In this article, we tell the story of David Theodore, a security researcher who works every day to secure the Ethereum blockchain by looking for any vulnerabilities in the network and preventing attacks or hacks.

Theodore works for the Ethereum Foundation and performs a role similar to ‘white hacking’, where one attempts to tamper with a cryptographic network in order to identify and report to the community if there is a bug or flaw in the infrastructure.

By attempting to hack the very blockchain he is working for and fixing a potential vulnerability before everyone else, he can prevent other users from exploiting the same flaw to cause damage to the network.

The concept of cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in the context of blockchain, as the need to protect against malicious actors grows as this world evolves.

Ethereum is the most robust and solid L1 currently in circulation.

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David Theodore’s researcher job at the Ethereum Foundation to prevent hacks on the blockchain

David Theodore is a 33-year-old software engineer specialising in cybersecurity, and has been working for the Ethereum Foundation since 2021 as a blockchain hack prevention officer.

Before working with Vitalik Buterin‘s team, Theodore spent part of his career building the offensive digital security unit at Raytheon, before moving to Google in 2020.

Initially, his role was to protect the network during the transition to the proof-of-stake consensus protocol, which required Ethereum’s developers to go to great lengths to ensure there were no vulnerabilities in this momentous event.

Since then, his role has evolved to become one of the main contributors to the integrity of the blockchain.

Every day, Theodore, along with other colleagues, checks to see if any anomalies and/or unusual crashes have occurred on Ethereum.

Once this daily check is complete, his work continues by trying to attack the L1 infrastructure itself, looking for vulnerabilities or hidden bugswith the intention of fixing them before users in the outside world notice the flaw.

What he does can be traced back to white hacking activities, where you try to hack a piece of software with no real financial gain in mind, just to alert the community to a flaw in the code.

His task could be described as alienating, because it requires him to question all the computer security systems he has previously built, in order to look for a possible point of failure.

In any case, to fight and prevent hacks on Ethereum, Theodore can work remotely from anywhere in the world, which allows him to travel and be stationed wherever it suits him.

Often, the IT expert takes his office on the road, in an Airstream recreational vehicle that has been outfitted with a workstation specifically for his business.

The vehicle can accommodate two large monitors and a graphics card ring. It is connected to the outside world via Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service.

The space is large enough to comfortably accommodate two people and a dog, according to the Ethereum security guard.

In late 2022, the Airstream served as a base of operations in Granby, Colorado, as the Ethereum protocol prepared for the Merge update, which would merge the original network with the new beacon chain.

Speaking about this event, Theodore revealed in an interview with Coindesk Theodore how his office was particularly helpful at the time:

“We were there for a month before the merger. It was a convenient location as he could easily travel to Boulder, Colorado to meet other members of the Ethereum Foundation team and witness the historic event.

@superphiz Want to see how I #stakefromhome as a nomad? Well, home is were we park it!

This setup is running validators over #starlink and is powered by the sun.

Fun fact- this rig is simultaneously fuzzing beaconchain clients too 🙂 #testingthemerge pic.twitter.com/qFniaLHuE6

— dtheo (@Infosecual) August 25, 2022

Ethereum and its record as the most secure and robust L1 infrastructure in the crypto world

Ethereum is known for being the most secure and impenetrable smart contract development platform in the world, with a blockchain built to be hack-proof.

Vitalik Buterin can boast such supremacy because he has a staff of around 150 people who participate daily in program updates, growth initiatives, conference sponsorship and grant provision, as well as network maintenance and anomaly resolution.

The members of the security research team come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialisms: many have degrees in computer science, but have experience in responding to exploits, attacking distributed systems and applying cryptography.

One of the most functional techniques used by Theodore and his team to protect the Ethereum blockchain is “fuzzing”.

This is a way of verifying that a piece of software is secure and resilient, by voluntarily entering invalid input to detect any bugs or vulnerabilities. The purpose of this technique is to see if there are any negative reactions to the system.

In a world where the public’s presence is becoming increasingly large, with large amounts of capital flowing into the most disparate blockchains every year, it is crucial that people like Theodore can dedicate themselves exclusively to preventing hacks and finding computer vulnerabilities.

Today, hackers are always looking for new points of attack, and a single mistake can be devastating to a blockchain’s reputation as a safe place to transact.

For Ethereum in particular, following the DAO hack in 2016, every effort has been made to focus on the security factor first, as establishing itself as the world’s global computer requires its blockchain to be an impregnable fortress.

From 2017 to date, approximately $7.2 billion has been stolen across all existing web3 platforms, with $5.5 billion of that in the DeFi sector alone.

Some of the most significant hacks include that of the Ronin network, which saw $624 million leaked, as well as those of the Poly network, Binance Bridge and FTX.

Right now, protecting the Ethereum blockchain is more important than ever, given the strong expansion phase it is going through.

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