NSA Codebreaker Challenge 2018 to Showcase Ethereum Blockchain Ransomware Task

The NSA Codebreaker Challenge promises to introduce participants into the blockchain technology world. The challenge will focus on how the technology works with Ethereum. This year’s contest will excite blockchain fanatics as it confirms this technology’s prominence and growth.

Codebreaker challenge 2018

In this 2018 contest, participants will be required to reverse-engineer an Ethereum ransomware task. The NSA has detailed a fictional story in a certain post depicting a real context of this challenge. In that post, NSA provides details of a unique kind of Ethereum ransomware that has sieved through various government networks.

In that post, for every machine that is infected, there is an encrypted copy of the key required to help decrypt the ransomed files, stored in a smart contract within the Ethereum blockchain. This key can only be unlocked once the ransom payment is received.

The NSA needs participants to devise ways and means of unlocking the ransomware without conceding to the hackers’ requirements. The participants are also needed to get back all the money that the victims were paid as part of this challenge.

In preparation, the agency has already developed a private blockchain that will be used by participants in the 2018 Codebreaker Challenge. This then means that this challenge will not run on Ethereum’s Mainnet. The NSA will now be in a position to reward participants with valueless ETH.

The challenge requires the participants to use actual blockchain tools. For instance, they will use MetaMask as the digital wallet to handle ETH tokens. They will also use Remix IDE for editing smart contracts.

NSA Blockchain Push

Students and all faculties with .edu email address can participate in the Codebreaker Challenge 2018. There is a scoreboard on which all entries by academic participants will be posted. On the other hand, those who wish to participate as independent individuals can do so using the contest files that are found on the NSA resource page.

This will not be the first time that NSA will be running a codebreaker challenge, but it is the first time that the challenge is focusing on the blockchain. Some of the challenges before this one involved such simple tasks such as cracking passwords. They have, however, also held difficult challenges such as attempting to identify a hidden function in a program.

This year’s competition will check into some of the upcoming trends in the technology world. A lot of money is being lost due to a rapid increase of ransomware attacks. Blockchain technology has on the other hand been sending shock waves to nearly every business and security around the world.

Codebreaker Challenge 2018 tries to show the significant growth of the blockchain technology and the kind of interest it is amassing globally.

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