Watch / Blockchain Autopsies - Analyzing selfdestructs

Blockchain Autopsies - Analyzing selfdestructs

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Blockchain Autopsies - Analyzing selfdestructs

Duration: 00:06:21

Speaker: Jay Little

Type: Talk

Expertise: Intermediate

Event: Devcon 4

Date: Oct 2018

On the blockchain, contracts may be lost but are never forgotten. Of the over 1,800,000 Ethereum smart contracts ever created, more than 54,000 are empty. When a contract’s purpose is fulfilled, the owner typically triggers a self-destruct switch that removes code and state. These steps are similar to what an attacker would do after hijacking a contract. Is it likely the selfdestruct was intentional or performed by a trusted third party? Or was it a hack or fraud? Old contracts have been purged from the world computer’s working memory but they can be reconstructed and analyzed. By investigating the transactions leading up to the selfdestruct, the circumstances of contract deaths can be determined.

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JL

Jay Little

Principal Security Engineer

Jay Little is a security researcher at Trail of Bits. Jay has over 10 years experience making types and structures in IDA Pro.

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