Learn how users can know when their crypto accounts and wallets are attacked.
A cyber attack refers to unauthorized access to personal and financial information by breaching security protocols without the proper credentials.
Notice hacks faster, and take immediate action to secure their funds.
Account-holders often make it easy for hackers to breach their wallets and accounts by using the same password across different wallets
While the underlying tech, blockchain, is known for its security, cryptocurrencies remain vulnerable to cyber attacks. This is because there are multiple channels including exchanges and scams that hackers deploy. They employ social engineering to create a gateway into user accounts. Methods like sending phishing emails and malware have become more common in bypassing security protocols. For instance, hackers have recently utilized malware like EventBot trojan to target crypto wallets and accounts. The user downloads the malware as an innocent application, and it ends up taking over the user’s keylogging passwords, data streams, and grabbing SMS and email messages for 2FA.
Users can, however, easily ensure their crypto wallets and accounts are safe by following the practices we discuss in this article.
What is a cyber attack?
A cyber attack refers to unauthorized access to personal and financial information by breaching security protocols without the proper credentials. The goal of the malicious actor is to gain from the breached data. The attacker can gain access through brute-force attacks, phishing, ransomware, malware, and so on.
Digital assets remain vulnerable to brute-force attacks when users use easy-to-guess passwords like usernames, last name, birthdate, etc. A malicious actor takes their time to submit all possible passwords and multiple passphrases until they get it right. Some hackers may even employ an exhaustive key research tool to guess the correct password. Using malware, ransomware, and phishing makes the work of hackers even easier by just sending a link or software to the user's device. At the click of the link or installation of the application, they gain access to user details. However, crypto holders and traders can minimize cyber attacks by following some preventive measures.
How to know you’ve been hacked
Hacking activities are evident when users find out their crypto wallet has been wiped out and the funds sent to an unknown address. Moreover, users may receive notifications if they have previously set them up. Websites such as haveibeenpwned can also help users know whether their account or wallet has been hacked or not by checking your phone number and email for data breaches. The websites also confirm whether user account or wallet info has been revealed anywhere to the public.
Noticing hacks faster helps users take immediate action to secure their funds. For instance, they can create a new crypto wallet, transfer their funds there, change their login details, and quickly enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). To evade a repeat of history, users should scan their devices for assured security.
How to secure your crypto from cyber attacks
The security of a crypto wallet or account is an essential step when investing in cryptocurrencies. It is often better safe than sorry when it comes to sensitive or private information. Some of the best practices to ensure a user account or wallet is safe from cyber-attacks are discussed below.
Enable multi-factor authentication or 2FA: Two-factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) makes it nearly impossible for hackers to access a user’s wallet even when they have managed to steal the password. 2FA adds an extra security layer to prevent breaches into a user account. It ranges from SMS-based verification to Google Authenticator to hardware security key. It is advisable to use SMS-based authentication only when the other options are unavailable since it is less secure.
Use strong passwords: Creating a solid password involves numbers, letters, and numbers to ensure the password is complex to crack. In addition, account-holders should use different passwords for different accounts or wallets so that the others are safe when one has been attacked. Finally, because humans are bad at recalling passwords, investors can use password managers that generate, secure and store passwords.
Use cold wallets: Cold wallets are more secure than hot wallets since they do not require an internet connection, making them less prone to hacking. Users can, therefore, keep a more considerable portion of their funds in a hardware wallet and only a smaller portion of the crypto they intend to use in software wallets.
Use secure networks: When accessing wallets or transacting, crypto holders should use private networks. When using public WIFI networks, they can use virtual private networks (VPNs) to maintain privacy and ensure the safety of the network
Keep private keys private: Private keys give account owners access to their funds. In the hands of malicious actors, the funds are at the risk of being stolen. Hence, crypto investors and traders should evade sharing their private keys with the public.
Double-check transaction details: Crypto traders and investors should always double-check the recipient address when sending funds to other accounts or making payments. Some malware programs are designed to edit the addresses for hackers to find entry to the holder account.
Use secure and trusted exchanges: A fundamental step to begin investing or trading in crypto is finding a secure, reputable, and trusted exchange. An exchange that adheres to high-security standards can keep an investor’s or trader’s account safe from cyberattacks.
Protect the seed phrase: A seed phrase is a 12 to 24 words string used to access non-custodial wallets. It enables the holders to restore their wallets in case they delete or lose the wallet. If a holder loses the seed phrase, they completely lose their wallet and the funds in it. Since anyone with the correct key phrase can access a holder’s wallet, holders should protect and back up their seed phrase.
Stay vigilant of phishing emails: Crypto holders should not click links or download documents sent to their mails since they may contain malicious applications. Blindly installing software and clicking links from random emails may grant hackers access to one's phone data streams and other important details.
Don’t post too much personal information: Boasting online about one’s crypto holdings may subject holders to synthetic identity theft targets. Hence, traders and investors should review their online presence and ensure they have not shared too much information about themselves and their crypto holdings.
Stay alert and be careful
Even as blockchain networks work to mitigate the negative exposure, hackers will always find new ways of breaching crypto security. Therefore, traders need to be vigilant of the information they consume while performing crypto activities. The few best practices we have discussed not only help a trader secure their account but also ensure the safety of the entire crypto ecosystem.