A Taxonomy of Blockchain Threats and Vulnerabilities

Ayman Alkhalifah, Alex Ng, A. S. M. Kayes, Jabed Chowdhury, Mamoun Alazab, Paul Watters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Blockchain technology has become one of the most popular technologies for maintaining digital transactions. From the foundation of Bitcoin to the now-predominant smart contract, blockchain technology promises to induce a shift in thought-about digital transactions in many fields, such as energy, healthcare, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, financial services, and the supply chain. Despite blockchain technology offering many cryptography advantages such as immutability, digital signature, and hashing, it has suffered from several critical cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. In this chapter, we build upon the previous studies on vulnerabilities and investigate over 60 real cybersecurity incidents that have been happening on the blockchain networks between 2009 and 2019. We categorize those incidents against the key cybersecurity vulnerabilities in blockchain technologies and have developed a taxonomy that captures five types of cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities based on five main players in blockchain. The outcome of this research prompted concerns and research direction in developing countermeasures to alleviate these risks. Blockchain; Cybersecurity; Attack; Threat; Vulnerability; Taxonomy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlockchain for Cybersecurity and Privacy
Subtitle of host publicationArchitectures, Challenges, and Applications
EditorsYassine Maleh, Mohammad Shojafar, Mamoun Alazab, Imed Romdhani
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429324932
ISBN (Print)9780367343101
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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