Explain Ethereum smart contract hacking like I am five

Thursday 4 October 14:30 - 15:00, Green room

Zoltan Balazs (MRG Effitas)



Blockchain. Mining. Ethereum. Smart contracts. Gas. Solidity. DAO. These words had no (or a different) meaning XX years ago, yet now these are the foundations of something exciting and powerful. But with great power comes great responsibility. Designing and implementing smart contracts can be like encryption protocols: anyone can come up with one which looks secure from the developer's point of view, but only a few can design and implement one which really is secure.

But how can one hack smart contracts? In order to understand, I will explain from the ground up the meaning of all these words in the Ethereum world using real-life analogies. Once the basic building blocks have been explained, I will guide the audience through the world of hacking smart contracts. After attending this presentation, the audience will understand how a recursive call can burn 250M USD on the DAO and how the developers can create a parallel universe where this didn't happen. Reinit? Multi-signature wallets? The Parity hack? All of this is simple once the basics are founded.

Warning: case studies from recent real-life hacks and live interaction with smart contracts included. And CryptoKitties. Meow.