- Harpie is the primary on-chain firewall product that protects customers towards frequent assault vectors in crypto.
- It really works by monitoring customers’ wallets and intervening in case of an assault by frontrunning malicious transactions and transferring their funds to a safe non-custodial vault.
- Whereas it isn’t good, it is some of the promising choices for safeguarding Web3 customers in existence right now.
Harpie’s on-chain firewall lets crypto customers join their Web3 wallets and create a secure transacting setting and shield themselves towards crypto’s most typical assault vectors.
Crypto’s Safety Drawback
As crypto and decentralized finance have risen in recognition during the last couple of years, so have cryptocurrency-related assaults, together with focused consumer thefts and protocol exploits. In response to Chainalysis‘ mid-year crypto crime report, over $1.9 billion had been stolen in hacks of customers and companies from January by way of July 2022, up from slightly below $1.2 billion over the primary seven months of 2021. And whereas a lot of the exploits have been protocol-related, many customers have had their wallets drained thanks partially to the dangers related to utilizing Web3 right now.
For customers who frequently work together with DeFi protocols and NFT marketplaces, transacting in Web3 can nearly really feel like taking part in Minesweeper in actual life. Each transaction approval and on-chain interplay with a third-party software can probably result in pockets compromise and lack of funds. Sadly, there hasn’t been a easy or environment friendly resolution to this downside to date. The preferred Web3 wallets, like MetaMask or Belief Pockets, do an abysmal job of conveying the character of every on-chain interplay to their customers. As a substitute of constructing every transaction clear, the default descriptions of most in-wallet transaction confirmations learn like gibberish to most unsophisticated customers, leaving them successfully blind to even essentially the most fundamental safety threats.
MetaMask’s description for a easy interplay with a Web3 software (Supply: MetaMask)
Past the standard protocol hacks, maybe essentially the most harmful sort of assaults affecting crypto customers are so-called “approve spend” exploits that trick customers into approving malicious transitions that enable the hackers to empty the customers’ wallets. One other frequent approach Web3 customers lose their cash is by having their personal keys compromised, which generally entails customers putting in malicious software program like keyloggers, storing their seed phrases in plain textual content on insecure gadgets, or falling for phishing scams.
Defending towards all of those assault vectors has all the time been doable, however it requires vital technical data, sophistication, and sacrifices in consumer expertise. Harpie is hoping to unravel this downside.
Harpie is the primary on-chain firewall resolution that lets Ethereum customers create a secure transacting setting by whitelisting a set of addresses and Web3 purposes they deem secure. The service displays linked wallets for pending suspicious or unpermitted transactions to cease them once they floor. When it detects a suspicious transaction, it instantly strikes the consumer’s funds out of their pockets and right into a secure, non-custodial vault, defending the funds from potential theft.
Harpie does this by frontrunning malicious transactions by paying the next fuel payment. For instance, suppose a hacker has by some means gotten maintain of a consumer’s personal keys or fooled them into approving a malicious spending transaction and tried to switch funds from the sufferer’s pockets into his handle. In that case, Harpie would detect the outgoing transaction from the sufferer’s pockets to an unapproved handle, and robotically broadcast one other transaction with the next fuel payment to maneuver the goal’s funds right into a secure vault earlier than the outgoing transaction is confirmed.
Ethereum validators prioritize transactions with the best fuel charges, which implies they’ll decide up and make sure Harpie’s benevolent transactions earlier than any attackers, thus saving customers from theft.
After Harpie has intervened and moved the property to a secure place, the consumer can withdraw them to a brand new uncompromised pockets for a flat payment of 0.01 ETH, whatever the quantity that was saved within the process.
Customers should join their present Web3 pockets to Harpie to make use of the service. They will do that by clicking the “Enter App” button within the prime proper nook of Harpie’s homepage after which clicking “Join” inside the applying. Customers additionally want to verify the connection inside their wallets individually to offer Harpie permission to observe their wallets and transfer funds from them in case of an incident.
Connecting to Harpie’s service (Supply: Harpie)
After connecting, customers are requested to arrange their “Trusted Community” of purposes and addresses. These are purposes and addresses the customers deem secure and want to exclude from the firewall, that means Harpie gained’t robotically block any transactions with them.
Making a “Trusted Community” (Supply: Harpie)
To do that, customers can select in the event that they use DeFi purposes, NFT marketplaces, or each and choose their trusted community of purposes from a preselected record of established protocols. The entire protocols that Harpie recommends by default have undergone in depth auditing, stood the take a look at of time, and are typically thought of safe, that means customers ought to really feel secure about whitelisting all of them. After choosing the trusted set of purposes, customers should press “Proceed” within the backside proper nook and signal the transaction inside their pockets.
Upon signing, Harpie will begin integrating its firewall system with the consumer’s pockets, and after it’s completed, customers will probably be directed to their dashboard. There, they’ll navigate to the “My Trusted Community” tab and add all of the addresses they’re frequently interacting with below the “Buddies” part. These might embody their very own private wallets, their associates’ wallets, and the deposit addresses of the centralized exchanges they use.
Customers should additionally allow Harpie to entry their pockets’s funds to have the ability to transfer them to a safe vault in case of an assault. They will do that by clicking “Defend” for every asset of their dashboard’s “Protected Belongings” part. If they’ll’t see all of the property they’re holding of their pockets, they’ll import them manually from the identical dashboard part.
Defending Uniswap’s UNI token (Supply: Harpie)
Clicking “Defend” for every asset is essentially the most essential job for each consumer utilizing Harpie. It’s because whitelisting a trusted community of purposes and addresses solely tells Harpie what visitors to observe, whereas allowing it to entry the pockets’s funds is what truly permits it to intervene and transfer the property to a secure place in case of an assault.
Lastly, customers have to arrange a withdrawal handle that may have the power to retrieve the funds moved to the secure vault in case Harpie has intervened throughout a safety breach. They will do that by clicking on the “Setup” button within the “Setup withdrawal handle” part, getting into the handle they wish to use for retrieving funds, clicking “Register,” after which approving the motion with their pockets.
It’s essential to make clear that Harpie can solely shield customers from dropping property they have already got of their wallets. If customers deposit or stake their property on a third-party crypto protocol and the applying will get hacked, Harpie gained’t have the ability to do something to guard the customers’ funds.
Whereas no single system or protocol can resolve crypto’s safety downside, Harpie’s on-chain firewall method provides a necessary layer of safety to the each day operations of the extra energetic Web3 customers. Past protocol hacks and sure edge circumstances, Harpie can successfully shield customers towards nearly frequent crypto exploits with out severely impeding their consumer expertise.
With that mentioned, interacting with Web3 with Harpie’s firewall resolution nonetheless introduces some inevitable hindrances from a consumer expertise standpoint. For instance, customers might overlook to whitelist their good friend’s handle or their very own account on a centralized alternate and have their property robotically moved to Harpie’s non-custodial vault after they try to make an intentional switch. Past that, Harpie additionally doesn’t present customers with a easy strategy to revoke the firewall’s entry. As soon as enabled, customers want to make use of a third-party software like revoke.money to revoke the entry they’ve given to Harpie in the event that they want to opt-out of it.
All the pieces thought of, Harpie gives a much-needed on-chain safety layer that customers at the moment can’t discover wherever else. Whereas Harpie is just not good right now, its resolution is a transparent step in the proper route towards making Web3 safer for normal customers.
Disclosure: On the time of writing, the creator of this text owned ETH and several other different cryptocurrencies.