BSidesTO 2014 – Cryptocurrencies and Security – Michael Perklin

Over the last 5 years of Bitcoin’s explosive growth, adopters of the technology have witnessed giant leaps forward in security as well as giant breaches that have caused the destruction of large companies such as Bitcoinica, MTGOX, and others. These security breaches have harmed not only the employees and shareholders of these companies but merchants and consumers alike as their funds were lost or stolen as a result. Where some companies are employing prudent technology and techniques to secure customer funds, other companies continue to provide nothing more than marketing buzzwords while leaving their funds at risk.
The security of customer assets has been standardized in every industry around the world including banking, stocks, bonds, and the storage of precious items. C4’s cryptocurrency security standards aims to provide this standardization to companies who deal with cryptocurrencies to ensure the security of their users’ funds.

With cryptocurrencies, everything old is new again. Wallets to hold your cash, Invoicing systems to take payments, Exchange systems to buy/sell, secure vaults for storage… everything that already exists with traditional payments had to be implemented again to protect digital cash. Unfortunately, the people implementing many of these systems are unaware of the security theory used by traditional businesses which has lead to spectacular failures. This talk will discuss the application of traditional security to the cryptocurrency world and how these techniques need to be adapted to account for cryptocurrencies’ unique properties.

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