May 23–26, 2024, Moscow, Luzhniki sports complex

4/22/2022

PHDays 2022: cyberart is at risk. Again

Collectors no longer store works of art in safes—galleries and museums are now no less secure than the most impenetrable vaults. But can criminals steal a painting without leaving home?

PHDays 2022 in May will see a revamped edition of The Standoff Digital Art: intrepid researchers will again try to steal cryptomasterpieces right there in the metaverse, while forum guests will be able to visit London without leaving Moscow.

Last year can be safely called the year of NFT. Trade on the NFT art market reached $41 billion, coming close to the traditional art market. Tokens allow everyone to become owners of unique items. When artists, especially during lockdown, had new opportunities to sell their works, cybercriminals came knocking: phishing and exploitation of smart contract vulnerabilities are now all too common in the NTF sphere.Experts do not rule out the emergence of new methods of fraud in this market.

At The Standoff in November, white hats managed to hack the works of six Russian digital artists. Desinfo, Meta Rite, Artem Tkach, volv_victory, Anomalit Kate, and loiterkiddd were brave enough to let their masterpieces be hacked. To steal a picture, cybersecurity researchers had to find vulnerabilities in smart contracts by analyzing the source code published in the Ethereum blockchain test network. Each NFT was hacked only once. Five of them succumbed to Alexey Bykhun in the first hours of the competition, and Alexey Egorov cracked the sixth.

"Most smart contract vulnerabilities are related to the generation of a new collection. At this stage, each item in the collection is assigned a set of characteristics. Having learned to predict them, an attacker can intercept the rarest and most expensive NFTs outside the pricing rules.At PHDays 2022, participants will have to solve even more complex and interesting tasks than last year, and our competition will reach a cosmic level: together with Arcona, we will place digital artworks in augmented reality," notes Arseny Reutov, Head of Application Security Research, Positive Technologies.

Paintings by Russian artists will appear in the virtual art galleries of Arcona XR Metaverse one week before the forum. The application will let you visit the digital exhibition from anywhere in the world.

"Arcona XR Metaverse is a global augmented reality (AR) metaverse. It is based on a unique technology platform that automatically generates an AR layer anywhere in the world. On this layer, on digital land, different interactive projects can run simultaneously: games, historical reconstructions, tourist attractions. Such a large-scale ecosystem increases the demand for AR technology, making it mainstream. Armed with a digitized plot of land and a set of 3D models, the general user can place virtual content anywhere in the world in a few minutes, independently and remotely. All digital plots of land and content in the metaverse are designed as NFT assets, which makes the platform open for integration and partnership with any decentralized platforms," says Ilya Korguzalov, founder of Arcona XR Metaverse.

Blockchain remembers everything. This is what hackers can exploit. The contestants will have to conduct their own investigation and find information that will allow them to take possession of digital paintings.

The forum will also host a unique event: a thematic AR project launched in London remotely from Moscow! An interactive installation generated in a Moscow studio will unfold in front of the audience in the British capital.

Want to see it with your own eyes? Welcome to PHDays 2022!