News Roundup - Blockchain Security Developments

News Roundup

What’s happening in blockchain and cryptocurrency security? Here are some of the latest developments:

Xage to use new funding to expand blockchain security offering
Xage Security, a Silicon Valley firm that specialises in blockchain-based security for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) recently received an investment from a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, and plans to use the funding to drive its continued growth in the energy sector. The company had previously launched Xage for Energy, a “tamperproof solution tailored to meet the needs of connected energy networks”. Xage Security CEO Duncan Greatwood, said: “Our mission is to secure all interactions involving industrial networks – whether those are between machines, apps, data or people – to enable the next wave of connected and improved operations for global industry.” He called the latest investment “a significant validator for Xage’s solution and its impact on the energy sector”.

Stanford blockchain event focuses on security, systemic risk
Stanford University’s Blockchain Conference 2019, set for 30 January – 1 February, will focus on ways to “better understand security and systemic risk in blockchain protocols”. The third such event in a conference series, this year’s gathering will include presentations on such topics as “Building, and Building on, Bulletproofs”, “Automatic Detection of Vulnerabilities in Smart Contracts” and “Toward More Secure Proof-of-Work Consensus Protocols”.

Survey finds fintech among potential cyber risks to global finance
Cyber risks again topped the list as the top potential systemic risk that could affect the global financial system, according to the latest Systemic Risk Barometer Survey from The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC). Released in December, the survey showed respondents believe those cyber risks could include impacts from the growth in fintech. “DTCC embraces the promise that fintech innovations hold to further mitigate risk and reduce post-trade costs,” DTCC managing director and chief security officer Stephen Scharf said in the survey report. “But as the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardise the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace.” A post-trade financial services firm that provides clearing and settlement services, the DTCC launched its annual Risk Barometer Survey in 2013.

Hyperledger Ursa ‘substantially’ simplifies crypto security analysis
The Hyperledger project’s Technical Steering Committee recently accepted Hyperledger Ursa, which is aimed at making it “much safer and easier for our distributed ledger projects to use existing, time tested, and trusted cryptographic libraries”. “As Hyperledger has matured, the individual projects within Hyperledger have started to find a need for sophisticated cryptographic implementations,” writes cryptography researcher Hart Montgomery. “Rather than have each project implement its own cryptographic protocols, it is much better to collaborate on a shared library.” One reason for this, he adds, is improved security. “Having most (or all) of the crypto code in a single location substantially simplifies the security analysis of the crypto portion of Hyperledger,” Montgomery notes. “In addition, the lack of duplication means maintenance is easier (and thus, hopefully security bugs are less numerous). The presence of easy to use, secure crypto implementations might also make it less likely for less experienced people to create their own less secure implementations.”

Ledger launches new wallet and app for enhanced crypto security
Ahead of the launch of this year’s CES in Las Vegas, the crypto security firm Ledger has unveiled the Ledger Nano X, a Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies. The company says the Nano X improves on its previous wallet, the Ledger Nano S, with “enhanced state-of-the-art security and an improved user experience and design”. In announcing the new wallet, Ledger also launched its Live Mobile app, which “allows Ledger Nano X users to manage secure transactions, install and uninstall apps, and check their real-time balances on the go”. The Bluetooth-supported app is aimed at “providing increased mobility without sacrificing security”, Ledger says.

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