Ethereum audit

Can Ethereum Smart Contract Audits Be Fully Automated?

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Money and crime have always gone hand in hand. So is the digital world. Since the inception of blockchain technology, there has always been turmoil in the blockchain space with continuous hacking exploits. Only conducting an extensive smart contract audit can help eliminate this situation! 

Nowadays, the cost that people incur on Ethereum audits is exorbitant. It can range between $50,000-$100,000 and often, even more than this. Added to it is a large amount of time behind this comprehensive process. 

If you ask any developers, they would prefer computers to be more efficient in verifying highly-intricate codes. So, it is always a great idea to extract the most out of this process to an automated software editor. This does not mean that the job of human security auditors is futile; it must be an added step after the comprehensive auditing process is completed to add an extra layer of security to the smart contracts. 

In this blog, we will try to understand if Ethereum smart contract audits can be fully automated and, if so, how. Let us get started. 

What Is An Ethereum Smart Contract? 

Smart contracts are computer codes that are built on a blockchain. They consist of a set of rules and conditions. When these conditions are met, they are enforced without the intervention of a centralized or a third party. 

Ethereum is a blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system that is open source and accessible to the general public. It supports smart contracts. Once they are installed on the Ethereum platform, the smart contracts are unchangeable. Therefore, the security of these contracts is crucial.

Is it possible to automate these smart contracts? Let us test this. 

How To Test This? 

Create a free automated web-smart contract auditor; the next step is to open-source it. It will look similar to the web-based solidity remix compiler. The contributions that would come from the blockchain community will help it grow into a better and more reliable platform. However, it would be best if you remembered that this auditor would be in its nascent stage and require a lot of work. 

Let’s see how to create the auditor and then understand how to include the auditing logic in the code. 

For the Front end, you can use React(create-react-app) and for the back end, use Node.js/javascript. Deploy the code to Netflify(serverless). 

  1. This is the basic setup. 
  • The first step is navigating to the directory you prefer in the command line and then creating a new react project. 
  • Delete all the files in the src folder in the project you have newly created. 
  • Then, you need to create an index.js file, a components file as well as an app.js file in it. It is up to you how you set your src folder. 
  • After this, install some modules and libraries like Web3, BrowserSolc, etc. 
  • Read the code that is pasted in the browser. Here, you will see how all its content will be stored in the state. For this, you can use a controlled text area semantic react component, which will serve as the auditor’s input. 
  1. The next step is to extract the contract’s code and then save it in array format.
  • Then comes the javascript method ‘.split(“\n”).’ This will help split the smart contract code into an array based on each new line. 
  1. Code compilation 
  • The backend of this auditor is structured in 2 parts– first, a solidity compiler will run the code and then provide feedback on the errors. The second part is where a set of logic tries to find all the security vulnerabilities in the code. 
  • Remember to define BrowserSolc and Web3 in your app.js file. You can also include BrowserSolc as a script in your ‘public.index.html.’ 
  • Then, the next step is to compile the smart contract code that is currently saved in the state. 
  • You can call the Ethereum blockchain to retrieve estimated gas cost after successfully compiling Web3 and bytecode. 
  1. Smart contract audit
  • Outside your app component, create a separate file and name it auditor.js. Name the audit file audit.js. All the audit logic will be there in this file. We need to send the smart contract array to this newly created file, audit it, and then send it back to the component file. 
  • Next, the task is to break down the code so that it becomes easier to look for a Reentrancy attack, one of the most common attacks in this space.

Hopefully, you’ve found this blog useful in understanding how to automate Ethereum smart contracts. We have tried to accommodate all the steps to do this. If you still need clarification about this, you can always get the guidance of an expert auditor who can help you with the Ethereum audit and help you protect your digital assets. 

Read more: Comparison between Blockchain Protocols: Klaytn and Stellar

David Henry

I am David Henry, a full-time Smart contract auditor. With an overall experience of over 4 years in this industry, I have got a strong grasp on the Vulnerabilities that crop up in smart contracts. I have found a variety of critical bugs in different smart contracts over the last few years and have suggested my own recommendations to clients on how to fix them.  The auditing reports that I have produced have been flawless, and in this way, I have made transactions smoother in the financial world. My hobbies include cooking and singing.

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