ConsenSys, a prominent blockchain technology firm, has recently unveiled its latest tool, “Diligence Fuzzing,” designed to bolster the security of smart contracts. The tool aims to identify potential vulnerabilities by introducing random and invalid data points during testing. This will ultimately mitigate the risk of significant financial losses and cyber-attacks.

Rising Concerns: Decentralized Finance Hacks

The decentralized finance sector experienced staggering losses amounting to over $2.8 billion in hacks during 2022. This alarming trend has prompted developers to adopt more sophisticated testing methods to proactively detect weaknesses before malicious actors exploit them.

Initially available as a closed beta version, access to the “Diligence Fuzzing” tool required prior approval from ConsenSys. However, as of August 1, the tool is now accessible to all developers without the need for any approval process.

Furthermore, the tool has been seamlessly integrated into the smart contract toolkit Foundry. This further offers developers a free version to test its capabilities before committing to it.

The Inner Workings of “Diligence Fuzzing”

Liz Daldalian, ConsenSys security services lead, provided insights into how the “Diligence Fuzzing” tool operates. Developers can annotate their contracts using a machine language called “Scribble,” also developed by ConsenSys. These annotations enable the fuzzing tool to understand the contract better.

Subsequently, the tool generates unexpected inputs to assess whether the contract could be coerced into producing unintended actions.

A visual representation of Smat contrcacts

Unlike traditional black-box fuzzers that rely on entirely random data, “Diligence Fuzzing” adopts a more intelligent approach. Gonçalo Sá, a security researcher at ConsenSys, clarified that the tool is a “grey-box fuzzer.” It leverages an understanding of the program’s current state to limit the range of data produced, resulting in increased efficiency.

Increasing Interest in Fuzzing

Gonçalo Sá noted that developers have shown a growing interest in fuzzing, particularly since the widespread adoption of Foundry’s default black-box fuzzer. However, some users have sought a more sophisticated fuzzer, which Diligence Fuzzer aims to fulfill. Gonçalo Sá explained:

Gonçalo Sá explained:

“People are now trying to harness the power of the different types of security tools that they have in their hands. And Foundry [has] a black box fuzzer that is really easy to use. […] So people now are starting to understand the power of fuzzing. […] And they are looking for more powerful tools.”

Limitations and a Path to Safer Smart Contracts

Smart contract hacks continue to pose a significant challenge, with Web3 security vulnerabilities alone resulting in losses exceeding $471.43 million in the first half of 2023. While acknowledging that “Diligence Fuzzing” is not a “silver bullet” that can eradicate all smart contract hacks, Liz Daldalian emphasized its role as one of many tools developers can use to write more secure smart contracts.

This collective effort is expected to pave the way for minimizing losses within the Web3 community and fortifying the ecosystem against potential cyber threats.

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