- 1 Introduce to The Future of SSL Certificates
- 2 Final Thoughts:
Introduce to The Future of SSL Certificates
Many fraudulent activities are happening in the crypto space, and the one who grabbed the eyeballs was the Binance Hack. When cyber-criminals attacked this cryptocurrency exchange, they managed to fish out 7,000 BTC, ($40M at that time; now amounting to $83.5M) in one single transaction.
The Binance CEO had to revoke the Bitcoin blockchain to descend the attack. There were rumors that the hackers had mirrored the URL of the cryptocurrency exchange site of Binance. This led to crypto traders losing out on their finances and digital assets while accidentally logging in to such sites.
As far as the cryptocurrency is involved, this exchange was stored electronically in the blockchain using SSL encryption techniques to control the monetary units and verify the fund transfers. Before I move to what is blockchain, and how it works, let’s discuss the importance of SSL certificates in the crypto space.
Why are SSL Certificates Important in the Crypto space?
Crypto space is an official cash lounge of Bitcoin, which encourages cryptocurrency fans to adopt digital currencies. Trust is the most crucial factor of any business. Now that companies are turning digital (crypto platforms), in which products/services are exchanged, and funds are transferred online, a secure and safe environment helps create trust.
Before cryptocurrency, HTTPS and padlock were considered trust indicators that came with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates. SSL encryption securities were and are compulsory for e-commerce markets since the private information of customers is involved. Though SSL certificates are continually securing websites, there are cases of an increase in vulnerabilities and crypto exchanges being exposed to hackers.
Example: Heartbleed bug is a severe vulnerability in OpenSSL software that allows hackers to steal private information by compromising the secret keys. These loopholes in SSL securities have led to the birth of blockchain storage systems. Web security experts are debating how blockchain is a viable replacement for SSL certificate security in the future.
What is Blockchain?
In the modern digital era, a lot of people are asking the question:
What is blockchain?
Is it a rock-solid answer to all the digital security issues?
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If you have been into cryptocurrencies in the last few years, you may be aware of blockchain, reflecting record-keeping technology behind the Bitcoin network.
Blockchain is an unusual type of database storage, which stores the data in blocks and later chains them, and hence the name blockchain emerged. All the new data will be held in a new block. Once the block gets filled with data, it is chained to the previous block in sequential order.
The best use of blockchain is made for the ledger of transactions.
In a nutshell, blockchain is a secured electronic ledger, which connects multiple users and eases the exchange of finances, information, or assets through a P2P (peer-to-peer) network. Since the information database is made of blocks and secured with a key known to the respective users only, any change in information needs all these users’ consensus.
This is what makes it arduous for cyber-criminals to penetrate and misuse. Blockchain secures transactions and ensures data privacy, process integrity, data accuracy, and quick and straightforward transactions with minimal costs. Verification and audit of transactions, accurate and pellucid record storage, etc. is also possible, thus making blockchain technology all the more desirable. Banking and financial institutions, including the health care industries, are likely to opt for blockchain technology.
How does Blockchain Work?
In simple terms, Blockchain is a time-stamped sequence of data records that are managed by many computers. It omits the presence of any individual or company. As said previously, when new data is added to the new block, it is pinned to the previous block.
Public blockchains use P2P networks for exchanging information between connected parties. Here all the parties work in conjunction with each other as administrators. Private blockchains are more unified since limited parties manage them. A single entity controls the same, and other partners need permission to access, read or write in the Blockchain.
The distribution of data in both these blockchains is decentralized using a P2P network, where nodes have ledger copies. " Add-only ledgers" are used by both these types of blockchains, where data can be added, but not modified or deleted.
read more: SSL certification error
- The same steps are involved in both processes. A record is generated for each transaction, and the same is authenticated with digital signatures.
- Verification of transactions is done to ensure their authenticity and legitimacy by the computers. All the nodes also need to agree to the same.
- Post verification, each transaction is added to the block, and the block is hashed to ensure data integrity. Each block has a unique hash for identity.
- Later, the block is added to the previous block.
- The relation between Blockchain and SSL certificate:
If you take a peep into the infrastructure of blockchain technology and SSL security, you will find that both these securities are similar in some ways. Both are used in authenticating and securing digital transactions and information. But SSL has limited capacities compared to blockchain technology (Blockchain Originated Certificate of Authenticity – BOCA).
- BOCA integrates Keyless Security Infrastructure (KSI) which stores information on blocks. It runs a hashing algorithm for data verification.
- On the other hand, SSL integrates Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) in its system, which is unguarded and easily succumbs to MIM (man-in-the-middle) attacks and DDoS attacks.
- BOCA is at an advantage as it does not integrate PKI and hence chances of data being compromised are significantly less. In case data is compromised, its identification is easy due to distinct hashes on nodes attached to the systems.
- Even data secured with blockchain technology far surpasses asymmetric encryption and hoarding of public/private keys. SSL certificates have flaws and can be compromised, but blockchain security, on the other hand, is fool-proof.
- Tampering of information is difficult in blockchain technology since they have only one Central Authority (DID – Decentralized ID), dissimilar to SSL having multiple Certificate Authorities.
Can Blockchain replace SSL?
The answer lies in how one technology surpasses the other. However, both have strong positives and flaws. Blockchain cannot be considered 100% secure, because it has its own set of insecurities which have alarmingly shuddered the cryptocurrency world at times.
But still, with FinTech experts pushing Blockchain for replacing the world’s currencies with cryptocurrencies, the future of blockchain technology, is very bright.
As compared to SSL certificates, blockchain technology has better and robust security features because, without the help of passwords, it provides ample security to all involved entities’ digital data.
SSL certificates do provide end-to-end encryption security, but they cannot protect metadata, which may cause leakage of private information. In blockchain technology, the metadata (used in the communication) is disbursed across the ledgers and remains secure.
In blockchain technology, data leakage of information and cyber-spying is also blocked. Even the entities involved can create their cryptographic keys to secure communication, and since the alteration of information is consensus-based, it serves as a dual advantage.
Though Blockchain is the best replacement for SSL certificates to date, crypto-projects must comply with KYC (Know Your Customer).
Since the need for a human being (Certificate Authority) is eliminated in blockchain technology, a robust authentication is guaranteed. But at the same time, it lacks the human factor needed to authenticate the user identity.
Many blockchain-based SSL certificates are initiated and floated in the market. Blockchain works in a decentralized and distributed way, and hence data integrity is maintained, and cyber-attacks become an impossible dream for hackers.
If Blockchain is implemented with precision, it may fix SSL certificate vulnerabilities and secure online users’ digital data. But it’s very early to replace the CA’s with this technology. So all I can say for now is that SSL still stays, and Blockchain is in the parallel line with SSL, securing digital infrastructures.