Icoverage.io monetizes via affiliate links and ad placement. As a user, you help us continue our services when you use these links at no cost to you, see our affiliate disclosure. Suv Ads are live, here's what they are.
Web3 reportedly earns hackers an average of $120,000 in bounty rewards as smart contract vulnerabilities increase.
Web3 hacking is currently a high-demand skill as growing concerns over DeFi, smart contracts and blockchain security hit the ecosystem following the loss of billions in preceding years.
In the second quarter of 2023, hackers made away with over $204 million causing an industry-wide urgency for ethical hackers to strengthen the security of the emerging financial technology.
In this article, we'll explain briefly what web3 hacking is, and how to become a web3 hacker, exploring the difference between ethical and unethical practices with a keen focus on the demand for fresh minds with these skills.
● Web3 hacking involves the exploitation of vulnerabilities in programs deployed in web3 platforms.
● Most web3 hackers analyze smart contract codes in search of loopholes.
● In 2022, about $3.8 billion was stolen from the Web3 ecosystem through hacks.
● DeFi protocols accounted for 82.1% of the hacks with cross-chain bridge protocols being the major playing field accounting for 64% of DeFi exploits.
● Becoming an ethical web3 hacker is currently a high-demand skill with rewards of up to $120,000 per vulnerability uncovered.
Understanding Web3 Hacking
What is web3 hacking in simple terms?
Web3 hacking is the use of special software to gain access to web3 platforms. This process is effective when said platforms have vulnerabilities that allow individuals or third-party organizations to gain unauthorized access to their systems and thereby perform any activity deemed fit.
For context, web3 is widely considered the next phase of the Internet which is purpose-built to enhance data ownership and control. Web3 also comes with the vast monetization of user engagement which is enabled by tokenization coupled with the decentralized management of finance as digitalization becomes a bigger reality for humans.
With the break-out of web3 came a wave of opportunities leading to vast product and project developments attracting billions in venture capital funding. In Q1 of 2021, web3 saw an in-flow of over $8 billion, although these numbers have slowly declined due to global financial crises such as inflation, bankrupt companies and financial institutions, notwithstanding, the Web3 ecosystem is actively attracting not only investors but builders and users.
Following its explosive adoption and developments, web3 has become a honey pot for many hackers out there as previously mentioned, the ecosystem lost over $3.8 billion to hacks in 2022.
But hacking isn't always bad, the intention is what sets aside ethical and unethical hacking.
For example, some web3 hackers refund the assets they drain from protocols they exploit, reporting that their acts were carried out in good faith to expose the ecosystem to just how vulnerable they were. These hacks are typically termed "Whitehat Hacking" or "Ethical Hacking" whereas individuals or organizations exploit vulnerabilities in a system solely to expose its weaknesses and point them to ways to improve their security.
That said, it is important to note that legally, to be considered a "Whitehat Hacker" or an ethical hacker, you need to have explicit permissions from system owners to penetrate their systems and no financial rewards are to be taken by you other than ones given by the company.
Whilst some hackers exploit a system without permission and demand to take a cut from the sum they managed to drain through the exploit and call it all "whitehat hacking", it is much more ethical to work with permission where exploit opportunities are reported rather than taken.
Ethical hackers typically earn what is called "bounty rewards" or are placed on salaries for those working for organizations such as smart contracts and blockchain auditing companies that review smart contracts securities and blockchain security.
How To Become A Web3 Hacker
Becoming a web3 hacker requires several steps of training as the skill is increasingly becoming rewarding. Below are well-curated steps required to attain a level of professionalism as a web3 hacker.
Steps to becoming a web3 hacker include:
● Learning the basics and advanced knowledge of blockchain technology
Please note, that we will recommend partner resources that are vetted by industry leaders such as IBM Blockchain, Cisco, Cognizant, ORACLE and more to help you attain these skills, you can see our affiliates and promotion disclosures here.
Some of the basic knowledge of blockchain technology and web3 that needs to be attained includes:
After using the available resources above to learn the basics and advanced knowledge of blockchain technology, it is important to test out what you've learned.
The above resources are vested with practical examples and work-along guides by experts in the ecosystem, this gives you a playing field advantage.
That said, artificial intelligence enhances how we work, you can leverage various AI tools to write various code examples and likewise use them to analyze for vulnerabilities, testing your knowledge of possible loopholes in smart contracts, for example, that can lead to protocol exploits.
The more test contracts you write or generate using AI to analyze, the better you'll get at it.
● Begin Analyzing Open-source software
The reality of hacking Web3 platforms is that you do not have to develop software that blindly relies on tricking the system to grant you some sort of access to the codebase, rather, given that the ecosystem is vastly open source, it is far easier to analyze every structure carefully(and legally) to find vulnerabilities compared to closed-sourced platforms.
Note that it is important to constantly test out your findings on open-source software by replicating the design and test-running an exploit to see if it would be successful.
● Go Bounty Or Job Hunting
The good thing about acquiring this skill is that it comes with quite the flexibility. You can be a solo hacker or choose to work under an organization.
For solo hackers seeking to work alone, bounty hunting is the way to go. Bounty hunting is basically the search of a system for vulnerabilities with the permission of the owners.
Project owners or developers often set up bounty rewards for hackers who can find vulnerabilities in their systems. As a solo hacker, you can leverage your acquired web3 hacking skills to analyze these systems for vulnerabilities and earn rewards.
Now you're probably wondering, how much would you earn? Let's ask Whitehat hacker, satya0x, who got $10 million for reporting a bug found in Wormhole as a bounty reward.
Or Whitehat hacker, pwning.eth who was reportedly paid $6 million for a critical bug found in Aurora. By utilizing bug bounty platforms like Immunefi, a soon-to-be "Whitehacker" like yourself can earn millions monthly or yearly depending on your work and success rate.
There are currently over $158 million in bounty rewards up for grabs from various web3 platforms asking ethical hackers to improve their system's security.
WEB3 HACKER CERTIFICATION - ENROLL NOW!
Boost your resume and advance in knowledge through the "Certified Web3 Hacker" course and earn a certificate respected by technology-leading companies.
Gain an in-depth understanding of real-world web3 exploits with expert guidance through the use of various tools for ethical web3 hacking.
On the other hand, you could work under a company as an expert auditor and earn a timely salary for your services. There are numerous smart contracts and blockchain security firms specializing in chain audits and improvement currently hiring. So long as you've attained some respected certifications in the industry and can practicalize your skills, getting a job at these firms should be easy and you'd get to work and earn right away.
Is web3 hacking a high-paying job?
Yes, you can earn millions being a web3 hacker and all it takes is some knowledge of reading, understanding, writing and interpreting codes.
Web3 hackers are in demand as web3 platform exploits increase on a daily basis.
How to know if Web3 hacking is for you?
If you're passionate about developing or contributing to a more secure cyber environment, then Web3 hacking should be a perfect job for you.