1-Introduction | 2-Best Practices | 3-Development | 4-Auditing

This site is a placeholder for my soon to be released site focused on cybersecurity, intelligence gathering, investigations, software development and the freedom loving, realist, socio-economic rants. This will be out in early June 2024. For now it contains the current drafts of my “books” on Web3 Security. And this one blog post on subject of “trust” and why we desperately need a secure Web3 world.

Building Trust: Laying the Foundation for a Better Society

Within the complex architecture of ethics, our deeply-held convictions form the blueprint guiding our every decision, rational or otherwise. We erect invisible structures that govern our actions, however unpredictable they may seem, on the bedrock of our moral obligations. These behaviors play out in pursuit of self-interest, and with the exception of those who are sociopathic, our self own self interest will gravitationally favor the welfare of our kin, our community, and society in concentric orbits as distance and mass vary. Though our pursuits may be steeped in emotion, for the rational actor, these remain confined within the walls of our ethical convictions. At the deepest level, the very substrate of our interpersonal transactions lies a singular, all-encompassing material: trust.

Trust permeates every aspect of our interactions, fostered by the consistent application of our ethical frameworks. Like the cornerstone of a great edifice, it is invaluable and, once compromised, exceedingly difficult to restore. Even a crack can render the entire structure unstable, leading to irreparable damage.

The reliance on trust underscores the inherent weaknesses in systems predicated on it. Institutions incorporate exceedingly complex architectures, not just in physical form but in the spirit and endeavor of their participants. As personnel change, the institution’s structural integrity—its fidelity—fluctuates, dependent on the commitment to foundational principles. Leadership changes can introduce fissure , initiating internal decay that threatens to collapse even the most venerable of institutions.

The inefficiencies of trust-based systems are evident. Much like the maintenance required to preserve a building’s facade and core strength, these systems consume vast resources in sustaining trust and in efforts to restore it once compromised. They enforce codes and monitor behavior not just to fulfill commitments but often to construct a facade of reliability.

History shows that the collapse of such systems is almost inevitable, marked by cycles of prosperity and crisis. These failures can stem from a misalignment of incentives, stupidity, or simple greed, with those who entrusted to perform the ongoing upkeep and maintenance choosing unsound methods and material, leading to inevitable structural instability and collapse.

What, then, is the remedy to this cyclical malaise of constructing and deconstructing trust? Must we resign ourselves to a Sisyphean fate, or is there an escape from this relentless cycle?

The answer may lie in obviating the need for institutional trust altogether, a possibility heralded by the advent of blockchain technology. This innovation promises a paradigm shift, transferring the basis of trust from fallible institutions to decentralized, immutable protocols. In essence, blockchain and the broader Web3 technologies aspire to create a “trustless” environment—one where trust is so inherent, it becomes negligible.

Web3 aims to erect a digital ecosystem characterized by security, privacy, transparency, and decentralization. It aspires to be censorship-resistant, open, permissionless, borderless, neutral, and scalable—qualities that could redefine the very nature of trust.

The construction of this new paradigm will be laborious, requiring not only technological innovation but also a cultural shift in how we perceive and interact with digital systems. The building process will demand rigorous proof of the security and reliability of these new technologies, emphasizing the critical importance of Web3 security.

As we erect this digital edifice, our enduring challenge remains to safeguard our liberties, much as we have with physical structures. The responsibility falls on us to maintain vigilance in the digital age, fortifying against the dual threats of tyranny and surveillance with every tool at our disposal.

Thus, in our efforts to construct a freer, more secure digital world, we have dedicated our attention to Web3 security—not merely as a technical goal or means to financial reward but as enlistment in the fight for personal autonomy in the face of ever-evolving threats and disintegrating institutions. It is in our collective interest to build systems that mitigate risks, appropriately penalize wrongdoing, and promote constructive participation. This may start with the technical aspects of Web3 but extends to the broader ethical and social implications on which our entire society is built.

In this spirit, we present these insights into Web3 security as our contribution to a nobler cause.

~ Amo

Who is the content on this site for?

Anyone interested in gaining a greater understanding of security as it pertains to Web3, Blockchain, Smart Contracts and Cryptocurrency can find value in this guide. That includes:

  • Software Developers
  • Security Researchers
  • Software Architects
  • Information Technology Professionals
  • Executives and Managers
  • Investment Analysts

Focus and Scope

The first section should be accessible to anyone with IT or technology experience. The second section starts to become more technical. An effort is made to make all the content accessible to as many people as possible by (eventually) providing links and suggestions in areas where more information is required.

Nonetheless, it is impossible to avoid the inevitable narrowing of audience focus as things progress. Again, the idea is to provide as much as possible so that section by section while keeping the requirement for previous technical experience as low as possible. The third section begins to steepen as we begin a deeper dive into the programmatic aspects of Smart Contract security. Things become more technical still in our fourth section as we discuss the process of auditing Smart Contracts.

Layout and Organization

The book can be read through serially but it is also arranged to be accessed in an ad-hoc fashion with each section and subsection standing alone. If you are familiar with Smart Contracts and the basics of Web3 you will may find section 1 “Intro to Web3 Security” is redundant.

Each major section is broken down into multiple subsections that contain multiple parts with covering particular subjects.

The focus on Web3 Security and this site favors security concerns over other aspect of developing smart contracts or creating projects, subjects that are covered in-depth by many others.

Process and Publication

This a working draft that is actively being developed. It is meant to offer resources for those interested in Web3 Security. We welcome corrections, updates and additions from those who wish to contribute. Issues and changes can be made in the repository

License

Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

And thanks for all the fish…

To all who’ve inspired, contributed and been supportive, my greatest thanks. Cheers.