The U.K.’s largest internet and telecoms provider has been awarded a patent for a proposed cybersecurity measure aimed at protecting blockchains.
In the patent, awarded on Oct. 31, British Telecommunications PLC (BT) outlined a method designed to prevent malicious attacks on blockchains – outlining a way to limit who can commit transactions to the system through user-specific profiles. The blockchain’s underlying code would then be able to automatically reject transactions which do not match the pre-described accounts.
One example use case outlined by the patent includes “majority control attacks” (also called “51 percent attacks”), where a hostile force with more than 50 percent of the total computing power tries to control a blockchain network.
According to the patent:
“Despite the architecture of blockchain systems, malicious attacks present a threat to the security and reliability of blockchains.”
When an attack is detected, the system will automatically stop conducting transactions, preventing even a majority attack from being effective, according to the patent.
The patent further cites include distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which are designed to completely overwhelm a miner with an excessive number of transaction requests.
BT does not address how it would deal with such attacks, however it does state that “it would be advantageous to provide a mechanism for detecting and mitigating threats to blockchain environments.”
While the patent discusses the method of verifying transactions through the energy-intensive mining process employed by digital currencies like bitcoin, BT notes that the process is unrelated to the patented system.
BT Tower image via Shutterstock
Disclosure Read More
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.