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ADELPHI, Md. (March 12, 2019) -- Researchers from various organizations and universities recently met to discuss blockchain technology and how it is positioned to provide enhanced security measures for distributed systems used by Soldiers.

The Symposium on Blockchain for Distributed System Security was hosted by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory and held at the laboratory's headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland.

"Blockchain technology, which has been successful in the development of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has emerged as an attractive solution to build secure and trustworthy interaction among numerous participants who do not rely on any single trusted entity," said ARL electronics engineer and symposium organizer Dr. Charles Kamhoua.

According to Kamhoua, blockchain is driven by a distributed consensus mechanism among multiple distrusted entities seeking their self-interest.

The consensus allows the building of a tamper-resistant shared ledger that is used to hold cyber-transactions to assure data integrity and device identity authentication in cloud computing and Internet of Things, or IoT, settings.

The transactions on any digital assets are verified and appended to the ledger by a set of participants or miners.

"These features of blockchain are important to the Army as we operate numerous distributed systems such as cloud and IoT in unsecure, untrusted and contested environments," Kamhoua said.

Kamhoua, along with Dr. Sachin Shetty from Old Dominion University and Dr. Laurent Njilla from the Air Force Research Laboratory, co-authored the upcoming book "Blockchain for Distributed System Security" published by IEEE press, which explores security properties of blockchain as well as its attack surface in the IoT and cloud computing platforms.

Three chapters from this book were awarded the Top 50 Influential Papers in Blockchain by the Third Blockchain Connect Conference.

According to Kamhoua, ARL's contributions to blockchain technology have been quite extensive.

"ARL has conducted basic research on data provenance architecture for cloud using block chain, surveyed the vulnerabilities in block chain, conducted in-depth analysis of the block discarding attack and game theoretic analysis of block withholding attack, developed a Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol for cloud based blockchain and architecture for secure Internet of Battlefield Things, established cyber supply chain provenance and integration of software guard extensions on distributed ledgers for increased privacy," Kamhoua said.

The symposium attracted more than 30 participants and featured seven distinguished speakers:

Dr. Manuel Vindiola from ARL presented "Tactical distributed ledger: A blockchain approach for deploying resilient decentralized systems."

Dr. Laurent Njilla discussed "Blockchain Technology in the Air Force Disruptive Information Technology Program."

Dr. Sachin Shetty presented ongoing efforts on blockchain based data provenance and identity management solutions for cloud and IoT.

Peter Foytik from Old Dominion University showed several prototypes and demonstrations of blockchain for networked device identity.

Dr. Deepak Tosh from the University of Texas El Paso spoke about architecting blockchain empowered Internet of Battlefield Things, or IoBT.

Dr. Danda B. Rawat from Howard University discussed blockchain enabled information sharing framework to lightweight blockchain for IoT applications.

Humza Shahid from the CCDC C5ISR Center presented the blockchain program at C5ISR.

The symposium concluded with a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology.

According to Kamhoua, this symposium has facilitated a vibrant interaction and connection among ARL researchers and colleagues from academia and other government laboratories, and they are looking forward to continued collaboration and more discoveries on blockchain security.


The CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

Related Links:

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command

Army Research Laboratory

Army Futures Command

Army Modernization