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Top 10 Blockchain Hacking Techniques of 2023 - Community Nominations

The success and sustainability of decentralized protocols hinge on overcoming the persistent challenge of security vulnerabilities. Each year, exploited security vulnerabilities end up costing the blockchain industry billions of dollars. In light of this reality, and owing to our commitment to securing the blockchain ecosystem, OpenZeppelin has started a series of blog posts aimed at publishing the top 10 blockchain hacking techniques of the year. The series was successfully kicked off in 2023 with our first blog post being about the Top 10 Hacking Techniques of 2022.

This endeavor has a threefold purpose: documenting all the notable hacking techniques and security research for the year, surfacing overlooked security research, and compiling a must-read top 10 list of vulnerabilities for every blockchain developer and security researcher. Ultimately, the goal is to bring the most devious vulnerabilities to the fore, and discuss, document and share them with all the stakeholders of the web3 ecosystem.

While projects like DASP Top 10 identify the most common vulnerability types, OpenZeppelin's Top 10 Blockchain Hacking Techniques project sets itself apart by identifying and publishing the most novel, pervasive, and impactful vulnerability types, techniques, and attack vectors on a yearly basis.

With the voting stage having drawn to a close, we now have the list of top 15 shortlisted entries!

Community Voting Outcome

The top 15 hacking techniques, as voted for by the community, are given below! At the moment, a panel of security experts is going through these nominations to select the final top 10. Stay tuned for the final blog post by following us on X.

Community Nominations

While we have our Top 15 entries, the original list of nominations is given below due to the high quality of each entry. It is well worth one's time to go through each and gain a better understanding of some of 2023's most important vulnerabilities and attack vectors.

The “Top 10” process

The process of selecting these top 10 hacking techniques is as follows: first, the community is invited to submit their candidate hacking techniques or piece of blockchain security research. Then, the community is allowed to vote for the nominated entries after which only 15 entries remain. Afterwards, a panel of top blockchain security experts chooses 10 out of these 15 entries. These 10 finalist hacking techniques are then published in a final blog post.

A detailed breakdown of the entire process and its timeline is given below:

Phase 1: Community Nominations
January 18 - February 5 
The community submits their entries. These can consist of either the submitter's research or an article they have read somewhere. The main requirement is that the research should have been published in 2023.

Phase 2: Community Voting
February 6 - February 12
The community votes on the nominations after which only 15 will remain. These 15 will then make it to the third phase. Voting will happen on this page via form listing each of the submitted nominations.

Phase 3: Panel Voting
February 13 - February 26
A panel of blockchain security experts votes to narrow down the 15 community-selected results to the final 10. 

Phase 4: Publishing
February 29
The Top 10 Blockchain Hacking Techniques are published along with their respective summaries. 

To stay up-to-date with the whole process as it unfolds, be sure to follow OpenZeppelin on X.