Replay attacks have been wreaking havoc on permissioned blockchain networks, and IBM has created a solution that could make this style of attack a thing of the past. A replay attack could be the difference between life and death in medical related permissioned blockchains, so ridding the world of them is high priority for most blockchain developers. IBM’s latest patent will secure the blockchain transmission channels and prevent hackers from instigating a replay attack.
What is a Replay Attack?
For the uninitiated, a replay attack sounds quite scary – and it can be. A replay attack is when data being transmitted across a blockchain is repeated or delayed by a malicious party. In a blockchain network, the malicious party will replay a message that has already been seen on the blockchain, resulting in the network repeating the same outcome. This causes networks to stall and freeze as an undesirable action from the blockchain occurs.
Meet the Latest IBM Patent
IBM has come to the rescue of the blockchain world once more with a fresh patent that will remove this attack once and for all. The patent outlines a new system whereby each transaction will be given a unique security certificate as well as a unique one time use security value. These combined indicate that the request is from a genuine source and the one time use number will mean that it cannot be repeated. These new parameters will render a repeat attack dead before it even makes it to the network.
IBM is Pioneering the Blockchain World
IBM has its fingers in a number of blockchain projects, and it’s using this technology for the betterment of the planet. Out in California, IBM is using blockchain technology and advanced sensors to track underground water usage to preserve water tables and prevent mass extinction of several species of insects. On top of this, IBM has teamed up with Ford to create a blockchain to track the world’s cobalt supply. Currently the Democratic Republic of Congo has the world’s largest reserves of cobalt, but much of this supply uses illegal child labor. In a bid to cut this out, Ford and IBM are using blockchain technology.
Preventing replay attacks is a huge step for IBM and is wonderful news for permissioned blockchain networks. There is no timeframe for the final protocol to be developed, tested and rolled out, but a solution is on the way. It will likely see action in the second half of 2019, meaning hackers don’t have long to devise a new way to disrupt people’s lives.