CommonLounge Archive

Security and concerns about IOTA

October 17, 2017

As with any new technology, IOTA comes packed with its own concerns around security, double-spending, and the ability of merchants to tackle double-spending problem. In this tutorial, we will explore these.

Curl function and security

IOTA boasts of quantum immunity as it works on a ternary hash function called Curl, which makes it a lot superior to other types of binary security methods. Curl works on a completely new technology — ternary functions are new and require a totally new ecosystem. This function is made possible with the use of JINN-processors as we saw earlier, information about which is not available publicly. If a function and its processors work on tech that is new and yet to be revealed to the world, the chances of a security breach are lessened.

Proof of Work

Also, IOTA uses Proof-of-Work to make the Tangle network secure, and more transactions mean more security because each transaction brings in more proof of work.

Past security vulnerabilities

Experts have pointed out a few security vulnerabilities in this system. In an MIT study, researchers found that the Curl hash function could be used to create an unpredictable output from a given input. The IOTA team has since patched this vulnerability.

Possibility of spammers

Some experts also believe that IOTA, as it grows further, could eventually lead to groups of spammers on the network who create their own mini-Tangle networks within the system that can potentially have more cumulative weight. These spammers may aggressively put out smaller transactions to gain more cumulative weight and dash out honest transactions with lesser weight. Although IOTA has sifted through this possibility in their white paper, it is yet to be tested as the Tangle network grows, and remains a valid security concern.

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