We are 2/5 of a Blockchain Research Team at ECU and we have personally met with city hall of Greenville, NC (a city victimized by ransomware attacks) as well as seen the effects in Jacksonville, NC (my hometown). We know just how badly it can hurt a town. Also, in our research on other tech for the project, we came across many stories about hospitals being unable to help their patients or having to turn them away over ransomware attacks. ** Watching stories about ransomware on the news is saddening but we actually got the opportunity to talk to the affected parties and they were our inspiration **
What it does
It offers relatively cheap, incredibly efficient option for a town or hospital to be prepared for a ransomware attack as well as dissuade the hacker from attacking entirely
How we built it
We've had some experience building blockchain solutions which we did through our regular process of research and hitting the literal drawing board
We are still working on the actual blockchain code but we built it using Go and by using an example from Coral Health
Challenges we ran into
Until now, all of our blockchain solutions have been about helping the agricultural industry in small towns so we knew a bit about that. Unfortunately, we didn't know much at all about how hospitals secure their data and what their process is in the event of a ransomware attack. It was a big learning curve.
More importantly, Blockchain is a pretty abstract concept which makes it hard to explain. We have had to delay our work on building the actual blockchain in favor of trying to find way to explain our solution and why it's necessary. That includes spending hours on making designs and presentations/website.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have found a way to genuinely help people victimized by ransomware. It is bad tech people who are attacking them and we get to be the tech people who fight back against them
What we learned
We learned quite a bit about the data systems of hospitals (and to a lesser extent, small towns). We learned about IPFS (interplanetary file system) and how it compares to HTTP/HTTPS. We learned that if you drink 4 redbulls and eat [redacted] Awake chocolates, you can hear colors
What's next for ChainAttack
If we win anything here, we believe we can convince ECU to let us expand our Blockchain Research project out of the agricultural field so that we can pursue this solution as a full research project. That way, we can actually make the change instead of just talking about it