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Security experts from Japan Digital Design (JDD) have been working on tracking down the source of the malicious hack against Zaif crypto exchange, which resulted in the theft of approximate $60 million in cryptocurrency. JDD reports that the hunt so far yielded evidences regarding five different suspicious transactions, and that the relevant data was imparted to the authorities.
One of the methods that JDD employed on behalf of Zaif to learn more about such hacking attacks and to detect the origin of the hackers was a ‘Capture the Flag’ security competition (or a hackathon).
The way cryptocurrency tracking can be done within a crypto exchange like Zaif involves extremely complex calculations and prognostication. The static analysis of blockchain is something that often requires massive computer power on a grand scale, and necessitates the development of nodes that could monitor transactions in real-time and verify the information quickly. Currently, the cost of such a tracking mechanism is apparently quite expensive and it seems that cybersecurity companies such as JDD use hacker competitions to find better, more efficient ways to do it.
JDD elaborates a little more about the technical work they did for Zaif:
The information such as the connection source IP address of the transaction received by each node is output to the outside by the MQTT protocol, and the information aggregated from each node is stored in the file on the storage.
Files accumulated on the storage are captured in a database for extraction and analysis and can be aggregated and analyzed by arbitrary queries.
Cybersecurity firms such as JDD are constantly attempting to develop a potent and cheap tracking technology; yet, as the Capture the Flag competition demonstrates, sometimes it is required to collaborate with the hacker community to cultivate the desired effective technology, which is also affordable.