UK Government's Official Archive to Test Blockchain

One of the goals of the project is to investigate the possibilities of using blockchain to effectively solve issues related to archive management
07 June 2018   864

The National Archives (TNA), the official registrar of the UK government, is exploring the possibility of using a blockchain for the records sharing, according to CoinDesk.

The Archangel research project is conducted by the University of Surrey in conjunction with the Open Data Institute. One of the goals of the project is to investigate the possibilities of using blockchain to effectively solve issues related to archive management.

According to TNA manager Alex Greene, distributed ledger technology (DLT) is used in Archangel to "collect digital signatures from digitized physical and originally digital content."

How can we demonstrate that the record you see today is the same record that was entrusted to the archive 20 years previously?... How do we ensure that citizens continue to see archives as trusted custodians of the digital public record? To address these questions, Archangel is exploring how we can know that a digital record has been modified and whether the change was legitimate so that ultimately it can still be trusted as the authentic record. Specifically, the project is investigating how blockchain might be used to achieve this.

Alex Green

Manager, TNA

According to him, the project will help to find out how the blockage can be used for this.

The study is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which annually invests more than £ 800 million in research in mathematics, materials science and information technology.

Potentional Vulnerabilities Found in ETH 2.0

Least Authority have found potentional security issues in the network P2P interaction and block proposal system
26 March 2020   964

Technology security firm Least Authority, at the request of the Ethereum Foundation, conducted an audit of the Ethereum 2.0 specifications and identified several potential vulnerabilities at once.

Least Authority said that developers need to solve problems with vulnerabilities in the network layer of peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction, as well as in the block proposal system. At the same time, the auditor noted that the specifications are "very well thought out and competent."

However, at the moment there is no large ecosystem based on PoS and using sharding in the world, so it is impossible to accurately assess the prospects for system stability.
Also, information security experts emphasized that the specifications did not pay enough attention to the description of the P2P network level and the system of records about Ethereum nodes. Vulnerability risks are also observed in the block proposal system and the messaging system between nodes.

Experts said that in the blockchains running on PoS, the choice of a new block is simple and no one can predict who will get the new block. In PoS systems, it is the block proposal system that decides whose block will fall into the blockchain, and this leads to the risk of data leakage. To solve the problem, auditors suggested using the mechanism of "Single Secret Leader Election" (SSLE).

As for the peer-to-peer exchange system, there is a danger of spam. There is no centralized node in the system that would evaluate the actions of other nodes, so a “malicious" node can spam the entire network with various messages without any special punishment. The solution to this problem may be to use special protocols for exchanging messages between nodes.