Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular and valuable every day, but they also come with risks. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to steal crypto assets from unsuspecting users, and they can use various methods to do so.
One of the recent victims of a crypto hack was a user who blamed LastPass, a password manager service, for his loss of $50,000 worth of bitcoin. According to his Reddit post, he received an email from LastPass asking him to reset his master password due to a security breach. He followed the instructions and entered his old and new passwords, but later realized that it was a phishing email that captured his credentials. The hackers then accessed his LastPass account and used it to log into his Coinbase account, where they transferred his bitcoin to their own wallet.
This is just one example of how hackers can trick users into giving up their passwords or access to their crypto accounts. Other methods include:
• Malware: Hackers can infect users’ devices with malicious software that can monitor their keystrokes, screen activity, clipboard content, or browser history. This can allow them to steal users’ passwords, private keys, or seed phrases that are used to access their crypto wallets or exchanges.
• SIM swapping: Hackers can impersonate users and contact their mobile phone providers to request a new SIM card with their phone number. This can allow them to bypass two-factor authentication (2FA) that relies on SMS codes or phone calls. They can then use the 2FA codes to log into users’ crypto accounts and transfer their funds.
• Physical theft: Hackers can also resort to physical violence or intimidation to force users to hand over their phones, laptops, or hardware wallets that contain their crypto assets. This can happen on the street, in public places, or even at users’ homes.
• Exchange hacks: Hackers can also target crypto exchanges directly and exploit their vulnerabilities to access their servers or databases. This can allow them to steal users’ funds that are stored on the exchange’s hot wallets (online wallets that are connected to the internet). Some examples of exchange hacks include Binance, Crypto.com, and Liquid Global.
So how can users protect themselves from these threats? Here are some tips:
• Use a reputable password manager: A password manager can help users create and store strong and unique passwords for each of their online accounts. However, users should be careful about which password manager they use and avoid clicking on any suspicious links or emails that claim to be from the service. They should also enable 2FA on their password manager account and use a different method than SMS or phone calls, such as an authenticator app or a hardware token.
• Use a secure crypto wallet: A crypto wallet is a software or hardware device that allows users to store and manage their crypto assets. Users should choose a wallet that has a good reputation, offers encryption and backup features, and supports multiple currencies. They should also avoid storing large amounts of crypto on online wallets or exchanges, as they are more vulnerable to hacks. Instead, they should use offline wallets or cold storage (such as paper wallets or hardware wallets) that are not connected to the internet.
• Use common sense and caution: Users should be wary of any unsolicited offers, requests, or messages that involve their crypto assets. They should never share their passwords, private keys, seed phrases, or 2FA codes with anyone, even if they claim to be from a trusted source. They should also avoid using public Wi-Fi networks or devices that are not theirs to access their crypto accounts. They should also keep their devices updated with the latest security patches and antivirus software.
Cryptocurrencies offer many benefits and opportunities for users, but they also come with risks and responsibilities. Users should educate themselves about the best practices and tools to safeguard their crypto assets from hackers and scammers.
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