Saturday, 22 October 2016 17:12

Blockchain Technology May Be Borrowed By DARPA To Secure Military Networks

Blockchain, the technology that underlies digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has acquired a different identity. According to Steve Norton’s article “CIO Explainer: What Is Blockchain?” published in the Wall Street Journal, he explains how the technology is emerging as an alternative way for companies to instantaneously make and verify their network transactions. A considerable number of firms are experimenting with Blockchain technology for different purposes. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is studying the possible implementation of the Blockchain technology as a way of securing sensitive military systems; which could also help in ensuring the safe storage of nuclear weapons.

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The Blockchain technology provides a number of benefits which are the main reasons why it has caused a stir in the technology as well as the business world. Its major benefit is security. Blockchain allows the universal recording of all transactions taking place into “blocks,” which are then chronologically and cryptographically bound together into a “chain.” The security advantage also arises from the one-way nature of the blockchain encryption process which prevents the ledgers from being tampered with. In the case of Bitcoin, it makes sure that all Bitcoins sent from wallet to wallet can be accounted for and tracked.

The transaction ledgers are stored in multiple locations. This distributed nature makes hacking more difficult, unlike when a centralized ledger is used. It makes data secure by making it almost impossible to hide activity by modifying the data since there are multiple copies of the database on different computers across the network.

According to Timothy Booher, the leader of DARPA’s Blockchain implementation efforts, Blockchain makes it difficult to modify or steal system files. Using the analogy of castle defense, he explains that despite the implementation of more and more security policies and measures, hackers can still find a way in; much like people can still get into a castle despite efforts to build high walls and seal cracks. It’s important to know who got in and what activities they carried out while inside. With Blockchain technology, this type of information is securely logged and cannot be altered. The technology can help avoid instances where agencies are not even aware they have been hacked until it’s too late to stop their private data from being made public.

Progress has so far been made in DARPA’s efforts with formal verification being carried out. A computer security firm was contracted by DARPA to test a Blockchain implementation which was provided by a different contractor. This process is carried out to make sure that the technology implemented works as intended. Depending on the findings of the verification, DARPA may implement Blockchain to monitor information integrity in military systems that require high security such the nuclear weapon and satellite surveillance control systems. Such an implementation would enhance security by making it extremely difficult to alter information. It would also make it possible to easily and accurately detect any access or change to any file by providing an immutable record.

Even though bitcoin has previously had some problems and its ability to gain universal acceptance as a substitute for regular money is questioned, the blockchain technology might just change the world, as reported by Extreme Tech.

Source : deepdotweb

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