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Japanese firm Fujitsu develops new technology to automatically detect blockchain risks

Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company Fujitsu has announced a new technology that can verify, in advance, risks associated with smart contracts.

Smart contracts are programs that automatically execute transactions on blockchain platforms. As smart contract risks are directly linked to business losses, there have been issues with improving their reliability as a system.

“Because smart contracts are copied to multiple locations and executed in a distributed manner, once a contract has been executed, it cannot easily be stopped, and it cannot be revised even if risks are found in the smart contract. In fact, there has been an incident in which, because a smart contract to create an automatic investment trust application on a blockchain was flawed, a huge amount of capital was improperly transferred,” Fujitsu explained.

To address these issues, Fujitsu Laboratories and Fujitsu Research and Development Center have developed algorithms to identify risk-affected transaction sequences on Ethereum blockchain using symbolic execution technology. Using these algorithms, they have developed technology that is able to detect six types of risks in smart contracts, which could be overlooked in a manual review, and can then identify the relevant locations in the source code. Using this technology, blockchain developers would be able to rapidly develop even safer smart contracts.

The companies found that the new technology was capable of 100 percent risk detection, except a few items. In terms of precision, the technology achieved an accuracy rate of up to 88%, enabling both highly accurate risk detection as well as source code risk location identification.

Because over-identification of risk is rare, this technology will enable more efficient smart contract development, and combined with the risk location identification technology, it is also expected to reduce the workload involved in tasks such as specification comprehension, code evaluation, and fixing the code. This technology will contribute to the efficient application of blockchain technology to a wide variety of fields,” Fujitsu added.

Going forward, Fujitsu Laboratories will continue to develop verification technologies, not only for Ethereum, but also for Hyperledger Fabric, with the goal of commercialization of this technology during fiscal 2018. It will also focus on broad technology development relating to building secure systems using blockchain.

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