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Blockchain as security shield can prevent online scams

These scams impact anybody from people to governments

Blockchain as security shield can prevent online scams
Representative Image (Reuters)

CHENNAI: CERT-In, India’s national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents recently flagged a major concern in the modern digital world as it highlighted the proliferation of phishing and other internet scams. These scams impact anybody from people to governments.

OTP fraud, UPI money request, Bank account deactivated, Update KYC details, Electricity payment defaulter. Sounds familiar?

How about these headlines? Mumbai woman duped of Rs 4.83 lakh in cyber fraud. 53 arrested in a month in Gurgaon linked to 470 online fraud cases filed across country. Five task fraud victims file plaints, then lose more money to crooks. Cyber crook’s one-day strike rate: 1.9k transactions in single account in 24 hrs Cyber crooks dupe jobless woman of Rs 5 lakh in ticket booking fraud in Gujarat. 75-year-old loses Rs 3.3 crore to ‘Ukraine woman’ in e-fraud. We read about these incidents every day now. So is there a way to stop this menace?

Let’s bring in blockchain technology. Blockchain, at its core, is a decentralised and immutable ledger that records transactions across a network of computers. The immutability of the blockchain ensures once data is recorded, it cannot be altered or tampered with, providing a reliable and transparent record of transactions. This feature is particularly advantageous in combating online scams, as it eliminates the possibility of fraudsters manipulating transactional information.

One of the key vulnerabilities exploited by online scammers and phishers is centralised databases and authorities. Blockchain’s decentralised nature distributes data across a network of nodes, eliminating a single point of failure and reducing the risk of unauthorised access. Additionally, the consensus mechanism ensures that all participants in the network agree on the validity of transactions, making it significantly harder for malicious actors to manipulate data.

Now bring in the smart contracts, self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into code. These play a pivotal role in bolstering online security by automating and enforcing predefined rules, ensuring that transactions are executed only when specific conditions are met. By implementing smart contracts, potential victims can be safeguarded against fraudulent activities, as transactions will only occur under legitimate circumstances.

Blockchain also offers a robust solution for identity verification and authentication, mitigating the risks associated with phishing attacks. Decentralised identity management systems powered by blockchain enable individuals to control and share their personal information securely. This not only reduces the reliance on centralised databases vulnerable to breaches but also empowers users to verify their identity without exposing sensitive data.

As online scams and phishing attacks continue to escalate, the need for innovative and resilient cybersecurity measures also becomes paramount. Blockchain technology provides a comprehensive solution to tackle these challenges head-on. Integrating blockchain into existing cybersecurity frameworks will be instrumental in fortifying our digital landscape against the ever-growing threat of online scams and phishing attacks.

Remember, besides protecting data, online security is about safeguarding trust in the digital realm, where the strengths of encryption and technology define the boundaries between vulnerability and resilience.

Bitcoin hits near 19-month high, crypto stocks expected to surge

Shares of crypto miners and bitcoin-tracking companies rose on Friday as the world’s largest cryptocurrency extended a recent rally to touch a near 19-month high on improving risk appetite. Bitcoin, up 1.6% at $38,337, has been gaining since October on optimism that a potential approval of a spot exchange-traded fund is likely to unleash more capital investments in the digital asset sector, as per an agency report.

“Tailwinds have been gathering strength all year, especially in recent months, as spot ETF expectations build, the Binance uncertainty is resolved, and 2024’s accelerated money printing becomes more inevitable,” crypto-focused economist Noelle Acheson said, referring to the bitcoin rally. Shares of bitcoin miners - whose profitability improves as bitcoin climbs - including Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital and TeraWulf rose between 1.7% and 4%.

Raj Kapoor
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