While decentralized data has numerous advantages for individual users, it can be challenging for enterprises to make sound business decisions without high-quality data. Businesses can learn a lot about their rivals, clients, and other stakeholders by having centralized data that serves as a single source of truth. It can be more difficult to analyze without that knowledge.
Security flaws in Web3 and blockchain technologies: Due to their decentralized nature, Web3 and blockchain technologies pose special security difficulties. It is challenging to monitor and manage security vulnerabilities in these networks since there is no centralized body in charge of them. These technologies are also a target for hackers since they are frequently utilized to store sensitive data.
Despite these difficulties, there are several actions businesses may take to boost security.
They can first create a thorough security plan that takes into account the special features of these technologies. As a business, you must comprehend the kinds of devices required to provide your services before developing a plan to safeguard those devices by your requirements. Threat modeling, which is a formal process of identifying risks relevant to your organization and their corresponding mitigations, is frequently used to accomplish this in the cybersecurity area.
Second, they can collaborate with other businesses to exchange knowledge and assets. You can acquire advice and guidance on how your company can use this technology efficiently by engaging with other companies who are subject matter experts in Web3. Finally, they can spend money on R&D to keep on top of developments. Since this is a new market, it is crucial for businesses that want to lead the way to spending in R&D to provide novel solutions before their rivals.
Web3’s effects on cybersecurity:
New prospects for cybersecurity have emerged with the rise of Web3, or the decentralized web. Web3 apps are more secure and resistant to attacks than conventional web applications because they store data and information on a distributed ledger.
Web3 does, however, also provide fresh cybersecurity difficulties. For instance, smart contracts, which are blockchain-based applications, may have security flaws that hackers may use against them. Additionally, it can be challenging to find and punish cybercriminals due to the pseudonymous nature of many Web3 services.
Data is kept in one central location in a centralized system. Typically, a single organization, like the government or a corporation, is in charge of this central site. Data is dispersed among a network of computers in a decentralized system. This makes it possible for numerous separate entities to control the data.
Decentralized data can be applied in a wide variety of ways. The deep web is one illustration of this in the context of cybersecurity. The deep web is the area of the internet that is not indexed by typical search engines like Google, for those who are unfamiliar. About 95% of the data on the internet is stored in the deep web, which is a goldmine of data for hackers. People go here to purchase virus kits, find other hackers, and engage in all kinds of criminal online activity. We may anticipate that cybercriminals will have more access to this type of information as the internet becomes less centralized and regulated.
Additional Endpoints for Hackers to Attack:
Over the past few years, the number of devices connected to the internet has constantly increased. It has about 15 billion devices worldwide and is expanding at a rate of about 18% annually. As a result, attackers have access to more prospective victims than before. Security teams will need to monitor their environments and harden their systems with increased vigilance going forward. This applies to any internet-accessible smart gadgets, including smart automobiles, Bluetooth devices, and medical implants (like pacemakers), not simply devices like laptops and smartphones.
Possibility of Improved Platform Security:
The inherent security of technologies like blockchain is one of their advantages. Some of the wealthiest people in the world were willing to invest millions of dollars in goods like Bitcoin and Ethereum because they feel so secure. We haven’t yet observed any instances of the blockchain being compromised to create fake digital coins, which may be a good omen for the future.
Ownership of Data or Information:
As more people exercise their right to control their data, the trend toward data ownership has grown in recent years.
Many of the platforms we use, like social media, are truly the proprietors of our information as they are currently set up. They have the right to use and frequently sell our personal information to businesses with a stake in knowing more about us. No one entity will be able to gather and sell our personal information in a decentralized data environment. The data will only be disclosed to those with whom we want to share it and will be securely stored on computers under our control.
The Central Point of Control is eliminated:
We are moving away from having a single point of control for our data thanks to Web3, which is a significant change. Technology advancements like blockchain and distributed ledger technology are causing this transformation, which is already underway.
Users now have greater control and flexibility over their data thanks to this. One significant benefit is that it will increase the internet’s resistance to censorship since without a central authority managing information, individuals will be free to express their ideas and thoughts to others wherever in the world.
Web3’s security challenges:
A decentralized web platform increases the risk of vulnerability and security lapses. Blackhat hackers will come up with creative ways to simultaneously access bank data and empty digital wallets.
Web3 has enormous development potential, however, there are numerous cybersecurity dangers to be aware of because of how poorly built and defined Web 3.0 is.
Insufficiently reliable information:
Web1 depends on reliable publishers to supply accurate information. Because of the massive rise in false information provided by users, Web2 saw a significant decline in the quality of its data. Web3’s reliance on AI and machine learning could result in more dubious data.
It is difficult to determine whether AI would be able to distinguish between reality and fiction and to recognize which information sources are reliable given the state of AI and machine learning today.
When it comes to AI and machine learning, intentional data manipulation is a serious cybersecurity issue. Uncertain information quality and bad data results can both be produced by user-generated material.
An enormous amount of disinformation can be spread via AI and web3 applications, which is a digital nightmare.
An example of this would be when Twitter users fed Microsoft’s experimental AI chatbot Tay with misogynistic and racist messages, turning it into a hateful program.
Tay was created as a chatbot that developed its intelligence through informal Twitter discussions with individuals. The results came in less than 24 hours and were extremely alarming. This demonstrates how user-supplied information can have a wide range of effects.
Availability of Data:
When talking about web3, data accessibility is a significant issue that needs to be taken into account. What action does the AI take if a web page is down or a link is broken?
Would making a backup of all the data on the internet using these AI and web3 applications allow for access at all times? This might lead to a greater reliance on systems’ availability over which an IT team has limited control.
Data breaches frequently damage private information and are a typical occurrence. Additionally, such content may unintentionally leak or be placed in an unprotected area of the internet.
The fact that AI and machine learning web3 applications can come across this material as a result of their frequent scanning and absorb it into their data banks/knowledge bases makes it riskier in web3.
Why is this risky? It’s because AI uses private data, which anyone may discover and utilize. Therefore, web3 and cybersecurity businesses will need to step up their game and strengthen security to make sure that none of their data is spread online.
Blockchain and Web3 Security Vulnerabilities:
Security flaws and data breaches are more common than ever. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of cybersecurity threats and data breaches in 2021 will be at an all-time high.
Despite this, web3 has some security weaknesses, and because it is decentralized, it may be vulnerable to even more dangers in the future.
Web3 architecture has the potential for financial incentives that can be earned by a hacker with a web3 vulnerability, in contrast to traditional IT and cloud installations.
Before web2, cybercriminals had mostly access to websites and services but extremely infrequently to cash advantages.
A surge in blockchain security flaws results from web3 interaction with blockchains since many different digital wallets and currencies can now be accessed from a single location.
The Wormhole Bridge is a recent case study for a web3 blockchain security problem. An interoperability protocol called the wormhole bridge enables users and decentralized apps (dApps) to transfer assets between different blockchains.
The web3 and blockchain security flaw allowed a hacker to escape with 120,000 Ethereum, which is worth $360 million. All of this was accomplished by using a bridge in the Solana blockchain as cover.
Taking on Web3 Cybersecurity Issues:
The response is a key component of the Web 2.0 security paradigm. Since transactions cannot be changed once they have been completed, mechanisms must be introduced to web3 to determine if transactions should ever occur in the first place.
In other words, security must be outstanding in thwarting threats.
A proactive web3 security strategy might be established by at least four actions:
info from a reliable source for exploits:
For all known web3 faults and vulnerabilities, there must be a single source of truth.
We need a Web3 that is decentralized. Presently, places like SWC Registry, Rekt, Smart Contract Attack Vectors, and DeFi Threat Matrix may have incomplete data.
Programs like Immunefi’s bug bounty program are meant to reveal new vulnerabilities.
Decision-making guidelines for security:
The decision-making process for important security design decisions and specific events in web3 is currently unknown.
Decentralization implies that no one is responsible for the issues, which could have detrimental effects on users.
A warning should be heeded before entrusting security to a decentralized community after the recent Log4j issue.
How DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), security professionals, service providers like Alchemy and Infura, and others collaborate to address emerging security threats needs to be made clearer.
Validation and Signature:
Most apps do not yet verify or sign their API answers, including the most popular ones.
This means that there is a gap in guaranteeing that the response is from the correct app and that the data hasn’t been tampered with whenever a user’s wallet gets data from these apps.
It is nearly hard for users to demonstrate their security posture and trustworthiness in a world where apps do not adhere to core security best practices.
Better methods of warning consumers about risks are at the very least needed.
Better Key Management Controlled by the User
In the web3 paradigm, users’ ability to transact is predicated on cryptographic keys. Cryptographic keys are generally hard to manage; whole industries have been established around key management and still are.
The main reason why customers choose hosted wallets over non-custodial wallets is the difficulty and risk of managing private keys.
While the third and fourth initiatives will require technology changes, the first two are more concerned with people and procedures.
The fact that web3 security innovation is now occurring in the open is one of the most exciting developments, and we should never undervalue the potential for creative solutions.
Protecting Personal Information on the Web3:
Enhanced data security is required as a result of this increased interconnectedness. It’s more crucial than ever to ensure that our data is protected from hackers and other cybercriminals because there is so much information being shared and kept online.
In Web3, there are a few methods we may safeguard our data. One is to encrypt our data, making it accessible to only authorized individuals. Although HTTP, which uses encryption, is currently in use on the internet, it is still crucial that you take extra efforts to employ encryption wherever it is feasible. To safeguard your data from eavesdroppers, you should, for instance, use a VPN to guarantee that it is encrypted at all times and enable encryption while your data is in rest or storage. When accessing unsecured networks like free WiFi, library WiFi, or internet cafe wifi, this is extremely crucial.
Reduce the number of locations where you share data, as another piece of advice. Your data is more likely to be compromised the more people or businesses you share it with. By giving third-party organizations the least amount of information feasible, you wish to reduce your possibilities of exposure. Before deciding to disclose your personal information with a company, you should conduct your research to make sure they are reputable.
Finally, we may limit who has access to our data by using authentication and permission procedures. Strong passwords and two-factor authentication help us protect our accounts, which decreases the likelihood that our account will be compromised and, consequently, the likelihood that information will leak.
It’s critical to be aware of the new cybersecurity vulnerabilities that come with the transition to the Web3 era. The majority of attacks in the past have mostly aimed to steal data or bring down systems. Attackers can now focus on these programs and interfere with their functionality thanks to the popularity of decentralized applications and smart contracts. Both users and corporations may suffer financial losses as a result of this.