Hackers are increasingly targetting crypto assets; $1 billion has been stolen so far from crypto-currency firms this year
ast month, hackers stole crypto-currency worth $100 million from a California-based firm. The attack is the latest in a series of similar incidents. In 2022 alone, hackers have so far stolen over $1 billion from crypto-currency firms.
Over the last decade, the evolution of crypto-currencies has taken the globe by storm. In 2013, there were only 66 varieties of crypto-currencies in the world. According to Statista, there are around 10,397 crypto-currencies one can invest in as of February 2022.
Crypto-currency, also known as just crypto, is a type of digital currency. This digital money is based on block-chain technology, which is a secure digital ledger that records crypto transactions.
While many investors are eager to learn about crypto-currency and keep up with the latest crypto trends and profit, it is important to consider the drawbacks of trading in crypto-currencies.
Because currency rates are so volatile, crypto-currencies have the potential to provide users with massive rewards. Investing in a crypto-currency, on the other hand, might be risky if you don’t do your homework and follow safe practices.
As crypto use increases and becomes more common, it becomes easier for hackers to steal sensitive information and investment assets. In one instance, the website crypto.com reported losing over $30 million in ethereum and bitcoin due to unlawful withdrawals by hackers.
To avoid any cyber-security difficulties, it is vital to understand how investing in crypto-currency can lead to trouble.
Phishing attacks are the biggest threat to crypto. Phishing is a technique used by hackers to impersonate a credible firm, such as a crypto trading platform, in order to email subscribers and persuade them to take some action. It might be as simple as clicking on a malware website or having them send their login credentials.
Phishing scams are used by hackers to get crypto users to hand over their digital assets. Common phishing techniques that hackers will employ to take advantage of crypto investors include spear phishing, DNS hacking, phishing bots and bogus browser extensions.
Secondly, new trading platforms are springing up in an attempt to capture the trust of those considering investing in digital currency. However, not all of these sites are trustworthy.
Consider the case of One Coin. One Coin appeared to be a credible crypto-currency corporation that enticed consumers with high returns, but the entire currency system turned out to be a fraud. It was found to be a multi-level marketing scam that cost customers a significant amount of money. A hack or data leak is not the only risk linked to a crypto-currency. Fraudulent activity can sometimes take place right in front of your eyes.
Crypto-currency is showing no signs of slowing down. Hackers will use all their tools to attack unsuspecting victims as the practice gets more prevalent. One can be better prepared to ward off hackers and keep one’s funds safe if one understand the hazards that come with investing in crypto-currencies.
Crypto investors may use third-party programmes or software to manage their digital assets in some situations. It is popular for investors to use crypto tax reporting services, for example, but this exposes them to significant cyber-security threats. According to reports, a hacker was able to steal data from over 1,000 members of CryptoTrader.tax. The hacker obtained access by breaking into the account of a marketing and customer support employee, which revealed a wealth of sensitive information that put consumers at risk.
Crypto-malware, in essence, is a type of malware that allows unauthorised users to mine crypto-currencies on another person’s computer or server. In order to infect someone’s computer, hackers will use one of two methods: Using phishing-like tactics, cyber criminals deceive victims into downloading malware code on their systems by injecting the dangerous code into websites or advertising. When victims engage with them, the code is activated, allowing hackers to get access. According to Forbes, crypto-malware increased by 4,000 percent in 2018.
Users access their digital assets using a “private key,” which is essentially a complex password code. Many people will keep their private keys on their computers, but this is dangerous. If hackers gain access to your computer, they’ll be able to log in to your digital account using the same private key. Because crypto-currency is not strictly controlled, if a private key is stolen, there is no way to recover it. Crypto investing is riskier than regular investments since investors are the only ones responsible for keeping their private keys out of the hands of hackers.
Crypto, as previously stated, is similar to the Wild West in that it is unregulated and a bit of a free for all. Crypto-currency is decentralised, which means that no single agency, institution, or governing body is in charge of its creation, management or movement. While some people believe that the absence of control is advantageous, there are certain drawbacks. In 2019, China made crypto-currency transactions illegal. Cryptocurrency restrictions are expected to be tightened in more nations as they can attract hackers and scammers.
Because crypto-currency is still a new concept, it can have unintended negative consequences for investors. Crypto-currency, crypto exchanges, and block-chain technology are all complicated by their very nature. Even seasoned investors may find it difficult to comprehend all aspects of the matter.
Cryptography occurs exclusively in the internet’s ether. In view of the above threats, following are some specific actions one can take to safeguard one’s crypto investments.
Regardless of whether they claim to represent a respectable crypto-currency company, never disclose your private key or login details to anyone. Consider storing your key on an external device, such as a USB flash drive. Before investing, do your homework and research companies and their tokens. Unsolicited proposals to invest in crypto-currency should be ignored. Avoid clicking on any questionable links or advertisements, since this may expose you to additional cyber-security threats. Keep an eye on the most recent crypto trends, news headlines and any announcements regarding the crypto-currency you own. To make your online accounts more secure and keep hackers at bay, use strong, unique passwords all the time. When investing in bitcoin, keep all of these risks and cybersecurity procedures in mind. Although we’re still learning more about digital money, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for cyber-security dangers so you can secure yourself and your possessions.
Cryptocurrency is showing no signs of slowing down. Hackers will use all their tools to attack unsuspecting victims as the practice gets more prevalent. One can be better prepared to ward off hackers and keep one’s funds safe if one understands the hazards that come with investing in crypto-currencies.
The writer is a researcher, writer and analyst in field of cyber security. He is currently pursuing a PhD in CS