MetaMask has partnered with security firm Blockaid to introduce a Web3 security alert feature.
Introduced Tuesday, the feature aims to prevent malicious transactions in advance by providing a strong defense against scams, phishing and hacking, all while maintaining user privacy. This innovation makes MetaMask the world’s first self-custody Web3 wallet to include built-in security alerts.
MetaMask desktop users can enable the feature in the MetaMask experimental settings by adding the Privacy Preserving Offline Module (PPOM).
MetaMask senior product owner Bárbara Schorchit explained that the PPOM is an offline security engine. It can mimic and verify transactions and signatures before authorizing them, utilizing node RPC communication requests to a designated node provider without transmitting data to an external server.
“Blockaid’s dApp scanning solution is capable of taking any dApp fully simulating all possible user interactions and validating whether those interactions are malicious, thus determining if the entire dApp is malicious or not,” Schorchit said.
Users who choose to enable the feature during the initial integration will receive alerts for potentially harmful transactions. The new feature will be introduced on the MetaMask mobile app in late November.
“By the first quarter of 2024, our intention is to have this new feature seamlessly integrated and enabled into the wallet by default, making it available to 100% of MetaMask’s users,” said Schorchit.
Regarding the privacy-focused elements of MetaMask’s new alert features, Schorchit explained that MetaMask handles the simulation and validation on the user’s device, and the only communication required is with the blockchain through the user’s selected node provider.
Blockaid estimates that roughly 10 percent of decentralized applications (dApps) are malicious. Meanwhile, a recent survey by Consensys on Web3 perceptions revealed that 47 percent of global participants identified “too many scams” as a significant obstacle to entering the crypto ecosystem.
Ido Ben-Natan, co-founder and CEO of Blockaid, emphasized the need for the cryptocurrency ecosystem to be made safer to accommodate billions of users.
“We’re excited to be working with MetaMask on leading the charge in defining how a wallet should defend its users,” Ben-Natan said.
Before this new alert feature, MetaMask and Blockaid had introduced an experimental security alert feature for the renowned NFT marketplace, OpenSea, in April.
Around four percent of MetaMask users chose to opt in, and this reportedly helped prevent the theft of $500 million worth of assets.
Schorchit emphasized that the experiment’s success suggests that the new technology could have a significant impact.
“MetaMask and Blockaid anticipate that the new privacy-preserving security alerts will prevent the loss of assets worth at least billions of dollars when the feature becomes a default setting for MetaMask wallets,” Schorchit said.
Last week, Blockaid announced it had secured $33 million in its latest funding round.
The funding will help Blockaid grow its products, customer reaches and team, focusing on addressing ongoing security issues in the Web3 domain like fraud, phishing and hacks.
Founded just a year ago, Blockaid has recently shared its first customers, which included Metamask, Opensea, Rainbow and Zerion.
“Soon after starting the company, we got a quick seed investment and started to work with some of the biggest and best companies in the space to solve some of the biggest problems, primarily protecting users from nasty kinds of attacks,” Ben-Natan said.
Blockaid offers two security solutions. The first, its dApp Scanning Engine, emulates user actions within dApps to identify any potential malicious behavior. The second solution, the dApp Scanning Sandbox, safely simulates user interactions with dApps without jeopardizing user assets.
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