Security Analysis Methods on Ethereum Smart Contract Vulnerabilities: A Survey [article]

Purathani Praitheeshan, Lei Pan, Jiangshan Yu, Joseph Liu, Robin Doss
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Smart contracts are software programs featuring both traditional applications and distributed data storage on blockchains. Ethereum is a prominent blockchain platform with the support of smart contracts. The smart contracts act as autonomous agents in critical decentralized applications and hold a significant amount of cryptocurrency to perform trusted transactions and agreements. Millions of dollars as part of the assets held by the smart contracts were stolen or frozen through the notorious
more » ... tacks just between 2016 and 2018, such as the DAO attack, Parity Multi-Sig Wallet attack, and the integer underflow/overflow attacks. These attacks were caused by a combination of technical flaws in designing and implementing software codes. However, many more vulnerabilities of less severity are to be discovered because of the scripting natures of the Solidity language and the non-updateable feature of blockchains. Hence, we surveyed 16 security vulnerabilities in smart contract programs, and some vulnerabilities do not have a proper solution. This survey aims to identify the key vulnerabilities in smart contracts on Ethereum in the perspectives of their internal mechanisms and software security vulnerabilities. By correlating 16 Ethereum vulnerabilities and 19 software security issues, we predict that many attacks are yet to be exploited. And we have explored many software tools to detect the security vulnerabilities of smart contracts in terms of static analysis, dynamic analysis, and formal verification. This survey presents the security problems in smart contracts together with the available analysis tools and the detection methods. We also investigated the limitations of the tools or analysis methods with respect to the identified security vulnerabilities of the smart contracts.
arXiv:1908.08605v3 fatcat:c3byi3iubfacpbgt4uh3xts5oq