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  • Updated: 5 months ago

Microsoft Wants To Use Ethereum Blockchain To Fight Hackers

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Oluwatosin Ogunjuyigbe
Oluwatosin Ogunjuyigbe

A seasoned business content writer, financial markets analyst, and tech enthusiast.

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Software giant Microsoft is looking to use the Ethereum blockchain to combat digital piracy by relying on the network's transparent and decentralized nature.

According to a white paper released by the firm's research department, the Redmond-based company is exploring a new concrete system named Argus, which Microsoft dubbed as the "first public anti-piracy system." The paper contains contributions from researchers from Alibaba and Carnegie Mellon University. It studies a blockchain-based incentive system to push anti-piracy campaigns.

Microsoft says Argus will run on a public blockchain in order to allow digital piracy informers to remain anonymous while maintaining a certain level of transparency for the wider public at the same time. A blockchain is a form of public ledger, in which every transaction is recorded after it is authenticated.

Reports filed to Argus, for instance, will protect the identity of the informers but allow the firm to backtrack the source of the pirated content.

Argus enables backtracing of pirated content to the source with a corresponding watermark algorithm, which is detailed in the paper. Also named “proof of leakage,” each report of leaked content involves an information-hiding procedure. This way, no one but the informer can report the same watermarked copy without actually owning it.

The system also has incentive-reducing safeguards to prevent an informer from reporting the same leaked content over and over under different aliases. “With the security and practicality of Argus, we hope real-world antipiracy campaigns will be truly effective by shifting to a fully transparent incentive mechanism,” the report stated.

Detailing the issue of Ethereum network fees, the paper explained that the team optimized several cryptographic operations “so that the cost for piracy reporting is reduced to an equivalent cost of sending about 14 ETH-transfer transactions to run on the public Ethereum network, which would otherwise correspond to thousands of transactions.”

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Oluwatosin Ogunjuyigbe
Oluwatosin Ogunjuyigbe

A seasoned business content writer, financial markets analyst, and tech enthusiast.

More From this Author

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