Best Smart Contract Auditors of 2024

Discover the top smart contract auditors of 2024 and learn how they safeguard the web3 space against hacks and security breaches, ensuring the integrity of blockchain protocols.

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13 March 2024
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In 2023, we witnessed numerous protocol hacks and security breaches in the crypto/web3 space, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies.

Image credit: chainalysis

According to a recent report by Chainalysis, illicit addresses received a staggering $24.2 billion in 2023. This substantial amount includes funds stolen by hackers and from other crypto-related attacks and scams.

Unfortunately, this concerning trend persists in 2024, with protocols like Gamma Strategies (lost $3.4M), Radiant Capital ($4.5M), and Socket Protocol ($3.3M) falling victim to malicious actors who exploited vulnerabilities to steal funds.

This highlights the urgent need for a more robust security infrastructure and framework in the crypto/web3 space.

But how?

Smart Contract Auditing

Image credit: hrmasia

To enhance the security of protocols and decentralized applications (dApps), one effective approach is to conduct audits on smart contracts and crypto-related systems.

This process involves a thorough examination of a smart contract's code, typically performed by a third party.

The purpose of this audit is to identify and address errors, issues, bugs and security vulnerabilities within the code, offering recommendations for improvement.

Smart contract audits are imperative, especially when dealing with contracts involving financial assets or valuable items, as they ensure a robust and secure implementation of the code.

To enhance the efficacy of smart contract audits, it is best to carry out audits in line with industry best practices.

Some Industry Best Practices Include:

Initial Consultation/Establishing clear objectives:

Here the auditor engages with the protocol for the first time to learn about the specific protocol security needs and to ensure that all stakeholders involved have an understanding of what the audit aims to achieve.

The scope, goals, and objectives of the audit will be clearly defined before starting the process.

Familiarizing And Understanding The Protocol Functionalities And Architecture.

Here the auditor goes through the specifications, documentation, and requirements of the smart contract to understand the functionality of the smart contract and the desired use cases, after which the auditor reviews the design and architecture of the smart contracts powering the web3 protocol. This helps in identifying potential vulnerabilities and design flaws and provides an in-depth understanding of the intended behavior of the web3 protocol.

Contract/Code Review

This involves conducting thorough code review. It is one of the most important parts of an audit. Reviewing the smart contract codes ensures that it is accurate and can perform intended functionalities as well as making sure it is free of errors and vulnerabilities.

Review External Dependencies

This has to do with reviewing any third-party dependencies and libraries used by the protocol to ensure they will not introduce vulnerabilities and that they are compatible with the protocol.

Identifying And Addressing  Security Risks

This is the goal of an audit. It involves reviewing the entire smart contract to identify potential security threats, such as attack vectors, bugs, or vulnerabilities, and develop strategies to mitigate them.

Test Functionality

Here a  functionality test is conducted on the protocol to ensure that the smart contract is operating as intended.

Document And Report Findings

Once the auditing process is completed the auditing firm documents and releases a report of their findings to stakeholders.

Now the most important step is choosing a competent blockchain/smart contract auditing firm to go through your protocol or smart contracts.

Enters Hashlock, in Strategic Partnership with Antematter.

Championing Smart Contract Security Audits Together

Hashlock and Antematter leads the pack when it comes to blockchain security and smart contract auditing firms.

The Australian firm boasts auditors with years of experience in blockchain/crypto and web3 security.

Just like Antematter, Hashlock also carries out comprehensive audits after understanding the infrastructure and use case of the protocol or web3 solution by employing innovative auditing techniques which combine automated tools with manual line-by-line code review, vulnerability analysis and offensive testing using industry-leading software toolkits and their red-teaming skillset.

Every web3 protocol is unique and has its own set of functionalities and use cases, for this reason, Hashlock employs a customized approach to each project ensuring that all unique aspects and potential vulnerabilities of smart contracts are thoroughly addressed.

Additionally, with the unique nature of each protocol and smart contract in mind, Hashlock researches and reviews the deployment environment of each project.

The deployment environment of a web3 project includes the blockchain, relevant protocols/third-party oracles and APIs along with the entire security landscape of that environment.

The review of deployment environments for web3 projects helps in identifying web3 security issues within the specific context.

After all recommendations for remediation or risk mitigation and vulnerabilities have been mitigated. Hashlock releases the final report to the project and the general public at the discretion of the project clearly and concisely.

Conclusion

Smart contract auditing gives web3 projects a robust security framework as bugs and vulnerabilities are identified and resolved thus it protects the integrity of the protocols while building trust and credibility in the eyes of users.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of crypto and web3, new threats constantly emerge as malicious actors devise innovative methods to exploit protocols.

To address these challenges, blockchain security and smart contract security firms, such as Hashlock, provide comprehensive support. This includes penetration testing, on-chain monitoring and incident response services aimed at promptly addressing any suspicious activity.

The goal is to effectively mitigate hacks and breaches, ensuring the robust security of protocols.

For blockchain projects seeking a partner that offers advanced, customized, and client-focused auditing services, Hashlock represents the optimal choice.

With a team of highly skilled smart contract auditors and cyber security professionals, Hashlock represents the optimal choice for blockchain/crypto projects seeking advanced, customized, and project-focused auditing and security services.

This blog is presented by Hashlock, the strategic partner of Antematter in smart contracts security audits.