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Set in the distant future, a notorious terrorist group infamously known as "51 Crew" is planning an ambush near the orbit of Thebe, Jovian moon. In the next few hours an armoured shuttle holding a prisoner which is being escorted by 4 fighters will flyby between Europa and Thebe according to their reliable intel, so they hope to retrieve the prisoner before the shuttle had the chance to slingshot away to Mars where the security is tight. Assuming the shuttle and 4 fighters are using block chain technology for their force shield, so each spaceship had their own unique frequency that is not shared among themselves. There is no way for the terrorist to break through the force shield using firepower alone, brute force method is too time consuming and guess work isn't their style either. The working principle of block chain force shield is this: each vessel had a force field generator which requires 1 unique keycode to operate. To allow their own energy based attacks to go through their own force shield but not any other requires a clever network so that's where block chain technology comes in. Time is running out, is there any way for the terrorist group to compromise the block chain force shield and retrieve the prisoner? No FTL and ET.

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closed as off-topic by JBH, Cyn, Mołot, Renan, Don Qualm Mar 19 at 10:09

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  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – JBH, Cyn, Renan
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  • $\begingroup$ I'm working on developing a smart force shield using p2p network and block chain, basic idea is to prevent friendly fire so now I need to introduce flaw in block chain tech. Otherwise my block chain force shield is too overpowered. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Mar 19 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ What comprises "blockchain" in your example? Is this network open to everyone? What are the nodes? Can terrorists plant corrupted nodes to the network? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Mar 19 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ You may have a problem or two there. Blockchain protocols only protect from tampering, not from eavesdropping. The ships would need strong encryption to advise one another about their safe frequencies -- but if they have that, then they don't need blockchain protocols at all. $\endgroup$ – LSerni Mar 19 at 7:17
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @LSerni and go one better. Block chains specifically protect from tampering of past records. While they could be used to prove a ship is "friendly" this would essentially require the record of being friendly to be in the block chain already considered good by the intended victim. Which implies the victim would already have access to that data. It seems unlikely you have enough ships in existence they would not simply have a copy of the entire known valid block chain. What you need is a way to mimic the signature of a ship in the list of known friendlies. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Mar 19 at 8:01
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    $\begingroup$ This is possibly the epitome of using blockchain where blockchain has absolutely no business being used... $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Mar 19 at 8:46
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Sounds as if the force shields are not blockchain technology by themselves. They simply require some sort of setting that can be represented by a number. Knowing this setting renders the force shield vulnerable.

You write that the setting must be known by systems on each ship, so that outgoing fire can pass the own force shield. That alone is no reason to encrypt the setting, simply transmit it on a secure, air gapped network.

One could imagine that the setting must also be known for sensors and communications, since laser cannon, lidar, and laser communications are just a difference in signal strength. That would mean the other ships in the squadron need the settings as well. Still no need for blockchain technology, simply use an one-time pad that was exchanged at base.

It sounds as if you fell prey to hype driven development. There is no reason why your force shields need blockchain technology.

One possible solution: The owners of the ship don't quite trust their crews, so they installed overrides on their shield. These overrides are signed using public/private key pairs and the integrity of the public keys is assured via blockchain.

The attack would be an attempt to insert fraudulent override public keys into the system so that the matching private key can be used to deactivate the force shield. This is no different from an attack on any other blockchain infrastructure, e.g. in finance.

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Spies

If firepower and brute force can't work, only underhanded tactics can get you through.

You either have a physical spy on one of the ships transmitting the codes or a viral spy transmitting the codes from inside the ship's computer.

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You actually want a weak spot in the distributed shielding technology.

You already have one: the ships need to be able to communicate. One-time-pad encryption guarantees that you can neither eavesdrop nor forge communications, no matter your technology.

But if you can prevent the ships from exchanging their shield configurations by jamming, or just by shooting sticky space-tar balls at lidar ports, then each shield gets locked in its current configuration and the network falls out of sync. At that point, you might happen to know that the settings are actually cyclic (assume there aren't all that many stable shield frequency configurations after all), so if you can also keep the others off your hide for long enough, you can overpower the one ship by brute force.

Duplicate the frequency-hopping of the first shot they fire at you and continue bombarding the ship with that and random attempts. After a while, unable to coordinate a "unused" schema with its siblings, the target ship will settle once again on the schema it was using when it first fired - and at that point, the "cloned" shots will get through.

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