We’ve seen blockchain technology develop over the last few years. This has resulted in a lot of hype surrounding smart contracts. But with their growing popularity comes an increased need for security audits. Most people are yet to learn about the world of BlockChain which is why we want to introduce you to these concepts. In this article, we’ll discuss what smart contracts are, how they work, and how you can audit them. We will also introduce you to 5 tools that can be used for smart contract audits, as well as some best practises to keep in mind when performing such an audit.
What Are Smart Contracts?
Put simply, smart contracts look like any other computer program. But they don’t run on your systems, instead, they are stored and executed on the blockchain network. They are self-executing, and once they have been deployed to the network, they cannot be changed or deleted.
Smart contracts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating digital assets, automating business processes, or implementing blockchain-based voting systems. Their main function is to assist and manage transactions and accounts on the blockchain.
How Do Smart Contracts Work?
When you create a smart contract, you will need to specify a few things:
- the inputs and outputs of the contract
- the conditions/functions that need to be satisfied for parts of the contract to execute
- the parties involved in the contract
- core functions of the contract
Once these have been specified, the smart contract will run automatically once it has been deployed to the network.
It is stored on the blockchain, and when someone wants to run it, they send a request to the network.
It is executed by every node and the results are stored on the blockchain, which helps to ensure that it is tamper-proof.
It will check all of the conditions you have set, and will only execute if they are all met. If any of the conditions are not met, the smart contract will not execute, and the funds involved will be returned to the original owners.
How Do You Audit A Smart Contract?
Auditing a smart contract is not as simple as auditing a traditional computer program. However, it is advisable to have someone with a good understanding of blockchain security conduct these audits for you.
When auditing a smart contract, you need to make sure that it is safe and secure. Look for the following when auditing a smart contract:
- Check the code for errors
- Ensure that the smart contract is tamper-proof
- Test the smart contract for vulnerabilities
- Cross-check whether it is complete and serves its purpose
5 Tools For Smart Contract Audits
There aren’t many tools developed yet specifically for smart contract audits. However, here are five tools that can be used:
- MythX – MythX is a security analysis tool that can be used to scan smart contracts for vulnerabilities.
- Manticore – Manticore is a smart contract analyser that finds vulnerabilities specifically in smart contracts written in solidity.
- Echidna – Echidna is a smart contract security analysis tool that can be used to find vulnerabilities in Solidity, Serpent, and LLL smart contracts.
- SWC-registry – SWC-registry is a smart contract vulnerability library that contains a list of known vulnerabilities for smart contracts.
- Oyente – Oyente is a smart contract analyzer that can detect vulnerabilities in Solidity contracts.
- Truffle – It brings some good testing features to the table. Truffle performs automated smart contract testing.
- Ethereum Tester – This is open source and you can find it on GitHub. It also supports APIs while testing smart contracts.
Best Practises For Performing Smart Contract Audits
When auditing a smart contract, it is important to follow best practises. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure you have a good understanding of blockchain security and smart contracts before auditing a smart contract.
- First, review your code and perform static code analysis.
- Second, perform dynamic application security tests and scans using tools. We’ve mentioned some above. Refer to the SWC-registry library of known smart contract vulnerabilities and test to detect them.
- If you lack in-house experience, hire a professional or hold a bug bounty competition.
- Make use of test networks or “testnets” such as Ropsten and Rinkeby for the Ethereum blockchain. Other blockchain networks will have different testnets available.
- Finally, report your findings in a concise and detailed manner.
Smart contracts are new and revolutionary with the potential to change the way we do business. However, with this potential comes new security concerns. It is important to remember that they are still in their early stages, and there may be some security concerns that need to be worked out. As such, it is important to audit smart contracts. When auditing a smart contract, aim to ensure it is safe and secure but the end. There are a few key things you need to look for, and there are also some helpful tools available to make the process easier. The tools and best practises mentioned in this article will assist you in making your smart contract as secure as possible.