EBSIS Summer School
on Distributed Event Based Systems
and Related Topics 2017

July 10—14, 2017 – Timmendorfer Strand, Germany

★ Lecture Abstract

On the Security and Scalability of PoW-based Blockchains

Ghassan Karame (NEC Research Laboratories Europe)

The blockchain emerges as an innovative tool which can change the way we see a number of online applications today. In this tutorial, we overview, detail, and analyze the security provisions of Proof of Work (PoW)-based blockchains - effectively capturing recently reported attacks and threats in the system. Our contributions go beyond the mere analysis of reported vulnerabilities on PoW; namely, we describe and evaluate a number of countermeasures to deter threats on the system - some of which have already been incorporated in the system. Given the increasing number of alternative blockchain proposals, this lecture extracts the basic security lessons learnt from existing PoW-based deployments with the aim to foster better designs and analysis of next-generation secure blockchain currencies and technologies.

Speaker Bio

Ghassan O. Karame is the Manager and Chief Researcher of the Security Group of NEC Research Laboratories in Germany. Until April 2012, he was working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute of Information Security of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He holds a Master of Science degree in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and a PhD degree in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. Ghassan is interested in all aspects of security and privacy with a focus on cloud security, SDN/network security, and Blockchain security.