Ever since the rise of cryptocurrency as the “next generation” of monetary exchange, more and more threats have arose within the cryptocurrency industry, causing doubt about the safety and security of actually using this “currency of the future” in daily life. Numerous cases of cryptocurrency mining, hacks and scams have been reported around the world, strengthening the fact that this digital currency may not be as secure as it is made out to be.
As the players in the cryptocurrency scene scramble to keep their versions of this digital money secure and un-hackable, hackers and scammers have been also working hard to make sure that their methods are a notch ahead of the latest security and technology. Here are just some of the new ways how, just about anyone, can pose a threat to your cryptocurrency balance.
#1 SIM Swapping
SIM swapping is one of the most recent trends in cryptocurrency hacking. The hacker gains the basic information of their victim, especially their mobile phone number and their mobile phone carrier service provider. The hacker then proceeds to register the same number under a different mobile phone service operator, gaining access to the phone lines and messages of the victim. With this access, the hacker easily bypasses the two-step verification system and gains access to any of the cryptocurrency accounts via the mobile apps of the service, installed on their phone.
#2 Phishing Apps
You may have heard of phishing emails, but now, it’s the time of phishing apps. Most cryptocurrency users tend to check their balance and cryptocurrency value often and what better way to do it than via mobile apps. However, scammers and hackers have found a sneaky way to access your login information for these mobile apps by attaching an information phishing app to the original cryptocurrency app. This then gives the scammer and hackers real-time information from your phone and direct access to your username, password, social security number and any other sensitive detail that you enter.
#3 Public Wi-Fi
Yes, public wi-fi. The free wi-fi that keeps you connected wherever you are may actually be helping hackers to steal your digital savings. Hackers use the KRACK attack to reset the security protocol that exists between your device and that of the public router, causing the protocol to encrypt data with a new key at every reset. With this, each block of encrypted data can be backtracked to its original keychain, which is like the key to the safe where your data is stored. Once hackers decode the complete keychain, they will be able to completely access the cryptocurrency details and data on your device, via wi-fi connection.
The advancements of technology do indeed have a bad side to it and it is up to us to stay vigilant and informed in order to prevent ourselves and loved ones from falling prey to such unscrupulous acts of digital thievery. In this day and age, digital threats rise much quicker than the security measures. Hence, it is up to us to be more cautious with the way we access and transfer data, especially via public connections.
Also, be wary of any phishing sites and apps that may ask for your mobile carrier details, especially if they are unrelated to what you are trying to do. It wouldn’t make sense if your mobile food delivery service asked you for your mobile carrier, when it really has nothing to do with your order. If you suspect that your phone number is being used to hack into your private data, a simple phone lookup will be able to show you who else has your number registered under their name, from public records. This will help you see if there is a third-person that is piggybacking on your phone line to access your cryptocurrency stash.