A smart contract audit is a security check done by cybersecurity professionals meant to ensure that the on-chain code behind a smart contract is devoid of bugs or security vulnerabilities.
Such checks are complex, as smart contracts often interact with each other and any integrations with third-party systems can also result in making the system vulnerable. Because of this, the checks are often expanded to other smart contracts involved in any interactions, and even those that the ones it interacts with are interacting with. Such checks usually include both running tests and manual code analysis.
Smart contracts often manage huge quantities of funds and a single bug or vulnerability can result in great losses. More precisely, the users and stakeholders of the decentralized application in question could lose all the assets that are part of the ecosystem.
The recommendations made by the auditors are conveyed in advance to the project team and their actions in response are noted in the final report. It is considered a mark of authenticity and integrity for the project. For that reason, teams are keen on getting an audit to win user confidence and raise the project’s credibility. These audits are typically carried out in several steps.
The initial step is the team and the auditing group agreeing on the scope and specifications of the audit. It means that the design, purpose, architecture and other details of the smart contract are given to the auditors. Next is the testing phase, where the auditors test the individual functions (unit tests) and then larger parts (integration tests).
Automated bug detection and analysis tools are also used to look for commonly known vulnerabilities in the contracts. Finally, auditors manually inspect the code to understand the developer’s intentions and interpret the findings in that context. Finally, the report is issued with the findings and the applied fixes by the team.
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