Horizen (previously known as ZenCash) has developed a solution to enhance cybersecurity in Blockchain platforms. The events leading to the discovery were constant security breaches that led Horizen to suffer 51% attacks on its tokens. The new security model will be known as “Proposal to Modify Satoshi Consensus To Enhance Protection Against 51% Attacks – A Penalty System For Delayed Block Submission” that has been written by Uri Stav, Pier Stabilini, Robert Viglione, and Alberto Garoffolo. The model is expected to be particularly instrumental in helping Cryptocurrency platforms that use intense hashing power.
The Security Model
The security proposal is simple. The central idea is to disincentivize private mining by implementing a fee standard on late block reporting.
From the perspective of Blockchain security, the logic of this model lies in the fact that out of all attacks, 51% of them occur when an attacker targets a transaction, intersects its submission process and instead sends a fake contradictory transaction. This attack occurs in peer to peer transactions. Afterward, the scammer then proceeds to use the fake block that has already been confirmed to mine, in some instances, they also utilize the original transaction to mine additional Tokens. When the attacker finishes the mining process, he/she proceeds to submit the second (fake) transaction for confirmation by the receiver.
The act has a consequence of invalidating the original transaction as the particular Blockchain platform will only accept the transaction that reaches its validation process first. All that an attacker needs to do, other than intercepting the original transaction, is to make the fake transaction chain longer.
The security breach mining has to be done in private, however, as real-time mining can be detected by the ecosystem features. The Horizen solution, therefore, aims to target private mining to discourage illegitimate network activities. Hence, the security approach will penalize the all but one mining transactions to consider the unit possibility of only a single mining in real time. For instance, if a private chain has two blocks, the user would pay a fee for one Block assuming that one of them is legitimate and the other is fraudulent. This would instead make mining through security breaches not beneficial as the fees will eat into profits.
The 51% figure represents the possibility of more than half of transaction blocks being intercepted by bad actors to mine Tokens or on-platform utilities.
The security model is, however, curtailed by insurmountable hashing power that makes it impossible to target private mining alone like in the case of Bitcoin. Nonetheless, the Horizen model will be instrumental to many other coins that can fall prey to 51% chances of attacks.
The Model Would Enhance Trust In Cryptocurrencies
The legitimacy of Cryptocurrencies has been one of the major factors behind investor skepticism if smaller Altcoins with lower hash rates. If the Horizen security model is adopted, this would mean that these smaller Tokens can implement higher fees for late submission in a way that makes private mining unprofitable. In the case of higher hash rates such as in the case of Ethereum, the security feature can be customized to account for the prevailing platform solutions.