The rise of blockchain technology and decentralized systems has brought about new security challenges which traditional security practices may not be equipped to handle. Web3, the next generation of the internet, is a decentralized system built on blockchain technology, where trust is distributed across a network of nodes instead of centralized servers. However, the distributed nature of Web3 makes it vulnerable to various security threats and attack vectors. The concept of Web3 is also very new, and no standardized common security framework exists. This has resulted in fragmented and inconsistent security practices.
This article explores the need for security standardization in Web3 and introduces the Open Standard Web3 Attack Reference (OSWAR) framework created to address this issue.
Web2, the current version of the internet, has well-established security standards, such as the MITRE ATT&CK framework. However, Web3 is still in its early stages, and no standardized security framework covers the unique challenges of decentralized systems. Decentralized systems rely on trustless networks, where trust is not placed in any single entity but distributed among the network participants. This creates new challenges that traditional security frameworks may not adequately address.
A Decentralized Application (DApp) is complex, and the infrastructure is spread across various dependencies. These can be oracles, blockchain networks, liquidity pools, hosting services, and storage solutions, all of which present numerous vulnerabilities.
Furthermore, the decentralized nature of Web3 makes it challenging to secure. Since no central authority or governance exists, anyone, including attackers, can participate in the network. Additionally, the distributed nature of Web3 also makes it challenging to identify and mitigate security threats. Each DApp is different, and each blockchain has unique structures. This also makes it harder to creatbe one unified security framework. However, this is by noe means impossible, and the need to do so becomes greater and greater as time flies by.
The lack of security standardization in Web3 creates a risk of inconsistent security practices. This can lead to less understanding, increased attack surface, and increased vulnerabilities, resulting in devastating attacks. Recent high-profile attacks, such as the Yearn Finance hack, highlight the need for standardized security practices in Web3.
To address the need for security standardization in Web3, the Open Standard Web3 Attack Reference (OSWAR) framework was developed. Inspired by the MITRE ATT&CK framework, OSWAR is a comprehensive framework that identifies, categorizes, and mitigates Web3-related attacks and vulnerabilities.
OSWAR provides a structured, comprehensive, and actionable understanding of attacker behaviors, techniques, and vulnerabilities related to decentralized systems like blockchain platforms and decentralized applications (dApps). The framework is designed to be flexible and can be customized to fit the specific needs of individual organizations.
OSWAR covers categories such as Initial Access, Execution, Persistence, Privilege Escalation, Defense Evasion, Credential Access, Lateral Movement, Command and Control, Exfiltration, and Impact. Each category has a set of techniques and sub-techniques that cover a range of Web3-specific security threats. In addition to that, we have “vertical” sections which divide the sub-techniques into more common categories like Oracle / AMM, smart contract vulnerabilities, and so forth.
The OSWAR framework provides several benefits to Web3 systems, including uniformity in security practices, common language, and common mitigation strategies. OSWAR is by no means a one-man project. It is created to be open-source and a co-operation between any interested participant from Web2 to Web3 to increase confidence in Web3 and fill the missing gap.
The OSWAR framework helps organizations identify and mitigate security threats before they become serious. The structured approach to security allows organizations to implement standardized security practices across all their systems. This results in uniformity in security practices and reduces the risk of inconsistent practices that can lead to increased vulnerabilities.
Additionally, the framework helps to reduce the attack surface of Web3 systems. By identifying potential attack vectors and techniques, organizations can take proactive measures to mitigate them before attackers can exploit them. This can help to reduce the overall risk of Web3 systems.
The OSWAR framework also increases confidence in Web3 technology by providing a standardized approach to security. As the use of Web3 technology continues to grow, it is essential to have a unified approach to security that can be applied across all Web3 systems. This can help to build trust among users and investors, which is crucial for long-term success. Furthermore, the OSWAR framework is designed to be flexible and customizable, which allows organizations to tailor their security practices to their specific needs. This can help organizations to take a proactive approach to security and identify potential threats before they become significant issues.
The lack of standardized security practices in Web3 is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. The decentralized nature of Web3 makes it vulnerable to various security threats, which require a new approach to security. The OSWAR framework provides a comprehensive and flexible approach to Web3 security, which can help organizations identify and mitigate security threats before they become significant issues. The framework provides several benefits, including enhanced security, uniformity in security practices, reduced attack surface, and increased confidence in Web3 technology. As the use of Web3 technology continues to grow, it is essential to have a standardized approach to security that can be applied across all Web3 systems. The OSWAR framework is an important step in the right direction, and it is crucial for organizations to adopt it to ensure the security and success of Web3 technology in the long run.
Finally, it is worth noting that the OSWAR framework is not a silver bullet for Web3 security. Security is a continuous process, and organizations must remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest security threats and best practices. By adopting, upgrading, and contributing to the OSWAR framework, the Web3 security space can become a little less fragmented.