Devs Introduce Underhanded Solidity Coding Contest

On July 3, 2017, in an apparent effort to encourage white hat “hacking” of Ethereum’s popular EDCC syntax language, George Hallam – former Ethereum Foundation (EF) Director of External Communications and current Head of Business Development of Melonport – announced a contest to help in finding ways Solidity can be manipulated to promote nefarious purposes. As Nick Johnson – EF contributor and director of the contest – put it, the goal is “to encourage people to think underhandedly for a good cause: finding and publicising 'gotchas' in Solidity and smart contract coding.” The contest asks for coders to submit EDCCs that can be used to trick third parties into falling for some type of Ethereum-based trap.

To enter the contest, programmers must submit an ICO-related EDCC written in Solidity that hides some sort of trick not easily apparent to a code-reviewer. Examples of possible tricks include a token offering that allows some investors to get more tokens than they should be entitled to, a token disbursement EDCC with a hidden backdoor for project creators to fully withdraw all funds at any time, and a token contract with a veiled mechanism for creating more tokens. Programmers that submit their work by the July 31st deadline will be entered for a chance to win the first prize – an EF-donated admission to Devcon 3, where they can potentially be given an opportunity to present their underhanded contract.

For more rules and guidelines, see the contest’s website.

The Ethereum Foundation is not involved in this event, but did contribute to the event’s prizes.