Guide for Blockchain Penetration Testing


What is blockchain penetration testing?

Blockchain technology currently underpins a variety of sectors, including banking, cryptocurrency, healthcare, and more, and it is trying to expand its foundation into even more. Blockchain has drawn the attention of hackers as the foundation for these capital-rich enterprises.

Furthermore, security vulnerabilities in blockchain technology frequently arise as a result of faulty blockchain program planning and implementation. According to new data, in 2020, blockchain hackers would have stolen over $3.8 billion in 125 attacks. As a result, blockchain performance testing has grown increasingly important in recent years.

Blockchain and Type Penetration Testing

What is blockchain penetration testing?

The buzzword ‘blockchain’ has wreaked havoc on the digital landscape in recent years. To understand, it is a cryptographically connected set of timestamped, permanent data called blocks, rather than coins.

A public, decentralized ledger that keeps track of any virtual currency is known as Blockchain. Smart contracts (for example, ERC tokens) or the blockchain network’s native cryptocurrency can both handle these digital assets (eg: Bitcoin or Ethereum).

The blockchain network is enabled when the ‘genesis’ block is created. The first block of the blockchain, ‘genesis,’ appears to be the first block, with the preceding block hash of 0x000. Extra blocks are then added to the chain based on the consensus and parameters, such as block time, block size, and so on.

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What is Blockchain penetration testing?

Penetration Testing exploits coding flaws effectively by putting yourself in the shoes of a potential hacker. In the simplest terms, the tester acts as a hacker, attempting to gain access to the system in order to find and expose security weaknesses.

The length of a penetration test determines the scope and complexity of a program’s design. Smaller tests can be completed in seconds, while larger exams can take weeks to complete.

The following are some of the difficulties that blockchain penetration testing can help with:

  • Inadequate testing equipment
  • Insufficient knowledge
  • Approaches that are incompetent
  • Transactions that are permanent
  • Stress testing and efficiency

Effective blockchain testing allows companies to build and implement the technology, as well as the associated infrastructure, in a secure environment. Fundamental testing approaches and services, such as cloud testing services, functionality testing, API testing, integration testing, security testing, and performance testing, are all part of the testing procedure. It also offers testing methods specific to blockchain technology, such as block testing, blockchain automation testing, and peer/node testing.

Penetration testing procedure for blockchain

Functional testing, performance testing, API testing, security testing, and integration testing, as well as smart contract penetration testing, are all included in comprehensive blockchain penetration testing. Penetration testing, as the name implies, involves detecting and exploiting potential system flaws. The important steps in the penetration testing technique will be covered in this chapter.

  • Discovery

The identification of potential software vulnerabilities is the first stage in penetration testing. It is critical to understand how the blockchain works in order to safeguard your applications.

  • The Blockchain’s architecture

To ensure the blockchain’s capacity to retain information’s validity, secrecy, and dependability during delivery, storage, and fulfillment, analyze its deployment.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that the blockchain deployment complies with all applicable regulations. In addition, a thorough examination of the Blockchain application’s specifications is required to assure the highest level of security and best practices.
  • Evaluation: The study and appraisal of the discovered information is the second stage of blockchain penetration testing. The assessment will assist you in determining whether risks or flaws could jeopardize your Blockchain applications. It consists of the following tests:
  • Testing for Vulnerabilities in the Blockchain Network: Testing of wallets, graphical user interfaces, databases, and application development are all part of blockchain fixed and interactive application testing.
  • Authenticity testing on the blockchain

All of the aforementioned threat paths will be thoroughly investigated to ensure that privacy measures are in place to recognize, mitigate, and evaluate accessibility effectively.

  • Functional testing of blockchain applications

Functional testing is used to see if your blockchain application’s features are working as expected. The following factors are taken into account by a blockchain penetration tester:

  • Size of the chain and block

The transactional information is contained within a block. A block is now 1MB in size. This value must be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Furthermore, the chain has no boundaries because it continues to grow throughout time. In order to preserve control, it is critical to validate the chain’s functionality.

  • Addition of building blocks

Penetration testers authenticate the box and add it to the chain when a transaction has been checked and authenticated.

  • Transfer of Information

The peer-to-peer nature of blockchain makes it very simple for testers to ensure perfect data encryption and authentication.

  • APIs must be tested

API testing is used to keep track of how the Blockchain-based network works. It is performed to ensure that API queries and answers are genuine.

  • Integration Testing

Integration testing does not ensure that the various components of a blockchain communicate well with one another. As a result of the adoption of blockchain across several systems, integration testing is necessary.

  • Evaluation of Performance

Performance testing is used to discover potential bottlenecks and determine whether a blockchain application is ready for deployment.

  • Security Audits

The goal of security testing is to ensure that your blockchain application is malware and virus-resistant.

Penetration testing for blockchains comes in a variety of forms.

The penetration test can be carried out in three different ways:

  1. Black-box examination
  2. White-box examination
  3. Gray-box exam

Let’s discuss these examinations:

  • Black-box examination: External penetration testing, often known as black-box testing, defends a company from outside threats. The testers begin their work at the same point that a real hacker would. They start with no knowledge of security defenses, IT infrastructure, software architecture, web apps, source code, or other related topics.

This type of testing determines where intruders can gain access to the blockchain system’s security. Additionally, testers examine the potential for an external hacker to cause damage. To execute black box testing, testers must be experienced in using automated methods and manual testing instruments. They produce a map of the target network based on their results.

  • White-box examination: Testers have access to the source code and software architecture in White Box testing, also known as internal testing or precise box testing. The goal of this exam is to conduct a thorough audit of the entire system. It determines how far an attacker can go and how much damage they can cause.
  • Gray-box exam: The tester has limited knowledge about the users in this type of testing. This test examines the structure of the code execution. The tester is familiar with the system’s architecture and data flow. It’s a hybrid of white box and black box testing, including source code and application exposure restrictions. These broad kinds of penetration testing methodologies can be subdivided even more.

What are the five stages of cryptocurrency penetration testing?

The process of blockchain pen testing may be split down into five parts.

  • Planning and reconnaissance.
  • Scanning
  • Gaining Access
  • Maintaining access
  • Analysis

Sum up: Blockchain penetration testing is a unique and rapidly growing topic in the cybersecurity industry. Because blockchain technology may be used to store any type of data, it exposes the platform to serious security risks. Blockchain pentesters are being used by businesses to uncover vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

The blockchain is the current industry standard for all secure transactions. Due to the increasing proliferation of blockchain testing, there appears to be no recognized standard for doing so. Due to a lack of expertise in this field, engineers frequently design based on personal preference, which finally satisfies corporate goals.

On the other hand, outsourced security and blockchain testing professionals use their vast knowledge base to assist their customers in integrating blockchain technology into their network architecture. Experts now have a critical role to play in testing blockchain applications.

A manual evaluation of the smart contract’s security measures, procedures, and access controls, as well as lateral movement inside a blockchain-based distributed ledger network, were among the services provided. We also offer comprehensive environment testing for web and mobile applications, APIs, networking, and other services.


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