By Daniel Grossman
Objective: Investigate the extent that blockchain technology may help or hinder cybersecurity.
Method: Use a blockchain-based ledger to store cyber activity logs.
Blockchain-based activity log
We developed an application which captures both static information (the hardware features of a device, including manufacturer, version number, MAC address etc.) and dynamic information (network communication information, including encryption keys, IP addresses, etc.) using Hyperledger Fabric.
The application, called a Cybersecurity Monitoring Client (CMC), was deployed on a Raspberry Pi imitating servers used in IT infrastructure. Besides monitoring all network communications in and out of the device, the CMC pushed information to a cloud-based ledger.
More specifically, the CMC transferred cyberactivity logs to a permissioned blockchain using the key-value pairs assigned to the static and dynamic information. This ultimately created a “Digital Twin” block of cyberactivity information updated at regular intervals according to a smart contract.
Why is this important?
A major strength of blockchains is that they’re immutable. This means that once information is verified on-chain, it cannot be altered. Provided that the verification mechanism is secure, the information should be very legitimate.
Since the information logged by the CMC is pushed to a permissioned blockchain, one can trust it’s legitimacy (as long as there is no interfering party on-device). No one can change the recorded information, providing a permanent ledger of cyberactivity that can be preserved for security analysis. Furthermore, permissioned blockchains require permissions to verify information, restricting the flow of information to only those granted access by administrators.
By developing a blockchain-based cyberactivity ledger, we better understand how to apply new technological advancements in consensus and data storage to secure network activity, which will be important for Web 3.
Original report: ASU BC Cybersecurity Project – Task 1 Final Report-v5